I've been going through a lot and I’m afraid I’m headed for a breakdown. I've been trying so hard to keep it together, but I'm a mess. I'm so worn down, I cry almost every day. Any advice for me?
A breakdown may be just what you need.
A breakdown is defined as the loss of ability to function. A breakdown is life’s way of saying that what you’re doing isn’t working and you need to make some changes. It is a sign that some of the things you thought were true may not be. A breakdown is your chance to begin again, question your assummptions, learn some new things and live your life in a different way.
Sometimes a breakdown is necessary to get your attention. You may hold onto your bad habits and poor relationship skills forever, thinking that if you keep doing these things long enough, they will eventually work. It often takes a breakdown before you are forced to change your ways.
This is not a fun place to be, though, and it's okay to shed some tears. You may need what behavior therapists call a “pre-learning temper tantrum.” So, take a minute and kick and scream with frustration about being here if you need to. Afterward, put on your big kid pants and commit to the work of changing yourself.
Changing you will be the key to changing your life, and it’s not going to be an easy or painless process. There will be many more moments of sadness or discouragement along the way, but understand that some pain is not necessarily a bad thing.
Pain is just your subconscious mind trying to get your attention; you wouldn’t be as motivated to change yourself if it didn’t hurt a little.
It sounds to me like you're ready for a breakthrough. A breakthrough is defined as the act, result or place of surpassing an obstruction, and/or discovering something new.
Are you ready to learn something new and change yourself? Here are some ideas to get you started in that process:
1. Make sure you see yourself accurately.
Do you know who you are? Do you know that your value is infinite and absolute because you are a one-of-a-kind? Do you know that nothing you do or don’t do changes your value, because life is a classroom, not a testing center? Can you trust that you are right on track in your personal process of growing and learning? Do you realize you are bulletproof and nothing anyone else says or does can diminish you?
If not, get some expert help from a counselor or coach who can help you internalize these truths and improve your self-esteem. You might also read some self-help books or talk to other people who have turned breakdowns into breakthroughs and find out what they learned. Seeing yourself accurately is an important first step.
2. Make sure you see other people accurately.
If life is a classroom, then the people in your life are there for a specific reason: to help you become a better person. In order to teach you things, they are going to push your buttons, tick you off and let you see your faults and insecurities. This is what they are supposed to do — get used to it.
The question is, what are you supposed to learn from having this person in your life? What is dealing with them showing you about yourself?
Can you see that the people in your life are scared, struggling human beings, just like you? Can you see that their bad behavior is not about you, but about their own fears about themselves?
Could you choose to see their bad behavior as a request for love? That is truly what it is. Could you choose to take the high road and be more loving, not because they deserve it, but because it’s the type of person you want to be?
3. Make sure you see your situation accurately.
If life is a classroom, then every situation is a lesson. If this situation is a lesson, then you are meant to find the solution. If you keep at it, you will find the answer.
You may need some help, though. Talk to friends, family members, or a counselor or coach about what’s happening, and ask them to help you see what you might be missing. Stay open and don’t be afraid of accepting your mistakes or learning new things.
There are so many life, relationship and communication skills out there which you haven’t discovered yet. There is an infinite supply of knowledge about happy, successful living. This information could better your life and take away some of your pain.
I recommend you listen to the universe and seek out some new life skills.
You can do this.
This feeling of discouragement and hopelessness won’t last. Just don’t give up.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker who specializes in improving self esteem.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.