Have you or someone you know had those moments of feeling lost, trapped, or frustrated? Your world just seems to be unravelling and your emotions are out of control? Having a plan or a direction is the last thing on your mind, you are falling.
At this moment of vulnerability, have you gotten advice from someone that you just don’t want to hear? Things like:
- You may not feel it right now, but things will get better
- There’s always the dark before the storm
- There is a silver lining to everything
I know when I have been deep in the chaos of feeling lost in my emotions, the last thing I needed to hear was ridiculous platitudes, regardless if they were right or not.
There are reasons why you feel the way that you do, and you want to justify, defend, and protect your emotions.
I get it! I do too.
Yet I have found that when I step back from the feeling to look at the cause, understand the emotion, and develop a strategy as to how to respond, I take back control of my life.
Wouldn’t it be great to have tools in hand that you could use to regain your purpose and rediscover what it means to even have a goal?
Acknowledge that this is your present experience. It’s ok and you are ready to disengage.
1 – Your physical state
Drastically change your body. Chin up, shoulders back, and move! Smile (I know it’s hard, keep trying), jump up, take a short run, anything that gets the blood moving while you hold your head up high. DEEP breathing all the time.
2 – Your focus
While you are moving, change the pictures you are making in your head. Change everything to the opposite. If what you hear is muted, make it loud, happy, and melodic. If what you see is grey, make it full of color, fun, and bright. If what you smell is sour, make it sweet and delicious. Create a completely different image.
Change your internal narrative. Change the voice to something silly (Bugs Bunny or Micky Mouse). Make it a song, singing it out loud and clear. Change the dialogue from I can’t take this anymore, to something like, I can change this to something better. I can be my own master and make my own choices.
Taking these steps gets you ready for the next in the process of finding a purpose.
If you feel anger, there is an expectation you hold that wasn’t met.
If you are feeling grief, you are experiencing a deep emotional response to a great loss.
If you are feeling frustration, you are feeling blocked from achieving something you desire.
Now ask yourself better quality questions.
- What can I learn from this situation?
- Does this have more meaning?
- Am I pretending not to know something?
The final step is to determine what you want to do to control your response.
Modify the situation. Take a look at your options that you have control over. You can be persistent in what you want. You can develop a plan of action that you can execute. You can take very small steps each day that are different actions than you usually take, stepping out of routine.
Shift your focus. If you see negativity or chaos, look at what the opposite potential might be. Make a decision now to consciously choose this to focus on. This is an exercise that takes practice, simply keep on shifting.
Make a plan of action that you can follow, even if your goal is to feel happier than in the past. Your plan is what activities make you happy. What contributions to this world can you make, however small, that brings you joy? What do you want to achieve this day, this week, this month, this year? Stretch as far as you are comfortable with and create your plan.
The secret is that the occasional slip-up means you are human, we all do it. Use your tools to recognize where you are at and actively change your state.
You now have the tools you could use to regain your purpose and rediscover what it means to have a goal.
“You should set goals beyond your reach, so you always have something to live for.” —Ted Turner
Even if your reach is today.
You have the power to choose how you respond each day. This is a practice of conscious choice and being present in the uniqueness of the moment. Take control, accept responsibility, and be aware that your perception, response, and results belong to you alone. You know it’s time for even more.
If not now, when?