I’m talking about: Do you ever feel like the same bad things keep happening to you time and time again? That every relationship, job, workout routine, roommate, or whatever it may be, never seems to work out, or maybe even goes terribly wrong?
You’re most definitely not alone.
Not only is it something I hear about all the time in my coaching and in day-to-day conversations with friends, but I have personally felt this way myself.
Which means I know how incredibly frustrating it can be. People tell you things like ‘just put your best foot forward’ or ‘try your best’, and you either want to punch them in the face and tell them they just. don’t. get. it. or you decide to listen to their advice, and it’s still an epic fail.
Or maybe you have people in your life who agree that it is always everyone else’s fault: the world, your boss, your roommate, God, that angry driver on your commute…you get the idea. You can’t help but genuinely feel like you’re doing everything right + being kind, yet things just don’t ever seem to work out.
And truth is, both of these can be absolutely be true. People and life can just suck and feel unfair and mean sometimes without an explanation that makes much sense to us in the moment. And sometimes, improving a situation cansimply be a matter of needing to more fully commit to making the best out of a given opportunity. However, I’m here to offer an additional perspective.
Consider for a moment that we are being guided into or out of things for a reason that we might not yet fully understand. There is something that we have to learn, and life is the greatest teacher.
Life isn’t just about things being easy and fun and comfortable 24/7, it’s more rich and complex than that. It’s about evolving and growing and learning. In school, most of us learned about evolution as though it is a thing of the past, that we as humans are fully evolved because we’ve built societies and walk on two feet and shifted from hunter-gatherers to farmers to (largely) consumers.
But the truth is that our universe, planet earth, and all of the species living on it – including us humans – are continuously evolving. And if you’re open to believing that our evolution as individuals is/reflects our evolution collectively, then it’s no wonder there are some growing pains and lessons along the way.
So, if you notice a certain pattern happening, rather than defaulting immediately to believing that, once again, you are getting screwed over, give yourself the opportunity to get curious and try to make some sense of it all. Can you learn anything? Is there a bigger message? Sometimes there isn’t anything clear (at least not yet), but in situations where there is a pattern, there usually is at least some nuggets of wisdom or insight in there, no matter how small.
And there’s no need to over-intellectualize this. Sometimes (and in my life, it has been true more often than not) the best answers have come when I step away from the computer and Google rabbit holes and instead sit with myself in stillness and silence, go for a walk in nature without my phone, and/or move my body in a way that feels good and not forced.
It is then, after one or some combination of these things, that I can hear the deep inner wisdom, my intuition, the messages from nature, about what the heck is going on. Sometimes the answers come before I’m even done asking the question and other times it takes months of asking before I can fully hear what’s being shared with me.
Doing this isn’t always fun or easy, but neither is repeatedly getting battered by one shit-storm after the next. There can be hidden GOLD woven into these patterns, and once we take the time to sit with all of the information from our cumulative experience, perhaps we can learn something. Then we can move forward in a different direction, and maybe those particular lessons can stop coming because we have learned.
This process is not a one-and-done, it’s a lifelong journey, which I know I say about a lot of things, and it isn’t sexy at all, but it’s true, and I think it’s what a lot of coaches and speakers and leaders don’t talk about. ‘Real life’ is not just a perfect storyline arc beginning to end, so when we’re told this, it often leaves people feeling frustrated – once they feel they’re in a ‘good place’ and then ‘bad things’ start happening and life starts getting tough again, it doesn’t make sense. Wasn’t this supposed to be ‘fixed’ already?
I want to remind you that it’s totally normal, and you’re not alone. However, this also doesn’t mean you should sit and worry and wonder when the next bad thing is going to happen; enjoy where you are in this moment – just know that if things shift, you can can experience less suffering if you can trust that you didn’t do anything ‘wrong’ or ‘mess up’ – rather that it’s all just part of the full experience of life.
Also, please remember that as always, these approaches are never about blaming or shaming ourselves because that’s just counter-productive. It’s about trying something different, opening your mind to a new perspective or way of thinking, taking responsibility for whatever influence you do have in this situation no matter how little it may seem, and if nothing else, using it as an opportunity to reclaim your sense of personal power, knowing that you have a choice – not necessarily about every last thing that happens in your life but how you choose to experience it, heal from it, embrace it, grieve it, etc. – and regardless of the approach you actually choose, knowing that the CHOOSING is what is powerful – remembering that you have agency and free will as a human.
I’d love to hear from you what patterns you’re noticing in your life, and if you’ve decided to get curious, what you’ve learned along the way.
***Lastly – based on some feedback from last week’s email (which, by the way, I’m always open to suggestions now and into the future!), I’m going to start taking submissions for any questions you all may have and would like answered in a weekly email! I can make them as personal or as anonymous as you’d like. The idea of this being that often times we think we’re the only one with a given set of challenges, but we are not alone (there is a reason I say this all the time!) Being brave enough to ask for help can be a way to help not only yourself but everyone else who is going through the same things.***
You’ve got this. <3
As always, feel free to share this with anyone who may find it helpful, and I look forward to hearing how it helps you.
P.S. If you need some help with this (or other related topics) and are interested in possibly working together, comment below or click the ‘Contact’ link above, and let’s get talkin’!