Anyone who tells you that life is a smooth ride is not speaking the truth. Even if we're content with the way our life is going, there will always be those times when we find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Whether it's losing a loved one or being injured in an accident, there are plenty of things that occur throughout our time on this earth that are beyond our control. But the truth of the matter is that life is unpredictable, change is inevitable, and sometimes we're not going to like the outcome.
Many of us feel unprepared when life throws these curve balls at us, but don't despair because there are many ways to get through these major challenges. Take it from someone who recently got out of a bad relationship.
For years, I was afraid that if I left my partner, I would never share the same bond with another person. I wanted to so badly make it work and it took some time, a lot of tears, sleepless nights, before I realized that I did try hard enough, but it just wasn't a healthy situation to be in anymore.
I finally came across some tactics from Steven Skoczen, author of "Two-Year Life Plan Masterclass," and that helped me better asses my situation and finally break free. If you find yourself stuck in a terrible place like I once was, you too could benefit from these tips.
1. Be honest
Sure, it's not easy to accept that you're not where you'd like to be, but nothing can be done to fix it until you're honest with yourself about it. If you're unsure why you feel miserable about the way your life is unfolding at the moment, try putting pen to paper to see if you can figure it out.
Take some time out of your day to write out all the things that have been bothering you as of late, nothing is too big or too small. Is it your job? Family? Relationship? Finances? Your neighbor's dog that barks incessantly?
Spend at least 10 minutes making the list, then when you're done, read it over and circle the ones that you think are the biggest causes of your problems. Once you've narrowed it down to a couple of main ones, then it's time to do something about it.
2. Be specific
Now that you've figured out what could be the root of your problems, it's time to dig a little deeper and describe what it is about your situation that you don't like. Pretend like you're talking to your best friend and be specific, make it as clear as possible and do not hold back.
Your description should clearly explain how you feel about the situation, what you have been doing to try and remedy it, who and what else are involved and whether or not they're contributing to the problem, how much time do you spend thinking about it, as well as the ways in which it has been affecting your day to day life.
Once you've figured out the bad, it's time to start looking for a better situation.
3. Find an alternative
This is the part that lets you use your creativity. This is your chance to come up with your ideal situation. If you weren't in a rut, how do imagine your life would be like? Make a detailed list of what being in a good place would entail, and include things like what actions you have taken to ensure you're always in this good situation, who and what are you surrounded by and what role do they play in your happiness, how does the situation make you feel, and how much time do you spend thinking about it.
4. Take action
Compare your bad situation list to your good one. Are there major differences? It's highly likely that they look very different from each other, and that's the way it should be. Now, are there any points from your good list that can be moved to your bad? They don't have to be major, even small ones are a step in the right direction.
Perhaps there's an item or a person you surround yourself with in the good situation that could make you feel better if you added them to the bad. Take a few minutes to make the changes, then try and do so in real life too. If it's a person, try sending them a text or giving them a call to reconnect with them. If it's an item, go find it and start incorporating it into your life.
This small action could lead to some big changes.
5. Don't quit
The fact that you took a step towards changing your situation alone is a win, so try not to give up. Make a list of a few more things you'd like to move from the good to bad situation. Start with a small amount, about two to three, so you don't get overwhelmed.
As you complete them, cross them out and give yourself a pat in the back.
6. Repeat the process
Getting out of a terrible situation is not easy, so it is very likely that you will need to go back to steps 4 and 5 and repeat them until you have moved all the bad into your good list. It's easy to get tired of repeating the pattern, but I promise you will see progress and it is such a rewarding feeling.
7. Don't go back
Now that you have the tools to deal with a bad situation, you can use them whenever you feel yourself slipping back into one. Life will not stop challenging you, so you can never be too prepared.
Look back at steps 1 and 2, and reflect on the situation you used to be in. Being in the good place that you are now, make a list to your future self with advice that will make sure you never go back to your old habits.
Make a note of two important moments from the bad situation that would serve as warnings for your future self. Going forward, use these warnings to your advantage so your situation wouldn't worsen. You can write this down in your journal, on post-it notes or even confide in someone close, so that you're always one step ahead.
Every time you see these red flags start to show up, you can work towards avoiding them and prevent a bad situation from escalating.
Do you have a bad situation you're trying to get out of? Let us know!