One of the most amazing things about life is that each one of us is unique. We all come from different backgrounds, grown from different experiences, and learned from many mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes lead us down a dark path; a path that can sometimes spiral out of control. I’ve gone down this path and, honestly, I never thought I would rise from the trenches.
At the beginning of this week, I guest posted over on a very honest mommy blog called This Mommy is Real for a series related to moms who have overcome difficult situations. This topic not only hit home for me, but it gave me that shove to share my story and hopefully help others who could be in a similar situation.
In my story, I explained the most traumatic experience I’ve ever gone through (regarding domestic violence and manipulation) and how I rose from it. Today I’m going to go more in depth on how you can really get back up when you’ve fallen so far down. There is hope so don’t let yourself get to the point of feeling like there’s no return.
Before we get into these life-changing tips, I wanted to clear something up. If you read my story, I want you to know that I couldn’t possibly tell the entire story in only 1,100 words. If I told you every lie I was told along with the details of the mental abuse I endured, it would turn into a novel. You may think by this short excerpt that what I went through wasn’t that bad, but that’s only because I don’t want to waste your time with every detail. I would rather focus on helping YOU overcome the negative and rise above it.
Also, I can guarantee he’s reading this right now with a smile on his face. Which is another reason I’m not going to dive too much into the details of my particular situation. The past is the past. These tips I’m going to go over with you are the exact steps I took to take back my life.
When you’re finished, come back over here to find out how we’re going to get you back up and living the life you love.
9 Life-Changing Steps to Take Back Your Life
1. Focus on YOU
First things first, focus on YOU. This is absolutely the most important aspect to moving forward. Self-care keeps you sane and level headed. To me, focusing on yourself means putting your needs first. Don’t worry about anyone else right now. Do something that makes you feel better about yourself or something that overall makes you happier.
Recently, I’ve read a few GREAT posts about self-care and I think you should check them out too.
The first is 9 Ways to Look After You. In this post, Yolanda lists 9 different ways to take care of yourself. Some of my favorite things I took away from this post are creating a gratitude journal, taking yourself on a date, and doing something you love.
The second self-care post is called the 30 Before 30 Challenge. I absolutely love what she did here. She turned turning 30 into something exciting rather than upsetting (30 isn’t old, but I understand where she’s coming from). Create a fun challenge for yourself! Writing up these fun goals AND achieving them will get you excited for life and give you something to look forward to. I wish I knew about this post back then. I’ll probably still do one now!
2. Find an Activity that Relaxes You
I obviously chose crochet and boy did it change my life. I chose this hobby because when I was younger I learned how to knit. This time I wanted to try something new. I instantly became hooked (pun intended) and soon it was all I could think about. After a long day at work, cooking, cleaning, spending time with my family, and whatever else; crochet was the most amazing thing I could have done with the little spare time that I had. While I was at work I couldn’t wait to come home and crochet because I knew it would free my mind so I could feel completely stress-free. This is the kind of hobby or activity you need to find for yourself.
What calms you down? Maybe listening to music? Drawing? Yoga or meditation? Find something and do it every time you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
>> Related: Learn to Crochet the Easy Way
3. Do Something You Love
Have you ever wanted to start your own business? Jump out of an airplane? What about shooting photography or attending a cooking class? Do it! We only live once. Make your life the BEST life you can possibly make it and do every single thing that makes you happy. You can’t depend on anyone else to make you happy. This is YOUR life. Only you can make you happy.
Back then, I was dragging my feet to work every day and because my boss took me for granted, I would come home cursing her name and complaining to my husband for hours. This isn’t the way to live. After months of my complaining with things only getting worse, he told me to quit. We put together a plan and I quit two weeks later. I have always been the artsy type and starting my own business was an absolute dream of mine for years. I found this to be the perfect time to take that leap.
Learning to crochet and starting a blog were the two best things I could have done for my life at that point. It lifted me up and gave me a purpose. Doing what you love instead of what you think you have to do will do the same for you as it did for me.
4. Single Mommas, I got you
I’ve been there. I know how you’re feeling. I was a single mom for two and a half years and guess what? It’s friggin tough. But guess what else? It teaches you a LOT, doesn’t it? You will learn how to juggle ANYTHING, all things, life itself. Being a single mom taught me not only how to multi-task like a queen, but it completely changed me as a person.
If you’re a single mom, get the thought of “I need a man, I hate being alone” out of your head. I thought the same thing and I know you are or have felt this way before. Let me tell you something. You do NOT need a man. Those who claim they need a man, end up settling and ultimately slump through life completely unhappy, FOR YEARS even. That time that they wasted knowing they weren’t with the right person, they could have found the one who was. Now that chance could be gone.
I never ever in a million years thought I would find the “one” for me. I didn’t even think he existed. My entire dating life was terrible. I was in two abusive relationships and one that was consumed of arguments all day every day. I honestly thought that that’s what I was destined for. Either alone or with a shitty person.
