When Life Gets Tough

When bad things happen to good people, clients usually want to know the “why.” Although this is a normal question to ponder, it can be a difficult one because oftentimes there is not a definitive why.

 If you think about your life and the circumstances that have occurred, you may question why the situation had gone downhill, worked against you or taken such a deadly turn. When catastrophes happen, or tragedies occur, people often question what they could have done differently to have prevented them in the first place. Although these are all normal reactions to difficult situations, we often must live with the fact that we may never get the answers. So much of life is outside of our control and there really was not anything that one could have done to prevent the situation from occurring. If your marriage resulted in divorce, it is natural to take an inventory and ask yourself “what might I have done to turn the situation around?” If your child is on drugs, it is normal to ask yourself “what might I have done to prevent this addiction from occurring?” If your company got downsized, it may be necessary to ask, “what might I have done to be one of the employees who was retained as opposed to let go?” But after you ask, how might I have contributed to the problem, it is important to recognize that sometimes you did not contribute to the problem at all. There will be times when a spouse will make choices to be with another person even though he/she was perfectly happy in the marriage.  It is conceivable that your child who was on the honor roll will try using recreational drugs and will be swept up by the addiction because he had a genetic predisposition for addiction. In this uncertain financial climate, there will be businesses that are forced to downsize even if you were an exemplary employee.

Unfortunately, too many people beat themselves up and ruminate over 3 questions that keep them feeling inferior and inadequate. This keeps them in a state of low self-esteem.

3 questions that they play over and over in their heads are:

·       Why wasn’t I good enough?

·       Why didn’t I see this coming so that I could have prevented it?

·       Will I ever feel safe again to trust that the world has my back?

When life deals you a rough blow, it is especially important to remind yourself that often things are out of your control and that your next step is to build your self-esteem and start focusing on the what you might be able to do to grow from the situation.

When you are dealing with situations that left no clues prior to the discovery, you must be able to tell yourself that sometimes people with addictions, or infidelity issues are masters at deception and that the normal person would not have seen it coming. And downsizing is normal and can be a catalyst for change.

When your life has been shaken to the core, it is important to take yourself out of the victim role and ask yourself, how can I grow stronger from this and more importantly how can I have faith that I will not only grow stronger from it, but I will also choose to believe that these changes will work to my benefit. When you chose to use these strategies, you empower yourself to grow stronger.