Imagine this, if you will. It’s been a rough year; your hours cut or worse, laid off from work, unexpected medical problems, kids have school needs, broken hot water heater…and on, and on. Trouble keeps showing up at your door.
Soon you find yourself behind on a couple of bills, then a few more, then the phone or the electricity is disconnected. And the fees for all the late payments and the disconnects start multiplying when you were unable to pay the original amount. It seems like a losing battle, doesn’t it? An endless catch-22.
What do you do now?
Well, it’s decision time. You have two choices: Do something, or do nothing. You may feel helpless and stuck where you are, but just like when you fall off a horse, you have to get back on as fast as possible to prevent wallowing in the muck. It might seem like taking a break to survey how you got down here can be useful, but only for as long as it takes you to determine your next step.
If you don’t know what your next step is, you can’t take it. And then you’ll stay stuck at the bottom. I know. I’ve been there, more than once. It’s a scary place to visit, let alone stay for very long. But do you know what’s even more scary? Worrying that you’ll never get out.
Now your rock bottom state may be nothing like the one described above, but if at any time, or for any reason, you feel like you can’t get any further down, it’s time to take action.
Ask yourself these questions: Do I want to stay here and do nothing, hope I get rescued, or wait till it goes away? Or, do I want to climb back up to a happier, less-stressed life?
What about the second step? The first forward action step is hard if you don’t know what to do next. Here is where that climbing course comes in. Climbing Out of Rock Bottom 101. It’s part of the Life Experience Major, School of Hard Knocks. You may not have realized you had enrolled in the program, but you may as well get your moneys’ worth.
The syllabus looks like this:
1. You Are Here * (The Mental Prep)
2. Choose Your Route
3. Gather Your Gear
4. Practice the Climb (The Physical Prep)
5. Learn to trust Yourself
6. View From the Top
It’s a practical, proven process to get you from stuck in the muck to making your way up the hill or the mountain where the sun is shining. Certainly you may be afraid to take a wrong step and end up at the bottom again, but with the right tools and confident steps and support, you can only go up.
Are you ready to climb out of the muck? It won’t be easy, but if you keep taking steps every day, you have to succeed.
That first step is to really take a look at where you are right now. How did you get here? What is not working well in your life at present? Spend some time on these questions. Write down all the thoughts that pop into your head over the coming week or so, until you feel like you have exhausted where you are and why.
You may want to enlist the help of someone who cares about you and will hold you accountable. In 12 step programs this would be your sponsor. In other areas of your life it could be a friend, or a life coach, or a therapist. You will have more success, much faster if you have an accountability partner.
That is your assignment for this week. Answer the above questions, and find someone who can help you make the climb to success.