Not investing enough time to care for important relationships in your life lately? Feeling exhausted? Feeling burned out? Not feeling any sense of purpose in your life?
Well, it seems like we are at the same place. I feel like great distance from fulfilling my potential. I don’t wanna blame anyone for that, because I am aware of the lack of progress in my life lately cased by my laziness. It seems like my life is …kind of… boring!?? I don’t know if that is the right expression but I can surely state that it is not in great passion nor in high pace state at the moment.
These periods I tend to question myself and my past decisions. One of it was 4 years ago when I moved out of Hungary and became a global citizen, a nomad of the world, a life hacker who moves from project to project, from continent to an other, every now and then.
I am currently in Hungary, just for 10 days, and I had the chance to meet family, and some friends in my tiny home town (Várpalota). Every time I am here, I feel like I have a kind of unfinished life here. An alternative life which would have been lived if I decided to stay, and not leave in 2014. I tend to play with this idea and imagine how it would have turned out? Would I be happier by today? Would I be doing any passion project what might provide me some purpose by the same time of today? Who I would have became? Every occasion this happens to me, I feel so uncertain about that life shaping decision 4 years ago. It happens even though out of last 4 years, mainly the last 6-8 months I feel lack of purpose due to my current work and life in the UK.
It is advised to show resilience in the face of any challenges… Although it does not come naturally to anyone. I feel like I had done nothing through my last 4 years but faced high level of uncertainty, insecurity.
Just to give you the picture from my past, how did I train myself to be flexible, and kind of in peace with myself and decisions no matter what is pressing me. Here are some examples:
- I spent a year as unpaid volunteer in West Africa where due to unsecured cash flow our team of 6 nationalities (only one local) was facing with difficulties to feed ourselves, and our housing was also questionable some point of every 2-3 months as we were ‘threatened’ by landlady many times to be thrown out and get to the streets of a 3rd world country as internationals. This is all kind of understatement of the real situation… being there, discussing every day the chances of finding money and being not able to feed ourselves from day to day, losing 10-20 kg, being prone to illnesses due to lack of vitamins, getting malaria… analyzing our current state as organisation in that highly changeable, unpredictable environment… If that doesn’t stressing people out then what would train you to be resilience and stress managing expert?
We were driven by purpose, so 5 out of 5 internationals in the team managed to pull through that rough 12 months in a foreign land, as well as our only local stayed also with us till the end to make our term a great success.
- The first time in my life, I went to the USA for 2 months unpaid volunteer experience (accommodation covered only) arriving -almost- straight from Africa with 400 dollars in my pocket to one of the first economy of the world. 200 dollars turned out to be my bus pass fee for that period leaving me with 200 only in Seattle to cover food, and other above not mentioned expenses. Well, would you say it was a bit stressful and challenging, right?
- From USA, back to UK without a job offer, any income and without not more then 80 pounds on my bank account remained from 2 years back, I landed straight to amazing, supportive, caring people’s sofas. Thanks to my friends, I had accommodation at least covered! Although without a secured income source, still it was highly uncertain situation for me.
Imagine yourself in the world all around touching at least 3 continents, arriving alone, with almost no money, into unknown with this amount of uncertainty? After all these, would you say about that person that she or he is schooled in resilience?
These are a very different stories of my life and one day I promise that I am gonna find the inspiration to tell you all. For now, I highlighted them here just to give you the background story how I developed ability of adaptation lately.
As I was saying, handling uncertainty does not come without experiencing, or from books in an instant. Even after going through this much of fighting through unknown environments and situations; I can only tell you that I still can not be expert in managing insecurity. I – on purpose – put myself into challenging life style, where I was constantly rejecting routine, and stability. Although I am still in need to develop new coping methods. You can either think I am not able to learn from past to manage my life better, or that I had been through only one type of challenges (what is mainly poverty, and living in a foreign unknown place without existing support system there). Well that is also true. There are different stress triggers/stressors can come from any part of life: death of family member, health problems, divorce, issues in relationship, problem with kids, getting fired, moving to an other house, financial problems, legal issues, business problems, noise, boring or lonely work etc. I can assure I wasn’t freed from any of these, despite the fact I haven’t discussed them over here in this article. so these above mentioned were just kind of additional stressors I wanted to showcase to follow through my thread of thoughts on this topic.
So to summarize everyone goes through stress, there are different triggers what cause different level of stress, but mainly changes in anything around or inside you definitely causes it. No matter what typology you wanna use, change is gonna be a key phrase to define stress triggers. The difference in people is the wild range of methods and ability to cope with stress.
I tend to push through in days of ‘danger’ or moment of insecurity in the everyday life with some of the following to get instant relief:
- Refocusing on dreams/visions: I find encouragement, to turn my mind towards the possibilities instead of the difficulties of he current moment. – DIMENSION OF TIME
- Resizing the scale of the problem: I tend to make my problem compared for the biggest issues of the universe, humankind etc. just to feel that wherever I am right now and whatever is scaring me today it can be small compare to other’s life threatening situations. – DIMENSION OF PLACE/SIZE
- Reevaluate the context: I used to turn to assessing my life on some key areas like finance, business, travelling, family/friends relationships, love life, learning/career, physical health and training/body etc. It can help to find out the part of my life I feel the most and the less balanced. Moreover it helps me realize that no matter the problem I am kind of in balance in the areas as a whole. Also ensures me that I have the chance to change for balance any time at any part of my life! – DIMENSION OF HUMAN LIFE/CONTROL
These are my ways of internalizing challenges, to find kind of relief no matter what is in front of me. I came to the conclusion that I admire self-doubting periods of life, because it can give you clarity of your purpose/why, better solutions for future situations as well as sure some sour regret.. what also can lead to better decision making for the future.
Anyhow the point is these periods are reoccurring no matter how successful you are in life in it’s traditional or unorthodox ways. What I haven’t yet feel developed is not the methods getting me through painful time, or redefining my future, making better decisions BUT how I keep my cool especially with people around me. How I balance and self manage myself to find even in these periods of uncertainty and stress enough energy to care for the people around me who completely deserve it.
So I am greatly interested in your thoughts about:
- do you think this SELF-DOUBTING and sometimes bitter periods are a necessity, periodically reoccurring situations in everyone’s lives?
- is this a kind of built-in mechanism to help humans in survivor, facilitating our development?
- what are tactics you do to survive these difficult times of your life?
- but most importantly, would it be arrogant not to self-doubt or evaluating once a while and always feel 100% right about all decisions we have made before?