How to Get out of a Dark Place

July 22 4

It's easy to believe that every day is special when things are going well. Yesterday I had a big disappointment, no need to share the personal details here, but for a while I was very upset, then full of despair as my mind began thinking of all the worst case scenarios that could ensue from this event.

This is despite my years of training in coaching, and learning how to control those pesky unhelpful thoughts, I am only human and I still succumb to negative thinking on occasion. In the past this has led me into depression and a sense of hopelessness. The difference is I now have learnt many ways to make sure that I don’t stay in that dark place.

One of the coaching tools I use with clients is to reflect on what research has shown us – that when we go through challenges, uncomfortable as it may  be, there are at least three gifts that we can take away from this situation.

Initially I couldn’t see this, I was far too emotional to process this. There were tears. But after sitting quietly with this, I did come up with three insights. This helped shift my mood enormously, and although I was still sad I  began to appreciate what we all know, life is full of ups and downs, what matters is how we respond to challenges, how resilient we are. I know this, but this was a painful reminder.

And after a good night’s sleep I am indeed grateful for the three gifts, and more, and what I have learnt about myself. Still learning, still growing and ever grateful for my life, it’s not perfect but I am truly blessed.

I have shared this quote before, and I looked at it with fresh eyes today:

Cancer taught me to stop saving things for a special occasion. Every day is special. You don't have to get cancer to start living life to the fullest. My post-cancer philosophy? No wasted time. No ugly clothes. No boring movies. - Regina Brett

I love this approach, what would you add to this list? Mine are:

No shoes that hurt.

No spending time with people who bring me down.

No working in a job that saps my soul.


What would you add? I’d love to know what you think.

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