I’d like to dedicate this piece to my dear friend. She called me last night -we hadn’t talked on the phone or in person for at least 2-3 months- to tell me how much my post about SMARTER goals touched her and that the podcasts I recommended had opened her eyes. This meant a lot, as this is exactly the reason I do this. But then she asked me a question and it was a question I had asked myself many times.
How do I keep going when everything is going to shit?
Had she asked me this 4 years ago, I would’ve told her: by surviving. Because back then, that’s all I did. Surviving. But that’s something I’ll get into some other day.
But now, in 2017, I know how to keep going even when everything seems to fall apart. And it wasn’t easy. It took me years to find ways. But I found it, and I want to share it with you.
Find your motivation.
This is the most difficult one, but hey I did say it wasn’t easy. And despite it being the most difficult one, to me it was the most important one. Because it requires you to look deep within. Ask yourself, what is the reason that I would still want to breathe? This might seem to be an extreme question, but your desire lies just as deep. Who or what could be a reason to wake up? That’s the question I asked myself and I had listed them all.
- I want to be able to take care of my sister whenever necessary.
- I wanna make my parents proud.
- I want to make my love happy.
- I want to be part of my kid’s brother life.
- I want to see my niece grow up.
- I want to prove my ex wrong.
Sidenote: I do want to point out that, that #6 might not be the best motivation. But I’m a true believer of “success is the best revenge”. Catch my drift?
Whenever I thought of another reason to keep going, I added it to my list which I carried with me at all times. You might have noticed that the ones I mentioned all are based on others. And you might think: “Shouldn’t you be your biggest motivation?” You’re absolutely right, but if you’re at a point in life where you feel like you don’t matter, making those who matter most to you your motivation is a start. A start that should lead back to making yourself your biggest motivation again.
Do what feeds your soul
When was the last time you actually did what you wanted to do, when you wanted to and with the person you wanted to, without feeling obliged? If you have to actually think about it, it means it’s been way too long. This means you have been depriving yourself from the things that give you joy. And just so you know: you, just like any other human being, deserve joy.
Let me give you an example: I have a friend who does everything for and with everyone who needed her. When they got what they wanted from her, they would leave her behind. When I asked her, when was the last time she did something for herself. She didn’t know. Et voila. Because she was so entrapped with helping others and doing things for others, she forgot about herself and let them feed from her soul.
Now, let me put it how I tell my friends: your soul is like a cup of water. If you constantly let others drink from your water, your glass will become empty. You gotta fill that cup, if you truly want to be of any help to others. However, don’t be like my friend who only deals with people who drink from her, but won’t offer a sip to refill her glass.
For now, I want you to realize, you need to engage in activities that feed your soul to keep going.
Surround yourself with positive people
We all know a someone who only bitches about life. They always have sobstories and it seems that nothing goes well in their life. Listen, if you’re reading this it probably means you are feeling pretty shitty yourself. The last thing you need is people who will only bring you down more. You need people who can uplift your spirit. People who make you feel good about yourself, people who can make you laugh, people who can lift your spirit…People with positive energy.
That friend I told you about in the previous paragraph, I told her exactly this. She obviously only deals with people who suck her dry, but don’t feed her with positive energy. While she has plenty on her plate already! What she needs is people who can carry her to a more positive level in her life.
Right now, you gotta focus on you. So if you have people in your life who are negative and don’t wish to get on the positive wagon…
Listen/watch/read something uplifting
I specifically wrote ‘something’, because I wanted to leave the options open. In my previous post I talked about listening to motivational podcasts as they get my energy going. When I personally was down and out, I stumbled upon Lewis Howes’ School of Greatness. I can’t remember exactly how, anymore. But I did and it helped me to get through my depressive days. Same goes for books like the Secret and Hero, and tons of motivational videos on Youtube. To hear others who’ve struggled like I did (or even more) becoming the greatest versions of themselves, was inspiring. Better yet, it gave me hope. Hope that it will get better someday.
Or listen to music that fuel a fire.
My boyfriend says I’m a huge Beyoncé and Sia stan. He might be right. But it’s because their music helped me as well. Beyoncé’s music reminded me of my worth. And Sia reminded me that I had the power to keep going.
The lethal combination of all of the above ignited a fire in me…Hell, it’s getting good!
So, take a step back if you have to. Take that time to buy yourself a notebook and start jotting down your motivation to keep going. Ask yourself why you haven’t given up yet. Engage in activities that make you happy! Take that yoga class, buy those shoes everyone else has been telling you not to, go drinking with those friends who make you laugh till your belly hurt. Listen to whatever it is make your heart flutter! Watch videos that spark excitement. Read the posts on my page to get inspired (JK)! But, for fuck’s sake: do whatever it is you need to do that keep going!
Disclaimer: I am not a certified life coach or expert, nor do I claim to be. But I dare to say I am an expert in overcoming struggles. This does not automatically mean that these methods will work for you. These are merely tips from my personal experience.