I came to a shocking revelation the other day. One that really rocked my world. Well, I actually knew it, but I sort of forgot for a moment. It turns out, there’s really difficult times in life.
The internet has this way of glamorizing people’s lives since we only get to see a portion of what they are going through. And I’m guilty of pretending that all is well when it’s really not. I think we are just naturally tempted to not let people into our struggles even though we all go through them so very often.
As I write this, we’re in a slump in life. We’re dealing with some low income months and a lot of illness in the house and close family. Not only that, but there’s lots of changes going on within our church that is causing us to stress and be in consistent prayer about. It’s during times like this that I’m grateful to have my family close and know I serve a God that listens.
If you’re struggling or think you might have to deal with something in the near future, here’s a few things to help you through the tough times.
I’m very open about my faith as a Christian if you have read many of my articles. And my faith is not just something I have in my back pocket for when things go wrong. I truly believe in scripture being a central part of my life and that God has a plan for all of us.
So when I say prayer, I mean getting specific about the struggle you are going through. It may have been years since you prayed (or never at all) but don’t think for a second that you won’t be heard. Even though God’s timing is not our timing and our years are not his, His love never ends and He always hears us.
What I’m saying here is that prayer about your situation works. God isn’t a magical genie, but He does care and listens to the pleas of his people. That is a fact of scripture.
As for me, I’m spending a lot of time in focused prayer right now for the direction of my business and to make sure I’m doing what He has called me to do. While I ultimately want to serve the Lord, I also feel a strong desire to help people along their journey with what I have learned in mine.
Redefine and reprioritize your goals
If you haven’t set any goals, that is of paramount importance. Get them written down somewhere so you can measure and work toward them. How else will you know when you achieve them if you don’t have them written down to look at?
So when obstacles get in the way of your goals, you need to be able to shift and move forward. It could be changing your goals or just redefining what they are. Or maybe the reason you’re in your slump is because your priorities got out of whack. If that’s the case, it’s time to fix that so you can get back on track as soon as possible!
Whatever the case, revisiting your goals during your struggles can give you a much needed boost of confidence and help you get re-motivated. I recently had to reprioritize my own goals and task list. I even found a better way to manage my tasks and it’s helping to keep me moving forward even when all these other issues are threatening to pull me down.
During these tough times, it might a good idea to look at your expectations for yourself. Maybe you have them set too high or too low. Maybe they aren’t something you even want to be working toward right now because you have something else you need to accomplish first. There are many reasons your expectations could be wrong, but it could be contributing to your slump.
I was once told that failure is typically the result of an expectation that went unfulfilled. We often have expectations for ourselves and others but it’s when they aren’t met that failure begins to set in.
As an example, my expectations for our financial situation has definitely been off. I assumed that after we dug out of debt, all would be peachy and we’d be able to do anything we wanted, within reason. The reality is that we also changed our lifestyle to help us reach family goals and that impacted our income quite a bit. I have since reset my expectations and now I feel a lot better about working toward the life we want again. We may be in an income slump, but I know we are on the right path of rebuilding.
Take a step back
Maybe you just need a break. Have you had a vacation recently? Even just a weekend away somewhere? Taking a break from the everyday stuff to look at your situation from the outside or next week, might be what you need.
Obviously if you are dealing with sickness or something, this might not be an option. But I would encourage you to try to break your routine as soon as possible so that you can take that much needed step back and get a different perspective on the situation.
I know from personal experience that when I get in too deep with something, I can’t see straight. It’s like I have those horse blinders on and nothing will detour me. The problem is that I also don’t get any new information to help me on my journey. Don’t get stuck in the rut with no way to get out. When in doubt, take a break!
Get outside help
This piggybacks off the previous suggestion but goes a bit deeper. Maybe you just need an outside perspective or some step by step help to get you moving forward again. It could be in the form of a friend that’s connected (or not connected) to the situation, a mentor, family member or even outside consultant.
The point is that if you’re struggling, you might just need some help to get back on track. Don’t put off seeing the doctor if you’ve got an illness that won’t go away. And certainly make sure you’re being real with the people you trust the most so they can help you.
All in all, being truthful in your struggles is probably the best way to deal with them effectively and move forward. Now, I’m going to take my own advice and do a few of these things I just suggested.