Overcoming Roadblocks & Life Struggles
Life challenges often come during periods when we feel like things are finally running smoothly and there is a sense of structure and sameness in our lives. Your career and personal life are often in a good place and you might even feel like you’ve reached a sense of security and comfort.
The Harder the Battle the the stronger you fight
It is during these moments that we are often suddenly and unexpectedly hit with a roadblock, a huge wake-up call, sometimes the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced before, leaving us feeling shocked, confused, and afraid. The future becomes uncertain and everything you believed would remain constant in your life may have completely changed or even disappeared entirely. “How can you possibly overcome this challenge” that’s the inner bitch talking. Put a gag in that bitch’s throat and remember you are a badass.
Roadblocks in life come in all shapes and sizes. For some people, a roadblock or life struggle could be their ultimate rock bottom while for others it could represent other forms of loss, failure, or defeat. Life challenges can be related to relationship issues, career or work, health problems, or personal/emotional struggles. The façade of roadblocks vary from person to person, but the underlying theme is very similar across the board.
Overcoming struggles become formative experiences
Life struggles and challenges come to us to shake us to our very core, snap us out of the comfort zone that blocks our progress, and helps us to learn and grow, increasing our inner strength, courage, and resilience. We often try to reject, deny, or wish away roadblocks and life struggles because they bring uncertainty and instability. We wonder ‘why me, why now’ feeling like the roadblock is a death sentence rather than the greatest opportunity of our lives disguised as tragedy. However, it is through embracing the feelings left behind by life challenges that we learn how to persevere. We become tougher, wiser, and stronger so that future challenges become easier to cope with. Roadblocks and life struggles help us to grow a thicker skin; we leave behind a person we will never be again and awaken to our new, stronger self.
If we can accept the roadblocks and struggles as opportunities for growth, we are then able to derive the greatest benefit from the life-changing value of these experiences. Although there is no real recipe or formula to get through roadblocks and life struggles, below are a few tips that can serve as a guide to approach this time in your life with openness, flexibility, and awareness.
Go easy on yourself.
Depending on the severity of the roadblock or struggle you are dealing with, you may have to take a step back before you can leap forward towards a new life full of opportunities. However, avoid excess pressure, self-criticism, or self-judgment during the initial period after failure, loss, or defeat. During this time, your emotions will be at their most sensitive, as you try to assimilate what’s going on. Take the pressure off, take a step back, and allow yourself time to heal.
Embrace the new you.
After hitting rock bottom or struggling with a major life change, you may not be the best version of yourself right away. In fact, many people experience, depression, anxiety, grief, guilt, or a variety of other feelings and emotions, some of which can be quite debilitating. Think of this as a sort of breaking down process whereby you are at your most vulnerable and raw. It is important to experience this period of mourning for what you have lost. Although it is painful, this time will show you what you’re made of and what you are able to endure. You will learn many things during this dark period, mainly gratitude and appreciation for the truly important things in life. Those superficial things you once thought so valuable are meaningless when you are in the grand scheme of life and when you are in the midst of sadness, fear, and despair.
Don’t fight these feelings although it may be tempting because no one wants to experience or prolong pain, especially emotional pain, which is often the worst kind. Embrace these feelings. Take them in and allow them to be part of you. Accept the feelings and look them in the eye. Tell yourself that you will endure the pain and that the pain is part of your training. Believe that what comes after the pain will be your transformation.
Think and plan.
Once you realize how difficult it is to cope with a major roadblock or life struggle, you will have a newfound respect for this process. You will see it for what it is: A struggle that only the strong can survive. You have lived through the worst so now it’s time to reinvent yourself. Think and plan carefully.
Depending on the extent of your loss or struggle, you may have free reign to develop an entirely new life plan. Consider what you want and plan around your personal strengths. Avoid focusing on what you can’t do and instead, build upon what you can do. The roadblock may have left you shaken, but you’re still standing. Ask yourself, ‘What can I do?’ and gradually move forward in that direction without fear.
Your story and giving back.
Most people who experience the effects of a roadblock or life struggle have moments where they believe that things will never get better; that they will be stuck in their rock bottom forever. There will come a point when you realize that not only is this untrue, but you may also wonder why you had such little faith in yourself and your ability to surpass life challenges. That period in your life will likely be one you will never forget. Although time passes, you move on, you grow into your new, greater self, and you begin to appreciate what the roadblock did for you, that time in your life will always be apart of you and your story.
Many people become inspired by difficult times and decide that the way to derive the greatest meaning from it is to give back to others in some way; to lessen the suffering or struggles of others, since you know how difficult it is to face a roadblock.
So tell your story, motivate and inspire others, and do your part to give back to those in need. This is when things come full circle and when you realize the significance and the beauty of the journey you have traveled.