#FailingatLife (Or, How to Get Through)

2885514619_2d855fae11_oIt’s hard not to feel at times like you are being crushed like an aluminum can. Like you cannot possibly withstand the pressures coming at you on all sides, the disappointments, the heartbreak, the relentless struggle against time, money, work, hopes, dreams and responsibilities. You dust yourself off, stand again, but you are weary. You feel like you’re failing, or at the very least, not succeeding. You’re not even sure how to make it through this particular pressure point that has you near crumbling.

I don’t have all the answers. I’m still trying to figure it out. Sometimes I do great. Until I don’t. But during the moments I don’t, I’ve found some things that help me through the rough patches. They aren’t a miracle cure; but they’ve served to strengthen and lift me when I’ve needed it the most.

Recently, I’ve had a couple friends bow low under life’s pressures. When one began scribbling notes down as I shared my thoughts, I thought I should write something for him and anyone else that finds them useful. Because let’s face it. We’re all there now and then.

And then please share what works for you!

  1. It’s ok to feel terrible sometimes. Life is supposed to be challenging. It’s supposed to push you to the limits of your perceived capabilities most of the time. As you learn and grow, the challenges look different, so you have to develop new abilities to cope and grow through them. This isn’t an excuse to wallow, but just to say, hey, give yourself a break. Don’t drown out the emotions with tv, Facebook or your pastime of choice. Instead of going away, those negative emotions get pushed deeper in, where they’re harder to get at. Realize feeling is human. Challenges are human. Accept that challenges are a part of life to help you become a better person, and they aren’t going away. Don’t face them with roboticism, but with acceptance and grace.
  2. Look at your feelings square in the face. Take a moment to really meditate and reflect on what you’re feeling. Give it a name or several names. Is it fear? Rejection? Fear of rejection? Disappointment? Anger? At what exactly? Or whom? Name it and then go a step deeper. We all have triggers and past experiences. Often many of our negative emotions have one root emotion, such as fear of failure or fear of not being accepted. Where does that come from? Does something in your past keep you running from potential failure, even while you feel that it’s somehow inevitable? Did you feel that you weren’t accepted by your peers as a child or teen and now wonder if anyone could really care for you if they knew you well enough? Often, tracing your feelings down to their roots alleviates a lot of that invisible pressure and burden you didn’t know you were carrying so tightly. Seeing it allows you to begin to let go.


me and kidsAbout the AuthorCaroline Kingsley is the marketing director of an architectural and engineering firm, an award-winning freelance print journalist, author and producer. Her articles appear regularly in the Utah Stories magazine and the Salt Lake Times. She also co-hosts a podcast about LDS single living, called The Mormon Meet Locker. She lives in Heber with her three children and cat: the beginning of an illustrious old maid feline collection.



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