IT HAPPENS SOMETIMES. YOU FEEL DOWN AND DEFEATED WHEN LIFE IS A STRUGGLE
When it comes to personal success, there are many people for whom it comes naturally. They live relatively happy, easy lives, filled with unconditional love and support. So success for them is a natural by-product of that innate self-confidence they have inside themselves.
Then there is the other group that I call “broken people” – and I mean this in the warmest, most sympathetic sense of the term (given that I too fall into this category). Life for them hasn’t always been a bed of roses.
Maybe they grew up in dysfunctional families; maybe they have faced challenges, trials and jumped over hurdles that most people never have to experience in their lifetime. They have lived through struggles, setbacks, pain, loss and heartbreaks that have threatened their sense of security and self-esteem.
If you are one of these “broken people” who hasn’t lived the perfect life so far (and guess what – there are millions of people who fall into this category) I just want you to know that you can go either one of two ways with this.
Firstly you can choose to let your experiences define you. You can play the victim. You can revisit your bad experiences in your head every day and use them as an excuse as to why you are stuck in an awful place and cannot go ahead.
Or you can use your battles, even if you never felt like you were the victor, as a source of power to fuel your determination. You can embrace your survival instinct, authentic vulnerabilities and raw pain to lift (or maybe even catapult) you to greatness.
How is this possible, you ask? When life is a struggle…
Well the truth is this. Struggles are required in order to survive in life, because in order to stand up, you have to know what falling down feels like.
As Elizabeth Kubler Ross once said “the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have their way out of those depths.”
The struggle you are experiencing today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don’t be ashamed of it. Don’t try to hide it. Don’t think you have to pretend to be perfect.
It is more important to be real. In all honesty everyone is struggling in some way most of the time; some people are just better at hiding it than others.
Remember from struggle comes success.
Struggles give you compassion and empathy towards others. Experiencing hardship prepares you to face obstacles that often bring other people down because they have only lived a life where everything went their way.
Pope Paul VI said “all life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish and insensitive to the real values of life.”
Struggles are an opportunity to be brave; a chance to learn patience, resilience, courage, be humble and gain an appreciation for the little things in life.
If you have a goal (or two or three) don’t let this feeling of “brokenness” get in the way of your personal success. Own it and appreciate the gifts that your life has given you so far.
Even if you feel less than perfect, that is fine. As humans we are all perfectly imperfect so learn to embrace this fragile side of yourself.
Allow people to be inspired by how your fortitude, genuineness and ability to deal with everything that is thrown your way (or willingness to admit it and be honest when things are all too hard).
Don’t worry so much about what happened in the past – look at where you are now and where you want to go from here. If you have a lot of baggage to carry along the way, that’s okay too.
Remember it’s fine to share the load if you have to. Ask for help when you need it. There is always – ALWAYS – someone willing to share a listening ear or give a helping hand when you need it. All you need to do is ask.
Keep in mind: the harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph. As they say, obstacles are put in our way to see if what we want is truly worth fighting for. And it usually always is, I promise you, so don’t give up.