If you haven’t been to rock bottom before, you’ve certainly heard those rags to riches stories. It makes you wonder sometimes, “Have I suffered enough to really make it in today’s world?” It was this thought that shook my life up forever. So I packed my car up with my clothes and books and drove from Illinois to California. I had a couch to sleep on in Los Angeles, no job, and enough money to survive for maybe 30 days if I stretched every penny.

This put me in an amazing mindset and validated my original reasons for forcing this hardship upon myself. 

#1 Having Nothing to Lose

The moment I made the decision I was going to quit my job in Illinois and move to California with no real plan, I knew I was in for a ride. It started bringing flashbacks from when I was 18 and on my own—broke, hungry, and absolutely miserable. I had the absolute largest growth period that year, not only professionally, but personally too.

This instant validation from previous memories of growth and success was enough for me to know that I had made the right choice, no matter how uncomfortable it was going to be for a while.

#2 Removing the Day to Day Rituals

This is actually the first reason I had decided I really needed a change. I mentioned before that I had struggled quite a bit when I was 18. Life was rough. After I reached rock bottom, I catapulted my entire life forward at least 300%. I created amazing habits at work and at home that contributed greatly to my success.

However, the biggest problem most of us face once we reach a certain level of success is that we become content, lazy, and stuck. This is because of our day-to-day rituals we start creating once we have a few lazy days. Forcing yourself back to rock bottom shakes up your day-to-day rituals and actually allows you to reinvent them over again so you can guarantee your success.

#3 Forcing Creativity

Creativity is vital for success. As mentioned before, when we get stuck in the same day to day rituals, it’s tough to get out of them. We lose our creative side. It’s like we’re stuck with writer’s block and can’t get out of it.

Forcing creativity  is an amazing way to really open up and develop a new version of your business, yourself, and your life.

Before this movie, it was a challenge to push out more than 800-900 words each day for all of the publications I contribute to. Now? It’s a slow day if I’m not jotting down 3,500-4,000 words before 10 am. It’s like I found a secret steroid for my mind that forces words and ideas out that are extremely easy to execute on.

#4 Reinventing Yourself

When you hit rock bottom, you generally lose contact with friends, some family, and most other connections.

The upside? You’re reinventing yourself as the person you know you are. The person you haven’t been able to live up to in the past. Each of us deep down inside are phenomenal people, and we fight every single day to express that to others.

I needed a way to really separate myself from all of the negative influences in my life and reintroduce myself to the positive influences I have connected with. The people I surround myself with have changed 10-fold. It’s been incredible. I’ve let go of everyone negative and started surrounding myself with people I want to be like in the future. “My future circle”

#5 Relearning To Deal With Struggle

As success hits you and life becomes almost like a breeze, problems become small in our eyes because we’ve dealt with them before. But this makes it almost impossible to grow at a steady rate. Why? Well, for one solid reason: we haven’t had to deal with new problems for a while. When you’re stuck in a rhythm, it can be a challenge to deal with larger and newer problems. 

Forcing yourself back into rock bottom is the most efficient way to relearn how to deal with large amounts of struggle in the moment. It keeps your thoughts fresh, it forces you to be creative, to reinvent yourself, remove your day to day rituals, and to simply live like you have nothing to lose.

I’ve already learned to deal with struggle and have begun my journey reinventing myself.

The question is, what will you learn?Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Cole VanDeWoestyne
Watch My Journey as I Climb Back to The Top

At only 22 years old I’ve experienced a lot. I’ve ran metallurgical departments in steel foundries and managed over 20 sales people at one of the largest car dealerships in the Midwest. I’ve recently forced myself to rock bottom to ignite the fire that once burned inside of me. I moved from Illinois to California spontaneously and have started my writing career. Sleeping on a friends couch and eating peanut butter in jelly has been a loud wake up call from the comforts I once enjoyed.