Each time you try to pick yourself up, another event happens that keeps you feeling down and out. You ask yourself, “Why does this keep happening to me?”
Has this ever happened to you? If so, you’re not alone. And, no, something is not wrong with you. You are not a horrible person who is being punished. You are simply in the middle of a personal storm.
A personal storm is a time in your life when, no matter how hard you try, things don’t go your way. These are some of the most challenging times you may face. It can even feel like the harder you try, the more ferocious the storm gets. A personal storm can last a few days, a few weeks, or even a few years. I don’t say this to discourage you. I say it so you can have some perspective when you’re in the middle of one.
You may be wondering why you have to endure personal storms. I believe it is preparing you for the next level of success in your life, and that these storms can provide you with a tremendous learning and healing opportunity, IF you let it. These personal storms help unearth any limiting beliefs that you may hold in your subconscious mind that are holding you back from getting what you truly want. They also bring a great deal of clarity – clarity about what you truly want, what is valuable to you, and who in your life genuinely supports you. Personal storms also provide you with the opportunity to develop resilience.
It is a catharsis – a clearing out. Clearing out so that you are prepared to truly receive what you are longing for. Often the person you were before the storm would not be able to completely handle the gifts you wish to receive. You may have old beliefs or habits that will get in your way. Think, for example, of all of those people who win the lottery only to find themselves broke or in debt within a few years. Although they may have wanted to have financial security, they weren’t adequately prepared to receive it. Their experiences hadn’t prepared them to keep the money.
Here are a few things you can do during a personal storm:
1) Surrender. Once you realize you are in the middle of a personal storm, don’t resist it. The resistance creates new problems and can even prolong the length of the storm. Instead, surrender. Acknowledge that you are in the middle of the storm without trying to immediately pull out of it.
2) Breathe. Often when we’re in the middle of a storm, we forget to breathe. Our breath is healing. Take time to have big belly breaths, where your stomach expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale.
3) Give yourself permission to check out. If you are trying to keep up the pace that you were doing before the storm, STOP. This is not the time to pummel yourself with a million “To Dos”. Scale back as much as you can – try not to engage in any activities that drain you or don’t serve you.
4) Take ample time for reflection. In order to get the most fruits from this time, you must take time to reflect and learn from it. If you’re an introvert (meaning you process internally), this is the time to carve out a lot of alone time. If you’re an extrovert (meaning you process as you talk things out), find trustworthy people who will listen and support you or start having conversations with yourself out loud.
5) Beef up your support system. Turn to people who will genuinely support you, whether it’s friends, family, a therapist or a life coach. Find other things that also help you. This may mean listening to inspirational music, reading self-help books, watching tear-jerkers so you can release some pain, or praying. Do whatever you can to help ground yourself during this time.
6) Don’t make major decisions. While you’re in the middle of a storm, it’s best not to make major decisions – decisions that will have a great impact on your time, money, energy, etc.
7) Take one baby step at a time. Focus on the present. Work on your next immediate step and nothing more.
8) Have faith. Trust that you are not given more than you can handle. Know that this storm WILL pass and that you will be better off for it.
Personal storms are challenging. They are forcing you to stretch and grow and become an even better version of yourself. It’s part of the journey of an evolving goddess. Use these tips to help carry you through your personal storms and back into the sunshine.