Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.
~ Henry Ford
Imagine shipwrecked in the middle of the deep blue sea. It is freezing and you are in shock. An old wooden plank is all your life is hanging on to. The waters are infested with bloodthirsty sharks circling your helpless body, waiting for the right moment to strike. That is how I felt when we were forced to close down our business and left to drown. The sharks had taken all they could get their hands on and most sadly, we lost people we thought were our friends.
I felt angry, disappointed, frustrated, abandoned, unhappy, in shock and stuck.
4 years later, I sit here in the late hours of the night writing this article, and I smile to myself.
Looking back, I can now connect the dots. I now know the problem wasn't in the situation itself, but in the way I had chosen to perceive it. Seeing it as the end of the world, a cage was created out of which I couldn't get.
This leads me to the first point on how to survive through double trouble at work, at home and life in general.
1.CALM THE MONKEY MIND DOWN
The monkey mind is a term used by the Buddhists. They are the loudest voices in your head, the hysteric screamer, the thoughtless panicker, the irrational thinker and rumbling commentator.
"That's the end of you! They are going to get you! You'll never come out of this alive, oh no! what have you done! You're such a failure! You're not strong enough. Look at you, other people are enjoying life!"
Have you had to listen to all that rattle in your head and could focus on nothing else? Well, that is where my focus went and hence my energy flowed. I only realised that my monkey mind was riding wild and running the show when I hit rock-bottom. That was when I started talking to myself, my ego, my monkey mind.
"Calm down. Focus. Inhale.... Exhale...What options have you got? Write them down. Create a step by step plan. Execute them. Change your habits. It's not that bad, it could have been worse. Your family supports and loves you. You are not starving. You have a roof above your head. What you are going through is only temporary. It will pass. What's the worst that could happen? You will have to start from scratch. Hmmm, I can actually deal with that."
As I spoke to my monkey mind, I felt it calm down. It thought deep about what I was saying and realised.
I was right. Now instead of me listening to it, my monkey mind started doing the listening.
It was a terrible master, but did I mention what a wonderful servant it was?
What are you doing with your monkey mind?
First and foremost, calm it down. Talk to it. Then, take back the stirring wheel. But do keep it by your side for it is a wonderful companion...once controlled.
2. ACCEPT THE TRUTH AND BE BRUTALLY HONEST
You have been greedy. You made the wrong decisions. Nobody forced you. You weren't truly grateful. It was you who allowed others to take advantage. You didn't love yourself enough so envied others. It was you all along. Face it!
"Consciousness of wrongdoing is the first step to salvation." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca
What you refuse to accept, you refuse to change.
So once you stop blaming others and are brutally honest with yourself, correction mode is automatically switched on. Control over your thoughts, decisions, choices and life as a whole is reclaimed because you are now responsible. That is what kept me mobilised, because I knew what happened next would be solely dependent on me.
Do you claim 100% responsibility for the state in which your life is now? If yes, you are ready for step 3.
3. TAKE PHYSICAL ACTION
Writing a journal to pour out piled up emotions, creating a to-do list and executing it, exercising, researching, reading quality books, communicating, going for workshops or conferences that enlighten you, replacing limiting beliefs with empowering ones, making new networks of positive and inspiring people and saying daily positive affirmations -
I am strong, I am confident, I am resilient, I am wiser. Every day, I step closer towards salvation. My goals are within my reach. I am love. I am at peace with my soul.
These actions, just to mention a few, require that you are physically in motion and mentally engaged. That is the only way your brain is rewired, reprogrammed and taught to function under new terms in order to work its way out of trouble. Positive thoughts alone are just not enough.
If you have found yourself in double trouble at work, at home, in your business venture and life in general, you would agree it feels like walking in the dark. It is scary, confusing and paralysing, but there is a way out once you gain consciousness. These 3 steps, with a lot of faith, guided me through my troubled days. Have they done the same for you? I would love to hear your stories and opinions.
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