When things are going well in life, things like self-acceptance and a positive attitude about the future is easy. However, when we go through times that are fraught with setbacks and disappointments it’s difficult to keep feelings of self-doubt at bay.
For whatever reason, the first half of 2014 has come with more than a few challenges that have caused financial strain and stress. Just when I think I’m going to get ahead, another unexpected expense crops up or a deal that seemed promising falls through, there have even been weeks that contained both.
It would be easy for me to focus on the negatives of the first six months of this year. There have certainly been more than a few moments in which I’ve felt desperate about the present and doubtful about the future.
When I look at this year from an objective perspective, I know that the number of good things that have happened far out-number the setbacks. I’ve also never felt better about myself or more certain that I’m on the right path.
Sometimes I think people equate having a positive outlook with not having any negative feelings or fears. There’s no way on earth that we can expect ourselves or anyone else to go through difficult experiences and disappointments without “feeling.”
In fact, when we allow ourselves to feel and express emotions such as anger, doubt, fear, anxiety, and remorse it’s much easier to move onward and upward with confidence. The feelings are real and if we try and ignore them, they only fester and undermine our progress for a longer period of time.
I’ve learned the difference between acknowledging the feelings and sharing them with the intention of seeking support and a helping hand and dwelling on a topic and ranting just to hear myself talk.
Reaching out for help during times of trouble can make us feel vulnerable and can even cause feelings of shame. As human beings, we want to succeed on our own. I don’t know if it’s innate or societal, but it can be hard to admit that we’ve made a mistake, had a lapse in judgment, or that something bad happened to us.
Allowing others to see our vulnerabilities isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of self-confidence and courage. It takes guts to be honest. We conjure up worst case scenarios as a result of telling the truth. In my experience, they are never as bad as I imagined and usually result in something positive.
A big realization for me has been the importance of accepting myself and that believing I am worthy is the first and most important step to success and happiness.
I have an awesome feeling about the future and believe someday the events during this time will make a great story. While I can’t do it today, there’s no doubt in my mind that the stories will be told with laughter and joy.