I’m sure no matter what your rock bottom may look like, it would feel similar to my rock bottom. Rockbottom is a nasty place you find yourself at, quite unexpectedly and pretty inevitably.
So now that we’re familiar with the concept, let’s look at the 5 steps I have curated to help anyone who is willing to surface out of rock bottom.
1. Feel the burn
A lot of our bad experiences get registered as bad memories in our brains and later reify themselves as unwanted behaviour patterns. So it always works in our favour if we live through our pain instead of concealing it. One of my favourite analogies, though a bit exaggerated, to live through the bad experiences is this scene from the movie ‘Fight Club’. Tyler forces Jack to ‘stay with the pain and not to block it out’. It’s liberating to accept pain and grieve for what is lost! So find what works for your process of grieving, let it all out, and feel the weight lifting off your chest. Since it’s only after you have grieved enough, that the rock bottom loses all power over you.
2. Call A Spade A Spade
It’s natural to exaggerate our sufferings and get delusional about our predicament. Unnecessary blame (either on self, on others or on luck), repeated negative self-talk, extrapolating one bad event to become about one’s entire life, and so on. We all see so many people doing these things and scorn them. However, when we hit rock bottom, we unwillingly do those same things and intensify the quandary. I have realised that calling a spade a spade really helps. State the situation just as it is eg. “I’ve lost my job”, “I’ve broken up with the love of my life”, “I’ve no friends left in my life”, “I’m not finding the right partner/job/house”, so on and so forth. Refrain from amplifying it like “I’ve lost my job, my career is ruined and I will never achieve success”, “I’ve broken up with the love of my life, I will never find love again and will probably die single”, “I’ve no friends left in my life, I am not good enough for anyone, nobody likes me and I hate everyone”, etc. This will really help in knowing the definite problem!
3. Find Your Balance
Now comes the most interesting part! The very reason that we end up at the rock bottom, most of the times, is that we usually make our life revolve around one or two specific aspects. It can be our career, our bodies, our partners, our families, etc. When the centre is in jeopardy, we lose the sense of what to orbit around! Hence, I discovered that we must always find our balance in life. Find a set of things that constitute a holistic life for you (family, friends, career, self-discovery, hobbies, adventure, spirituality, health, society, etc.). After you decide on a set of areas that you want your life to be about, strive to chart out a strategy to strike a balance among all of them.
4. Turn Great Losses Into Great Lessons
Now that we have a better command over ourselves and our emotions, it’s time to start real work. If you’re at rock bottom, some things must have gone wrong. If things went wrong, there was possibly some way you went wrong in dealing with those things, either intentionally or unintentionally. Accept it. Unless we take responsibility of our life, there’s very little that we can achieve and very little we can grow. Analyse the problem, its cause/s, its effect/s and the things you could have done differently to avoid the dreadful outcome. Be utterly honest with yourself. Note these lessons somewhere so that you can use them as your Furquan for the new journey.
5. Invoke An Alchemy Of Great Vision
After you feel strong enough to get back on your feet, the last step is to find the courage in you to envision a future that you resonate with. It’s essential to note that the vision must be entirely yours, and not a product of years of social conditioning. The only advantage of having hit the rock bottom is: “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything” (another ‘Fight Club’ reference!). You must consider your lessons and balance, and develop your vision in harmony with them. It might help to write, draw, note, record etc. your action plans until you finally see the ultimate vision with absolute clarity. Once the vision is clear, formulate baby steps to manifest your vision.
Law of Attraction, Guardian Angels, 11:11 wishes, so on and so forth are NOT going to help you. Work on developing a backbone instead of a wishbone. Help reaches those who are willing to help themselves. Positive attitude and strong character go a long way.
You will fail, many times. In times of failure, rely on your balance and believe in your vision. There are ‘n’ number of ways to reach a destination. Similarly, when you fail, change your route but don’t give up on the journey altogether.
Celebrate small victories. Learn to deposit more and more confidence into your skill repository when you achieve small so that big setbacks don’t shatter you.