Life is full of challenges, obstacles, and struggles. But it is also filled with endless opportunities that can make you believe in miracles. There are the days when we experience unbelievable highs, while the very next day we may experience heartbreaking lows. This is the nature of life.
Most of the time it is important for us to go through the pain and suffering so that we can become a stronger version of ourselves. Hence, it is important to have the mindset that will get you through this low phase and help you rebuild your life.
“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen
But how can you do that? First of all, stop calling yourself ‘broken’. I know how it feels. Trust me, I’ve been there. And no, I am not underestimating your situation or your struggle. I am simply asking you to stop identifying yourself as a victim. You will experience challenges, heartbreak, and life-changing circumstances throughout your life.
Some of these will be so intense that you will start questioning yourself and your abilities, it will test your willpower and may even ‘break’ you physically, mentally, and emotionally. This is exactly when you need to decide whether you wish to become a helpless victim or if you want to fight through the obstacles and take charge of your life to change your future.
Repeat after me…You are NOT broken
“Stop trying to ‘fix’ yourself; you’re NOT broken! You are perfectly imperfect and powerful beyond measure.” – Steve Maraboli
There are numerous things that can bring our lives to a complete stop like severe illness, losing our jobs, a breakup or divorce, loss of a loved one, etc. Experiences like these can adversely affect our psychology and even break our spirit. We can end up feeling isolated, demotivated, and lost as our life gyrates downwards.
But life is a series of ups and downs. Nothing ever remains the same. Life changes constantly with time. But that doesn’t mean time will heal all your wounds. No, it just won’t. The only thing that will make your life better is your actions. The only thing that will matter is what you decide to do next with your life.
“Time doesn’t change us. It’s what we do with that time that changes us.” – Dr. Phil
Start by shifting your focus from the negative to the positive. Instead of describing yourself with self-defeating words like broken, realize the fact that you have already faced or facing your biggest challenge and have survived. Granted, you are barely managing yourself, but you are fighting it right now. Understand that you are strong enough and you can get out of this place to reclaim your life.
Restart. Reclaim. Rebuild.
Breathe. Tell yourself you got this. And get started. Here are 15 great ways that will help you start rebuilding your life and get things back in order.
15 Ways to Rebuild Your Life, When You Feel Broken Inside
1. Be your true self.
“No one knows your truth but you. If you’re secure in yourself, no one and no(thing) can touch you.” – Brittany Burgunder
Are you true to yourself? Do you actually do what you want to? Think about when you were a kid. Were you afraid of following your heart, exploring new things, learning new lessons? Were you afraid of failing in life? No, you weren’t. In fact, you found your genuine self and spoke your mind unapologetically. But then what happened suddenly that you changed so much?
We grew up and we started giving more importance to what others think about us. How we are perceived by our social circles took precedence over being our genuine self. Status happened. Responsibilities happened.
We don’t think about our dreams anymore because we don’t want to let anyone down. We want to live our lives based on their standards of us. This is where you need to take notice and start your transformation. Stop giving a shit.
Have you ever noticed that most people get irritated by passionate individuals who are driven by their goals? They are true to who they are and have accepted themselves as they are. This is the very first step to reclaim your life. Don’t be afraid. Understand that you are enough and pursue what actually matters to you.
2. Focus on who you spend your time with.
“Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.” – W. Clement Stone
Have you ever paid attention to the kind of people you allow in your life? Take a good look at who you are surrounded with. Who you spend most of your time with. Friends, family, and even coworkers can have a significant impact on our lives and our thoughts and actions.
When you are surrounded by the wrong type of crowd, your mentality will get corrupted by their negativity. They will unashamedly minimize your achievement, distract you from your goals and make you doubt yourself by tearing you down. This is why it is important to have friends who are passionate, driven, motivated with whatever they feel is important. You will feed off their positivity and confidence.
3. Unplug from social media.
“It’s good to be happy and tell us how cool your life is and how awesome you are on social media. That’s great because it inspires other people to be happy, too. But a lot of times, people are trying to be happy in the wrong ways – with money or with different things that are not true happiness.” – Jaden Smith
There is nothing wrong with using social media yet there is everything wrong with it. There is an attention war going on all social media platforms. Friends and family, celebrities, businesses, products, and services…all of them are constantly influencing your thoughts.