Then I stopped worrying about being alone and started focusing on myself. I’m not lying when I tell you my now husband asked me out on a date the week after I stopped worrying about finding a man. Stop searching for “the one”, I promise he will come to you. <3
5. Stop it with the “What if’s”
What if I did this instead of that? What if we worked things out? What if this happened 5 years ago instead of now? Stop it! The past is the past, you cannot change it no matter how much you want to. We tend to consume our minds with “what if” scenarios and part of us really wants to believe we can change it… but we can’t. A lot of the time we see this as an unfortunate circumstance, but in the end you’ll understand why I disagree.The past is the past, you cannot change it no matter how much you want to. Click To Tweet
The moment you accept that there’s nothing you can do to rewind that particular situation, you will quicker be able to change your mindset. This will result in the actionable steps you take to overcome that situation rather than dwell on it. The more you choose to think this way, the more it will become a habit to think the same through any negative situation. Instead of stressing about the things you can’t control, learn from it and move forward.
6. Don’t Wallow in Self-Pity
This is the EASIEST thing to fall into when you’re going through a negative situation.
Why is this happening to me? What did I do in this game of life that made me deserve this? It’s not fair. Why do bad things always happen to me?
It’s normal to feel this way at first, but don’t get caught up in it. This mindset will only make you sink lower into the pit of unhappiness.
I cried and cried every night for a LONG time thinking about how stupid I was for letting myself be fooled and how I would never amount to anything. Then practically over night, I told myself that nothing would stop me from living the life I want. So I changed it.
Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, understand that yes you’re going through a hard time and you might have made a mistake but it’s time to take action. That’s the only way you’ll be able to move forward.
7. Don’t Be Afraid of Mistakes
We are who we are because of the experiences we endure, positive and negative. Mistakes, or negative experiences, mold us to become our best selves. That is, if you let it.
If you get hit with something negative over and over and over, it’s hard to see the light. But don’t you dare stay down. GET BACK UP! Create the life you love by acknowledging your mistakes and GROW from them! The things that happen in our lives don’t define us. What defines us is what we do in that situation and how we learn from it.
Every mistake you make (and if you’re like me you’ll make a ton) you need to take something from it. Vow to never make that mistake again and take it as learning what NOT to do next time. This applies in every situation! Learn from your mistakes and let them mold you into who you will become instead of dwelling on your failure.
8. Everything Happens for a Reason
I know a LOT of people hate hearing this, but in my experience it’s true and I think it might be for you too. Think about a time something AMAZING happened to you. Retrace your steps. How did you get there? Did something, anything, negative happen to bring you to that point? The answer is most likely yes.
If you read my guest post, you’ll see how one VERY traumatic experience turned my life into something like a fairy tale. Except instead of a happily ever after, it’s more like a very happy beginning.
As I stated in my story, if this situation didn’t occur, I wouldn’t have moved in with my sister, who has now become my best friend. My mom and I would still be fighting like we always were. I would still be stuck in the same soul-sucking town I had always wanted to escape. I would still be naïve and irresponsible. Most importantly, I wouldn’t have my son who is the BEST thing that has ever happened to me AND I wouldn’t have met the Fairy Tale Prince I call a husband whom I refused to believe existed.
Therefore, I rest my case. Everything happens for a reason.
9. Change Your Mindset
If the previous steps haven’t already helped you to do this, this one sure will.
Motivational videos: My husband is a big advocate for these. He’s the one who got me into them and I love him for it. David Goggins, my all-time favorite motivational speaker, is someone you need to listen to. He’s one of the reasons I’ve taken a completely different perspective on life. Do me a favor and watch this interview of his below. *strong profanity alert* Feel free to watch the entire video because it is empowering and beyond inspirational, but what completely changed my mindset is what he says starting at 00:04:40 and ending at 00:05:32.
Listening to motivational videos makes you look at life differently. It really does. It opens your eyes and really makes the world seem so much bigger than you thought before. I very much recommend listening to David Goggins and any other motivational compilations you can find over on YouTube. It will give you a new set of eyes.
It took me a while to rise above the traumatic experience that I went through, but I NEVER thought I would get to this point. Now that I have changed my mindset and I’ve followed each of these steps, I couldn’t be happier with my life.
I truly hope these 9 Life-Changing Steps to Take Back Your Life help you get back to living the life you love and if you know anyone who is going through a similar situation, please share this information with them. You’re not alone. <3
I’m going to end this extremely lengthy post with my favorite, well-suited quote:
“Shit happens. If life was simple and easy, there would be no stories. A great story starts when shit happens.” – Simeon Lindstrom
Because we’re on the subject I feel that this is needed.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is:
Verbal and Mental Abuse are both as much a part of Domestic Violence as Physical. If you need help, please reach out. Even if you don’t call the hotline, send me an email: email@example.com
You are not alone. ❤
How do you motivate yourself to get back up after going through a difficult situation? What kinds of things relax you or help you to de-stress? Have you gone through a similar situation?