Go ahead and embrace the fall to rock bottom.
All through life you’re taught to strive for excellence and perfection. You direct every effort toward getting into the best schools, receiving the best grades, landing the ideal job, meeting the perfect mate, living in a dream home, and having angelic children.
Then, life gets in the way. Stuff happens. You stumble. You fall.
You will fail in your life, likely many times.
You might flunk a course, lose your job, get divorced, battle illness, encounter financial hardship, or face a barrage of challenging parenting issues – or face some other adversity.
At some point, it might seem like you can’t go any lower. You’ve hit rock bottom.
While you don’t have to reach the lowest low to start making meaningful adjustments in your life, being there at rock bottom makes you more acutely aware of what you need to do. It’s a wake-up call. Time to hit the reset button. Time to make some significant changes.
What’s Healthy; What’s Not
Of course, if you’re in a severe crisis, suffering from prolonged depression, or you’re suicidal, get professional medical help immediately.
Otherwise, know that it’s normal to have the blues when you’ve suffered a blow. You need time and space in the doldrums to reconnect with yourself and your needs, and to chart your course. What you need to know is that it will take some heavy lifting on your part to recover.
The hardest part is that nobody really prepares to fail. It’s something you’re taught to fear, so you shudder away from it. But, if you embrace failure, you can enjoy its many profound and unexpected gifts.
Here are some facts you need to know about falling down, so you can pick yourself up and rise like the phoenix from the ashes:
1. Perfection doesn’t exist.
You are not alone in failing. Screwing up is part of the human condition. Everyone has character flaws and lessons they need to learn. But when you accept that no one is perfect – including you, you’ll be in a greater place of acceptance.
Failing teaches you to be humble, and that life isn’t black and white. You’re just as worthy as the next person in having a chance to prove yourself again.
2. Growth happens in the trenches.
People learn by doing; some more than others. Life is a journey, and therefore there is no shame in making mistakes. In fact, there is an expectation of making mistakes.
Insights come to you in your darkest hours and lowest lows. You’ll get a new perspective and realize (finally!) what you’ve failed to notice before and just how off-course you were. You’ve earned your scars, so proudly wear them!
3. Everything happens for a reason.
Richard Bach said it best with “There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.”
One of my clients lost her job suddenly after 20 years with the same company. Even though she hated her work, it was devastating to her, and she didn’t know where to begin. She said she was depressed. But what she didn’t realize was that she was going through a normal and expected process of grief. She needed to give herself a period of introspection and regrouping. With some coaching, my client reconnected with herself, discovered her perfect career, and set out on a much happier path. Losing her job was the higher powers kicking her in the butt, so that she could finally get out of a rut.