What Not to Do When Life Gets Hard

Does life seem hard right now? Business or career not going as you planned? Relationships struggling? It is during these times that there are certain things to do and not to do. While many think they ‘know’ what to do, many struggle during these times as they feel unsure if it is the right move, the right time, the right way, etc.

If you are struggling and feeling stuck, why not take the opposite approach – focus on what NOT to do during struggles. Hopefully, this will trick your brain into recognizing your bad habit of negativity and self-blame, victimhood, and guilt.; all these do is keep you down and not moving forward. You get caught in the whirlpool of negative self-talk, not following through which then leads to guilt, and blame. This serves no one and nothing.

So, look at what not to do when you feel stuck and want to through your hands in the air and give up:

Don’t fall into blaming

The first thing we typically do when something goes wrong is to blame. We blame others or ourselves, depending on the situation but blaming does no good whatsoever. Blame is what makes you a victim It’s a waste of energy and keeps you focused on the problem.

 The way out? Take responsibility for the problem and your part in it, which may even come down to not paying attention or doing something at the time. You may have had no part in the situation so why take it on as if you did.  Notice when you feel you want to blame or self-judge and come back to letting blame go and how you can solve the problem instead. This puts you in control, which stops being a victim and feeling victorious.

Don’t give up – let go
You may feel like giving up when it feels like the sky is falling in. But what is the alternative? Rather than giving up on the possibility of feeling happy again or on your dreams for the future, let go of the attachment to them. This means you should go ahead and dream and take the action that can make those dreams into a reality.  It is so freeing to not have an attachment, which cuts down on perfectionism and procrastination on doing the work. But, don’t buy into the belief that if they don’t happen, that you won’t be able to be happy. Happiness is an internal state that you get to define.

Don’t numb yourself

There are many ways we numb ourselves to the pain we feel throughout our lives. Of course, we could use drugs or alcohol, but even more often, we use keeping incredibly busy or tuning out by watching TV or playing mindless games. Many have turned to buying things as a way to cope with the pandemic; I know someone who has turned to Legos as an outlet which has led to daily shopping sprees.

Even though it’s not fun, it’s important for your healing to experience the pain that you feel. We avoid painful situations because of the emotion attached; Unless you allow yourself to sit in the pain, it will stay with you in various forms until you allow yourself to feel it. You can push painful experiences aside but they will come back, and sometimes with a vengeance. Sit in the pain so you can see that you survived and will again. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim to past circumstances.

Don’t isolate yourself

When we are scared, embarrassed or worried, our natural instinct is to hide away to lick our wounds. Of course, there is a time for that – a time when we need to be alone with our feelings and thoughts but it’s too easy to stay in that place of isolation far longer than is healthy. The less connection we feel to family and friends, the more depressed we become. This almost always increases our feelings of fear and worry. Being isolated has been a way of life during the pandemic but we, as humans, are social creatures made to connect.  So, make a point to be around the positive, supportive people in your life, even when you don’t feel like it. As things are opening up, you can now make personal connections but technology has made this a lot easier to reach out and touch someone.

Don’t hang out with negative people

When you feel like life sucks, you are more vulnerable than at other times when life seems rosy. Being around people who are always complaining or blaming is a sure way to make yourself feel worse. Know that it’s okay to say ‘no thanks’ to invitations that you know will end up in a huge complaining or back-biting session. Instead, get together with people who support your dreams and visions of the future; you can look at joining Facebook or Meetup groups to find like-minded people to connect with. Having healthy boundaries will put you back in control of your situation so you find solutions versus dwelling on them.

Hopefully, this point-of-view resonated and jarred you to look at how you approach difficult situations and times. Starting with one of these will turn your outlook and life around, which you can start today

If this resonated with you, please share with others who may also benefit. Reach out if you need support – isn’t it time to end the struggle?  

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