Has a fear of making the wrong decision made you feel paralyzed?
Maybe you found yourself in a dead-end job.
Maybe you realized that your current career is not the right fit for you anymore.
Maybe you worried about substantial financial challenges.
Perhaps you felt stuck in a soul-sucking relationship.
Let me tell you my story about being brave and leaving the abusive marriage.
I’ve been in a relationship with my ex-husband since I was 17. We were in the relationship for 13 years, married two years. It was an unhappy marriage.
It felt like I can’t breathe. It felt like someone is choking me.
Yes, we did go to counseling. But it didn’t work for us. I was afraid to ask for the divorce because of self-doubts and fears.
My fears were, “Who am I going to go on vacation with?”
“How am I going to survive financially?”
“What if I’m going to be single for the rest of my life?”
So, I did nothing but complaining, being quiet, not speak up for myself self and hoping that things will work out by themselves.
One day I had a coffee with my sister, and I did my usual thing; complaining about my husband. I liked to throw a pity-party for myself quite often. Agony and anxiety were my daily acquaintances. I was stuck in apathy for years.
Let’s look at the characteristics of people with Victim Mentality (Apathy):
- feeling hopeless & feeling sorry for themselves
- focusing only on the problem
- not concentrating on the solution & having very little energy
“Are you willing to have this kind of marriage for the next 40 to 50 years?”, my sister asked me. The answer was immediate NOOOOO.
At that moment, I knew what I had to do. I needed to get myself together and do the terrifying thing for me.
The next day I asked my husband for the divorce.
You can imagine that we said some harsh words to each other. I was so bloody angry at him. I was blaming him for the unhappy marriage, and he did the same.
At that time, I couldn’t see how I contributed to it. I was in an angry emotional state for about two years.
Let’s look at the characteristics of people with Conflict Mentality (Anger):
- feeling resentment, hatred, blame
- focusing only on whose fault it is
- not concentrating on the solution
One day I had dinner with my best friend. She patiently listened to my old stories about my ex-husband.
Then she asked me, “Do you know that holding grudge has an expiration date?”
I was caught off guard. Her question made me think about my actions. In a few weeks, I decided to go to therapy.
Finally, I was able to see what my contribution to the unhappy marriage was.
For the first time, I was rationalizing and justifying my and my ex-husband’s behavior.
I would say something like, “He’s a good man. We were just too young when we got together.”
That was my coping mechanism at that time. I was in a forgiveness emotional state.
Let’s look at the characteristics of people with Responsibility Mentality (Forgiveness):
- Tolerate a situation or other people’s behavior
- Rationalization and justification are coping mechanisms
- They start focusing on the solution
As a year progressed, I went through the forgiveness process. I was authentic, happy, and playful again.
Practicing gratitude became my daily practice. I started dating again. My focus was on how to make my date happy and interested in me. I transitioned to a compassionate emotional level.
Let’s look at the characteristics of people with Concern Mentality (Compassion):
- put other people’s needs first
- focusing on the solution
The result of pleasing men I was dating was choosing the wrong men. I realized that this is not a recipe for a good relationship.
Therefore, I made a clear vision of what kind of boyfriend & relationship I want to have. I made a firm decision that I would be rather single than in a sh**y relationship. I felt confident in myself.
I was joyful. Finally, I was at peace.
Let’s look at the characteristics of people with Reconciliation Mentality (Joy, Peace):
- having a clear vision and detailed action plan for their life
- focusing on the solution
- learning from their mistakes/failures/challenges and using them as stepping stones to their success
As you can see, it took me years after the divorce to find, peace within myself and with others. It took me years to get in touch with my needs and wants.
I want you to move faster through the above five emotional stages that we all go through when facing struggles and challenges in our lives.
What’s the remedy for each emotional stage so that you can get un-stuck, joyful, and vibrant again?
Here’s the remedy (the solution).
5 Steps to Feel More Alive When Facing Challenges;
Feeling Apathy (Victim Mentality):
- Acknowledge your feelings.
- Tell yourself it is normal that you feel that way.
- Practice lots of self-compassion. What would you say to your best friend in the same situation? Would you criticize her or him? I bet not. Tell yourself kind, loving, and soothing words.
Feeling Angry (Conflict Mentality)
- Write a letter to the person you are angry with or journal about the situation that makes you feel resentful. Give it all out. Do not hold yourself back. Curse. Call the person names. When you finish, read it again and then let it go. Destroy the letter. It’s your past.
- Now, focus on the solution.
Feeling Forgiveness (Responsibility Mentality)
- Ask yourself, “What do I tolerate in my life?” and journal about it.
- Make a list of what you are not going to tolerate any more and what you are going to do about it.
Feeling Compassion (Concern Mentality)
- Ask yourself what your wants and needs are.
- Focus on self-care.
Feeling Peace (Reconciliation Mentality)
- Make a vision for your life and make a detailed action plan on how you are going to achieve it.
- Ask for help if you can’t find the solution to your challenges.
- Ask yourself, “How can I turn challenges into opportunities?”
I’m sure you had had experiences in your life when you went from crippling fear to empowered action.
What did you do to pull yourself out of the rabbit hole?
Use your wisdom and smarts so that you can rise strong when life knocks you down.
You’ve got this.
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