“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson
One minute life is flying perfectly on all cylinders. The next moment, I’m laying on the floor empty of hope and full of anxiety. Removing myself permanently from the world seems like the best option.
This feeling describes the majority of my previous year. In public, I appeared as strong as ever. I smiled for the cameras when it was time. I gave my customary jokes with friends. I tried to be social.
Eventually, I couldn’t keep this duality going and slowly withdrew from the world. I came to the end of my road: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It requires loads of energy to put a good face on when you feel like your world is crashing down and there’s nothing you can do about it.
There’s no answer nor person that can help you.
I started to question was leaving medical school behind the right decision? Was I talented enough to become a successful writer?
My paranoia was at an all-time high. I felt disgusted under my own skin. I felt like a fraud within my own profession. I felt unlovable and like a burden to everyone. These thoughts and feelings ultimately led me to give up on my writing, hobbies, and living in general. Seclusion became the norm and my identity was gone.
I was terrified and lost.
Little did I know, this breakdown would lead to my breakthrough. In the midst of giving up, feeling lost, and searching for meaning—I stumbled onto five mantras with the help of others and through various life experiences.
These five mantras led me on the road to reconstructing my identity and recovering physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
I started to live my truth more, I rebranded my ever-evolving website and company into something closer to my dream and accomplished a life-long dream of becoming an author.
If you feel like you’re at a crossroads in life and want to give up—hold on. It does and will get better if you just stick around and fight. Whether it’s your love life, work, lack of spark towards life, or you just feel lost—use these five mantras to guide you toward the path of recovery and living a life filled with love and passion.
1. My why is for me and only me
For many of us, our day-to-day lives aren’t portraits of what we want nor how we envisioned ourselves at this particular junction in life. Instead, our day-to-day lives are portraits of what someone else wants or expects us to do.
Some of us marry because it’s the time that society tell us to do so. Others convince themselves into staying in bad relationships because they fear they can’t get anything better. The rest of us may be too scared to go after that dream job or dream girl because of fear of what the world will think about us.
For 28 years, I wasn’t living my why, but instead , I was following and obeying the typical rules and norms placed on me by family and society. During my low moments, I dug to the core root of what I wanted.
Until you discover your why, a part of you will feel missing and disconnected.
Ask yourself: Why am I pursuing these goals and working this particular job? Is it for money, family, or societal expectations? Do you enjoy those activities or do you pretend to enjoy these activities?
Why do you choose to stay in that relationship even when it feels wrong? Is it for status, validation, insecurity, or low self-esteem? Why do you allow yourself to settle for less and not take chances for something greater and much deserving.
Discovering your why begins with getting clear on your vision. Your vision serves as your life trajectory. Without constructing your own vision, you’ll fall into someone else’s vision and your interest won’t be a top priority
2. Does this matter in the grand scheme of life?
When I’m stressed or anxious about a particular event, I stop and ask myself “does this matter in the grand scheme of life?”.
Instead of viewing your situation from ground zero, take some steps back and view your particular issue from 40,000 feet above, which will often times bring much needed clarity to your situation.
The majority of our worries aren’t as dire as we project them to be. These problems and worries won’t trigger cataclysmic shifts within your life.
That wrong number keyed in at work won’t ruin your career. That failed creative project won’t define your life. Struggling with your business doesn’t mean you should quit or aren’t capable. Mishaps with your diet for a couple of days doesn’t mean you’re weak and incapable of losing weight. A couple of extra pounds on the scale doesn’t equate to doomsday. That failed relationship or heartbreaking scenario doesn’t mean you’re unworthy, unlovable, and not good enough.
These rough and uncomfortable moments will pass through just as the thunderstorms pass through our lives. Experiencing a little turbulence in life is unavoidable, but just remember that this moment and period will pass.
3. I’m not the only one with struggles
When times are rough, it often feels as if we’re the only ones struggling or in pain. Everyone on social media seems to be in vibrant relationships, healthier looking than us, thriving in their careers, and living a more exciting life.
However, we are far from being the only ones with struggles and pain—despite the illusion that the internet portrays. We’re not alone.
When things are seemingly bad, we tend to become hyper-aware of our problems and become blinded to the pain other people suffer.
Due to us being at ground zero with our problems, we become engulfed in our issues and lose awareness that others are struggling. When I temporarily quit writing, pursuing my dreams, and contemplated disappearing permanently—I forgot about the rest of the world.
I began viewing the world with a different and more narrow focused lens. I felt I was the only one who was experiencing self-doubt, feelings of being talentless, unlovable, and worthlessness.
Often times, others are struggling much more than we are, but choose to remain silent and invisible.
The key to unlocking the prisons that our struggles keeps us in is through perspective and vulnerability. Realize that many are struggling to open up with their difficulties. Be an example for them and choose to open up. Instead of closing off the world, let others help you and realize the world isn’t against you.
We’re all in this together. If you feel you have no one—that isn’t true, you at least have me to message.
4. There is gratitude everywhere
It’s easy to fall into the trap of complaining about out jobs, relationships, money, and bodies. We develop tunnel vision for what we don’t have, while not appreciating what we do have.
I was the biggest offender for taking the present moment for granted. I was obsessed with the future. I hated my current location and placed my life on pause until I started traveling.
I wasn’t good enough for relationships because my business wasn’t generating a lot of money. I though my self-worth equated to the amount of zeroes in my bank account. I delayed my happiness in hopes of the future fulfilling everything that I wanted.
We take for granted all the wonderful people around us. We dismiss our creative accomplishments because they don’t seem as worthy in the grand scheme of things because we don’t have a large and loud cavalry behind us showering with praise and validation. We dismiss losing five pounds because it’s not thirty.
While having the desire to better ourselves is a great trait to possess, it becomes a detriment when it drowns down our lives and prevents us from enjoying the present moment. The present moment is ultimately all that we can control. As a way to remind myself to appreciate the present moment, I repeat these sentences on a daily basis:
“Thank you for waking me up and for giving me another day to make a dent in the universe while bettering myself in the process. I’m lucky and grateful because some weren’t given this opportunity to see another day.
I will embrace my goals and dreams while seizing and appreciating the present moment and not get lost in the future nor fill myself with regret from the past. I won’t stress over my goals—but instead, I’ll break my goals into small and manageable parts that can set me up for daily wins.”
5. Exercise and creativity will serve as my outlet for stress relief
During stressful times, we have a tendency to reach for tools that aren’t the best for our health. In times of stress, we have a tendency to emotionally eat and drink our ways out of tough times.
While those feelings and pains may disappear for a brief moment, they aren’t gone for the long haul nor has the main underlying issue been addressed.
Instead of letting our emotions sabotage our health goals, we could alternatively shift our focus and energy to positive outlets of stress. Instead of binging on Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Netflix, we could channel those emotions and go for a walk, a run, a weight lifting session, or a night of salsa dancing.
Instead of sulking and hoping alcohol erases our pains, we could channel those emotions into a creative outlet such as drawing, writing, or painting.
Life will have its rough moments and will lead you to questioning many facets of your life. However, your breakdown doesn’t have to define you,but instead can become your breakthrough.
Question for you: What’s a mantra that you use to survive rough and stressful times?