Over the past year, I’ve lived the darkest days of my life.
I was hit with setbacks after setbacks, disappointments, financial struggles, heartaches, losses, and so much pain.
They all came too fast that I didn’t even have enough time to catch my breath.
Everything just became too overwhelming that it made me believe that my life was just no longer worth living.
I can’t even tell you how many nights, I cried myself to sleep. I wanted to just scream and make everything stop.
I wanted so badly to turn my situation around but every day I would wake up feeling useless, a failure and such a disappointment.
Eventually, I just started to believe that regardless of what I do, my life will only go from bad to worse and that there’s no point in even trying anymore.
Most days, I just wanted to raise my hand and scream, I give up.
At some point in our lives, we all go through moments like these — moments that will test every ounce of strength in us that we start to believe that things will never get better.
That we will always be trapped in misery and pain.
Other times, we may go through life constantly feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled — craving for change yet don’t know where and how to start.
One of the lessons that I’ve learned from hitting rock bottom is that though life can seem overbearing and confusing at times, we don’t have to trap ourselves in misery, heartaches, and confusion.
We don’t have to live constantly dreaming of living a better life.
It is always possible for us to turn the situation around, improve the quality of our lives and change it for the better.
But in order for change to happen, we must first start with ourselves by changing our mindset, find a different perspective and cultivate new habits that will positively change our lives.
Here are 5 habits that have positively changed and improved my life…
Stop making excuses…
For years, I worked in this soul-sucking job that I didn’t love.
I can’t tell you how many times I told myself that I’ll start saving money so I can finally quit and find myself a better job — a job that wouldn’t suck and drain the life out of me.
But I didn’t. I kept making all these excuses and I kept putting it off.
So, for a long time, I chose to live my life feeling so unhappy, stressed and dissatisfied.
I would wake up feeling so bitter and impatient because of how much I hated my job.
I felt so trapped and stuck in misery.
But I’ve realized that no one is never really stuck. We have the choice to move forward and go after the things that will make us happy.
If we want to change and improve our lives, we have to kill those excuses and be willing to do the work needed to make that change possible.
So start by taking small steps forward and be consistent with your efforts — doing this already makes a huge difference.
Being grateful for the things that you have instead of complaining about the things that you don’t have or may not get makes a huge difference in how you see life and in how you live it.
While I was going through the toughest days of my life, I fell into a habit of complaining about everything.
I would wake up bitter and angry at the world. Always complaining about even the smallest things.
But for a while, I realized that doing this was only doing me more harm than good.
It didn’t make all the pain go away nor did it fix my problems. It just made me feel worse — it just made me feel more hopeless and discouraged.
Complaining will not make things better. It will only make you feel worse and it will only rob you from the opportunity to enjoy the good things that you have in your life right now.
You see, if you focus all your attention on the things that you don’t have or things that are going wrong, you start to overlook, ignore and take for granted the things that you still have and the people that are still there for you.
So start by taking 20 minutes of your time every day and spend it writing the things that you are grateful for.
Doing this has helped me so much. It made me realize that regardless of what I’m going through, there’s always something to be grateful for.
We may need to look extra hard on difficult days but it is worth it!
Don’t be afraid to focus on you
I am a people pleaser. For years, I continued to put the needs of others first, their happiness over mine just to please them and just so I can gain their validation and approval.
I continued to do this without realizing that I was also losing myself in the process.
Focusing on yourself, putting your needs first doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s not selfishness.
Taking some time off to put yourself first, to do things that makes you happy is essential in living a happy and balanced life.
It’s not bad to put the needs of other’s first from time to time but if you are constantly doing this to a point where you start to forget yourself then that is when the problem begins.
You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to constantly please other people because the reality is, no matter what you do, pleasing everyone around you is just not possible.
So, instead of draining yourself by constantly chasing other’s approval and validation, remind yourself that the only validation that you’ll ever need is your own.
Don’t be afraid to focus on you. Don’t be afraid to do things for yourself, to go after your dreams, to go after the things that make you happy because you deserve it.
Accept what you can’t control
I have always been a “control freak” — constantly wanting to control everyone and everything around me.
Being in control somehow makes me feel safe. It makes me believe that as long as I’m in control I can prevent things from going wrong.
But the truth is, regardless of how much we try our hardest to control everyone and everything around us, it is just not possible.
No matter how much we try to control everything, it still won’t guarantee that things will always turn out the way we want them to be.
And the sooner that we start to accept this truth, the easier and more freeing everything will start to feel.
Instead of trying to control everything, focus all your energy on the things that you have control of and just let go of the rest.
Let go of regrets and past mistakes
We are all bound to fail, to make mistakes, to take wrong turns and make bad decisions.
I made a lot of mistakes. I’ve had so many regrets that haunted me for a long time but instead of letting the pain of the past go, I chose to take it with me.
I held on to all of them and doing this ate me alive.
It consumed me little by little until it broke me.
Holding on to your mistakes, regrets, and bad decisions will not only hold you back from going after the things that you really want, but they will also rob you from the opportunity to enjoy everything that is happening to you right now and to look forward to the things that could happen in the future.
It’s time to stop beating yourself up and allow yourself to move forward, heal and continue living.
Regardless of how low, hopeless and defeated you may feel right now, I’m here to tell you that it is definitely possible for you to improve your life and change it for the better.
Whatever it is that you’re going through right now will not last. Just take small steps and continue to work towards your goal.
Be patient and most importantly, be consistent with your efforts. You can do this!
I am not a licensed therapist. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional to get the help you deserve.