You are being programmed and conditioned to think and act in a certain way. Everyone wants your attention and is making you seek attention from everyone else. This can be overwhelming and make you compare your life with others unnecessarily. However, you are comparing your real life with only what they are showing you. And this is where the problem lies.
Identify how much time you spend on social media, what type of people and pages you follow, how you feel afterward etc. This will help you identify how it impacts you and your psyche. Then find a balance and unfollow anything that does not serve you. I personally have removed both Facebook and Facebook Messenger from my device.
I rarely use any platform now other than some limited time of Instagram. Not only have I managed to find more free time on my hands, but I am now in better control of my thoughts and feelings. Instead of social media making you feel insecure, make it inspire you.
4. Use positive affirmations.
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” – Roy T. Bennett
Instead of hating yourself and engaging in negative self-talk, shift your focus to your strengths and achievements. Identify the areas you need to improve and prioritize yourself over everything else. This is not going to be easy. Loving yourself unconditionally takes practice and patience. So make sure you use positive affirmations every single day.
Tell yourself how unique and amazing your are. And make sure you are genuine and truly believe what you tell yourself. This will help you boost your confidence and you will perceive yourself differently. Seek your own validation and believe in your abilities. If necessary, write down positive affirmations and phrases like “I can do it”, “I am awesome”, “I will be successful”, “I will achieve my goals”. Stand in front of a mirror and repeat them to yourself. But most of all, believe every word.
5. Note down all habits you need to change.
“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.” – Roy T. Bennett
Can you reclaim your life if you are still stuck with your old bad habits? Think about it. You can’t start something new when you are still practicing habits that hold you back. These can be small minor habits that you do every day, even without much notice.
Note down all such habits and make a list of everything that you feel you need to change, things that can pull you back or derail you from your efforts. Once you know what you need to stop, you can develop an action plan to get rid of them and focus on rebuilding your new life. This might seem insignificant now, but you will know how important this is once you get down to it.
6. Get out and travel.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Agustine of Hippo
Sometimes the best way to change your mindset is through a change of scenery. The world outside your home, office and your daily route is an exciting world. It is full of new unexplored possibilities that is calling out to you. Go on an adventure, a vacation or a holiday trip with your friends, family or all by yourself.
Exploring new places, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures will help you gain a different perspective in life. By getting you outside of your comfort zone, traveling makes you more aware and connected with yourself. So start saving for a travel fund and go where you always wanted to.
7. Start practicing gratitude.
Gratitude turns what we have into enough.
Gratitude is an excellent practice that completely shifts your mindset from scarcity to an abundance mindset. Set aside a time each day and think about 3 things in your life that are great and for which you are grateful. Write it down and place it somewhere you can easily notice all the time. Keep adding a new item to the list every day for the next 1 month. It can be something big or something really small, as long as you don’t repeat it.
I know it will feel a bit awkward in the beginning, but by the end of the month, you will realize that your life is actually a lot better than you believe. Moreover, it will retrain your mind to focus on the positive instead of the negative aspects of your life.
8. Be more compassionate and helpful.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” – Plato
How will helping other people matter when you are barely able to help yourself? You will find out when the time comes. As you are facing tough times in life, you are in a better position to realize what others are going through in similar situations. When you become compassionate and start helping others in whatever ways you can, you will gain a new perspective in life. Although their problems may seem insignificant to you, they may be the biggest challenge they have faced yet.
When you start helping others instead of wallowing in self-pity, you will start to see the strength inside of you. Volunteer and help whatever cause you feel strongly about. You can help rescue animals, teach poor kids, help build community homes, or whatever you feel like. Not only will this bring joy to your heart, but you will find the inner strength necessary to cope with your own problems. You might even make some new like-minded friends who can inspire you to move ahead in life.
