There are times in life when everything seems to be going wrong. It’s hard to even take care of yourself, let alone dig yourself out of the mess that is your life. You end up in survival mode, making decisions out of fear, instead of staying strong and focused on the bigger picture.
Like most humans, I’ve gone through some tough times. Times when I felt alone and lost. And times when I was literally lost, because I have a terrible sense of direction and a habit of buying one-way tickets to foreign countries.
The year my life fell apart
If you’ve been following me for a while you know that in 2012 I quit my job and sold everything that wouldn’t fit in a suitcase to set off on a multi-country purpose search. Within three months I started Introvert Spring. But that was only the beginning of the journey.
That first year, as I grew Introvert Spring into the community of hundreds of thousands of innies it is today, there were breakups, financial stresses, and crippling uncertainty. Usually, all at once.
I know it’s cliche, but I have to say that I’m grateful for those tough times, because they helped me develop some badass resiliency. I know how to stay resilient when life seems to be falling apart.
In case you’re going through a tough time yourself, here are some tips to stay resilient:
Sorry to go all Eckhart Tolle on you, but the Now is all that exists. Playing your mistakes on repeat, as many introverts have a habit of doing, will only hold you back. To stay resilient when life’s falling apart, you’ve gotta forgive yourself, love.
Forgiveness means taking a deep breath, and sighing out all that regret you’ve been holding onto. When self-critical thoughts start to arise, say “I forgive myself”, and quickly distract yourself with more constructive thoughts. Asking, “what do I want instead?”, is a great place to start.
Take your power back
Never allow yourself to be a victim, not even of circumstance. Stop wavering and wishing, and focus on what you CAN do now. Be decisive. Self-doubt will only keep you stuck in the mess longer. So, make a decision about what you’re going to do and stand by it.
Have sturdy anchors
A few months ago, I felt pulled in too many different directions. As a highly sensitive introvert, having too many things to do in a short amount of time can be extremely stressful for me.
I told a dear friend that I felt disconnected from myself, like my soul was a distant echo in another room. But then I said that I was finding my way back to myself through journalling, meditation, and flow activities, like cooking.
She said, “that’s so you, Michaela. You have anchors that always bring you back to yourself.” It’s true, I do have a toolkit of rituals and healthy habits that return me back to centre when my life explodes in my face.
You can develop sturdy anchors, too, by devoting 20 minutes a day, or as much as you can spare, to a soul-strengthening activity, like a gratitude list, visualization, or walk in nature.
My book, The Year of the Introvert: A Journal of Daily Inspiration for the Inwardly Inclined provides provides daily morsels of soul nourishing wisdom. Being the start of the year, now is the perfect time to grab a copy.
When you move into a freshly painted new home, when you take a shower in the morning, when you kiss a crappy year goodbye and sing in the New Year—
All these experiences feel like a fresh start. If your life is falling apart, a fresh start is likely just what you need.
Though you might not be in a space where you can make drastic life changes, you can create the feeling of starting fresh by doing one or more of these activities:
- Declutter your closet, garage, entire home, computer desktop, or inbox.
- Do a ritual to let go, such as a burning ceremony, balloon release, or forgiveness letter, and don’t look back.
- Do a 7-day challenge to gain a burst of energy, motivation, and self-belief.
My friends and I recently did a 7-day fitness challenge to start the New Year. I did twenty minutes of cardio everyday for a week. It really did help me to start the year with a fresh sense of confidence and clarity.
If nothing else, remember that this too shall pass. And things just might end up working out in your favor. So, don’t give up hope! Be kind and forgiving with yourself and focus on possibility.
P.S. In case you’re new here. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Michaela, and I help introverts gain confidence and connections, all while embracing their introversion. I have hundreds of articles and resources to help you live your best innie life. You can start with my free Introvert Connection Guide.