Everyone struggles from time to time. It's a natural part of life, but that doesn't make it any easier when a struggle hits you. There are moments when we feel the weight of the world is on our shoulders, and we can't get out of bed. Everything seems more challenging than usual, and every little thing becomes something that can set us off. In this state, it often feels like there's no light at the end of the tunnel, no end to these struggles. But they are a necessary part of growing as an individual and character.
Life is messy and chaotic; it will always be this way. But that doesn't mean you can't learn to master the art of struggling and make it work for you instead of against you.
Just know that this is normal, and you're not alone.
It can be easy to feel as if you're the only person in the world going through struggles right now, but you're not. Everyone goes through something painful at some point in their life. If it's not happening now, it's coming soon. It's just a part of being human. You are not alone in your struggles, and you never will be.
Make the most out of bad situations.
Sometimes, the best way to get through the bad times is to make the best of them and use them to grow as an individual. Unfortunately, bad things happen, often out of our control. But that doesn't mean you can't make the most of the situation. Don't just sit back when you struggle and let it consume you. Instead, use it to reflect on your life and make changes where you need to.
Learn to recognize when you're struggling.
Before you can start to master the art of struggling, you need first to be able to recognize when you're struggling. It's easy to look at other people struggling and say they should buck up and get over it — but how do you do this for yourself? It's not as easy as it sounds, but it's something every individual needs to work towards if they want to grow as a person. Sometimes, you need to put yourself first and realize when you're struggling so you can do something about it.
Don't be afraid to ask for help.
It can be easy to want to be the one who sits there and struggles through everything without asking for help. Unfortunately, this can often make things worse and make you feel even more alone. It's okay to ask for help when you need it. You don't need to feel bad about asking someone for help. It doesn't mean you're weak — sometimes, it just means you want to live your life and not feel like you're drowning.
Take care of yourself physically & mentally.
One of the best ways to start mastering the art of struggling is to care for yourself physically and mentally. Sometimes, you need to look after yourself before you can get anywhere. For example, if you're struggling with anxiety, take time to meditate or do breathing exercises. If you're struggling with depression, find ways to spend time with friends and do the things you love. If you're struggling with something else, find what works for you.
Don't be afraid to let go.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to release and accept that you can't control every event and situation that comes your way.
Sometimes, you need to let go so you can put all your energy towards dealing with the struggles you do have influence over. It's okay to let go of the things you can't control; learning how to do this is essential. It doesn't mean you're an incompetent person — it's just a natural part of being human. You can't control everything, so don't even try. These are some of the best ways to start mastering the art of struggling.
Of course, life will always be messy, but you can make it easier by recognizing when you're struggling and making the most of the situation.
Dave is a Leadership and Life Coach living in Steveston, B.C., Canada.
Dave's expertise is with individuals and teams who feel stressed out and exhausted and know that they want something different.
In 2017, Dave left a career as a Senior Manager at a large Local Government organization to start Small Pause Coaching & Consulting. His philosophy about taking a pause and inviting in a new conversation, a deeper conversation, has supported hundreds of individuals and organizational clients.
He is a Certified HeartMath® Coach & Mentor, a Certified Trauma-sensitive HeartMath® Practitioner, a trained Equine Guided Learning Facilitator and a Certified Coach with the International Coaches Federation (ICF). Dave took his coaches training at the Newfield Network in Boulder, Colorado.
Dave also expresses his creativity through the Small Pause Shop, where he designs apparel that supports living life 'inside the pause.'