9. Forgive and let it go.
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” – Steve Maraboli
Let go of all negative emotions and thoughts like anger, resentment, frustration that will keep you trapped in your dark past. Forgive yourself, forgive those who might have hurt you and forgive the universe for messing your life. By allowing yourself to forgive, you will take more accountability for your own life and free yourself to move away from a damaged past to a better future. This is how you can take your life back.
10. Start working out.
Exercise is therapy.
A strong mind resides in a strong body. I can personally vouch for it. It’s not about whether you are going to the gym or training at home, how hard you are training, or how great you will look after a few months. The only thing that matters is that how great you will feel after each finished workout session. It will not only feel stronger, more confident, and focused but it will also rewire your brain and keep you motivated.
You can either work out in the morning or you may exercise in the evening after work to reclaim your life. By taking care of your body, you will eat healthier and focus on your physical & mental well-being. When you feel great about yourself, you will be able to give your best to face whatever life has to offer.
11. Learn from others.
“Experience is a master teacher, even when it’s not our own.” – Gina Greenlee
Sometimes it can be a great idea to connect with individuals who have faced and conquered similar challenges in life. You can choose to join a support group or participate in online groups to find out how different people are coping with their problems and share ideas and solutions.
You can also read about various people who have overcome great odds in life and succeeded. Read their life stories, watch their interviews, learn from their experiences and inspire yourself through their experiences. If they can do it, so can you.
12. Practice mindfulness.
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
The past is already gone and you can’t do anything to change it. The future is yet to happen and it will be uncertain irrespective of how much you plan to control it. No amount of worrying will ever change the past or determine the future with certainty. The only thing that you truly have is the present moment.
By being fully present in the current moment, you can make a difference in your life. Focus your time and effort on this present moment to bring about a real change in your life. Practicing mindfulness will help you with this and allow you to celebrate life as it is. But this is easier said than done. With the help of mindfulness meditation and regular practice, you can retrain your mind.
13. Get some good sleep.
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Rest is crucial for your healing, especially when you are still trying to cope with your problems and desperately trying to pick up the pieces. Although it may sound like a no-brainer, having a good night’s sleep will help your mind calm down and deal with anxiety and stress. In our busy modern lives, we often underestimate the importance of rest which leads to various physical and mental health complications. So make sure you get enough rest and allow your mind to shut down & heal.
Just drop whatever you are doing, put down your phone, shut down your computer, and hit the bed. Apart from getting a good 8 hours of sleep every night, you can also take 20-minute power naps in the middle of the day to recharge yourself. This can work wonders for you. Trust me.
14. Develop better relationships with people who care.
“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” – Oprah Winfrey
There can be no better time to know who really cares about you than when you are going through a low phase. When you are down and out, take notice of people who are with you, who support you, who check up on you, and who want you to move forward. These are the people you want in your life and they will stick with you through thick or thin. And this is the best time for you to start appreciating them and build stronger bonds.
15. Accept that life is not perfect.
“A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections.” – Chinese Proverb
This is one of the most important things you should keep in mind if you are looking to rebuild your life. Thanks in part to social media, we all have developed this unhealthy mindset that our lives should be perfect. We need to have everything we want or at least everything that our peers have and only then we will be considered successful by our society. Only then will we be respected by others. You can either be perfect and accepted or become not good enough and be forgotten. This is undoubtedly a twisted and sick way of looking at your life that will set you up for failure.
Instead of living life with such an extreme belief, simply relax and experience life as it. Enjoy whatever life is offering you right now and let go of your expectations from life, from yourself and from others. Of course, you will become successful when the time is right but that doesn’t mean life is bad right now. Enjoy whatever you have and practice gratitude.
Reshape your life one day at a time
“Only in the shattering can the rebuilding occur.” – Barbara Marciniak
These strategies I mentioned above are simple enough for you to start following from today and you will start experiencing the magic from day one itself. However, it will not be easy to completely change your life in just a few days. Neither will you be able to apply these strategies to reclaim your life all at once.
Hence, the best course of action for you to rebuild your life is to take one step at a time each day. Try out each of these tips gradually and see how it works out for you. The more you try, the more you will learn what is working out for you and how you need to go about it. But most of all you need to be patient, determined, and consistent as it will take time to reclaim your life. Have faith in yourself.
You got this.