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How do you know you will be ok? Because you’ve proven it before.

How do you know you will be ok?
Because you’ve proven it before.

As one of my Christmas gifts, my mother bought me a game called ‘Yin and Yang, match box puzzle’. When I opened the box I found that it was two, small, steel rods with loops at the end – joined together. The idea of the game is to test your logic, undo the two components and then put them back together.
After only 3 minutes, I had successfully taken the two rods apart and put them back together! Game over you could say. But I didn’t fully understand how I had done it so, I decided that I wanted to try it again.
The second time I tried it, even after 1 hour I could not even get the two steel rods apart, let alone back together. In frustration, I muttered “stupid game!” put it down and went to make myself a cup of herbal tea.

As the kettle boiled, my inner dialogue could not let it go. “Who can solve this game?” I said. “I bet it’s flawed” I thought. But then I remembered I HAD solved the game, I HAD already completed it once before, only 60 minutes earlier.
Eventually I achieved the game again, because I knew I could do it, based on my past experience.

As with anything, the universe communicates with us in many different ways. Was this matchbox puzzle game any different from life itself?

How many times do we find ourselves in troubled waters and wonder, “how am I ever going to get through this?” Or “how will I ever cope?” Yet when we think about it, we have all got through previous challenges.

Whenever we are faced with difficult situations we may feel we want to just give up and ‘walk away from the game’ so to speak. However, you already know deep down that you are capable.

If you have lived on this planet for over a decade, you have already developed many tools to help you to solve any perceived problems that come your way. You know in your heart that you will be ok, because you have proved this ability to yourself many times before.

There are times in life when it is best to walk away and let go. In fact this practice of letting go is very beneficial. But letting go, is never the same as giving up. If you are experiencing challenges at this present moment which are overwhelming you, try these five steps to help you to manage them.

1) Remember a time you overcame a challenge.

Think back to a time when you felt as though life could not improve. Perhaps you lost a loved one and that initial pain overwhelmed your being. Perhaps you lost your job, and you were worried about your future security. Perhaps you were picked on in school, and you thought you could never face another day there. You excelled despite those bullies, you got another job which strangely benefits you more. You felt the grief of loss, went through the stages at your own pace and had a vast time of transformation and reassessing your priorities. You know you will survive, because you have in the past, and that’s something to feel positive about!

2) Work out the root cause of the challenge.

If you are struggling to be punctual, is it simply because you need a break?
If you are having problems at work, is it because you know on a deep level it is time to move to a more fulfilling place of work or even self-employment? If your relationships’ keep hitting the same hurdles, is it perhaps because the parties involved have learnt all they can from the relationship, and now it is time to move on? Journaling your feelings could help you to work out how you are really feeling within yourself.

3) Break down the challenge into manageable steps.

You may currently be feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, because the task at hand feels like a large mountain to climb. When climbers climb, they don’t simply shoot from the bottom of the mountain to the summit. Their journey is instead split into manageable steps. It may take some climbers a few days, it may take some a week. Each climber will have an individual journey based on the tools they have, and the experience they have already acquired.
Don’t be harsh on yourself if you don’t overcome a difficult situation as fast as ‘society’ would want you too. We are living an individual and unique experience here on Earth, it is more than ok to move at your own pace.

4) Knowing when it’s time to let go.

Just like the matchbox game, after my second time of completion, I put the game away. I don’t intend to play it again. It taught me quite a valuable lesson, the one I am sharing with you now. But does that mean I have to keep repeating the process? Heck no! Sometimes you simply come to the end of the road with a project, relationship etc. There is absolutely no shame in cutting your ties and moving on from the obstacle that is blocking you. Like the climbers’ in point (3) perhaps some of them did not yet have the tools to go over the mountain, but they did have the knowledge to move around it instead.

5) You are not alone!

This is most important point. Everyone experiences disappointments and frustrations. Just as everyone experiences celebration and achievements. None of these feelings are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ because both cause expansion, and are an opportunity for us to know ourselves better. Which is ultimately our true purpose here.
You might know you have survived challenges before, but if you still feel as though this new challenge can’t be overcome, please don’t feel isolated. Reach out to someone you trust, perhaps they can offer you solutions that you hadn’t thought about.

Most importantly, don’t judge or shame or even guilt trip yourself. And just like the matchbox challenge, know that if the game isn’t working for you, you can always decide to make your own rules and change direction. Have faith in yourself, because you have gotten yourself this far in ‘the game of life’ and that’s a pretty awesome accomplishment.

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