Not too many of you know what it means to hit rock bottom. Rock bottom may be an unfamiliar place; we associate rock bottom as a complete means of failure. It may reinforce that we are not good enough, that we have hit the lowest of the low.
Many people have different ways of hitting rock bottom, maybe it’s a loss of money due to a poor investment, maybe it’s a sudden trauma, or maybe it’s giving up on ourselves.
We all have different ways of hitting rock bottom, or what it actually means for us, but one thing is for certain you can always find the silver lining out of any situation if you choose too.
Here are the ten things I learned from hitting rock bottom:
1. Being able to humble yourself.
Now this was not an easy task for me; I grew up a very ambitious young woman thinking nothing could stop me, until finally like being hit by a train, it all shattered in a moment’s instant.
I was in a panic. I felt anxious, nervous, confused, shocked, I didn’t know what I was going to do next, and felt like my life was over. I went from having a full-time job, my first apartment, and buying my own car, enrolled in college to being shocked in a paralysis state, waiting in the welfare line.
Being forced and pressured by family, to ask for public assistance, it took a toll on my ego. I was ashamed, embarrassed and disgusted by my situation because I grew up with the mentally of working hard and not to asking for help.
I didn’t view myself as someone on welfare; I thought they were beneath me, but here I was standing in the line for public assistance right with them.
Trust me when I say it hurt like a silver bullet, I felt lifeless, and all my hopes and dreams seemed like a distance memory, now nearly impossible to reach.
But the more I grew and pushed my ego aside, the more I was able to humble myself and have compassion and gratitude toward my situation and others struggle with it.
2. Recognizing our way isn’t always the best.
When we think we are unstoppable and have all the answers, we come off very egotistical and arrogant.
We start to believe that nobody else’s way is better than our own. But when you hit the pivotal moment of hitting rock bottom, we start to realize, that maybe our way isn’t always the best.
3. Asking for Help.
One thing many people seem to struggle with, including me, is asking for help. We grew up in a society where were conditioned to be independent individuals, and asking for help is a sign of weakness.
But asking for help is one of the strongest things we can do, especially when we are struggling.
It allows us to put our pride and ego aside to achieve something greater than we can do by ourselves. It allows us to see opportunities from a different perspective and to step out of our ego, learn something new, and transform our situation.
4. Use your resources, Use what you have.
Now let’s be realistic, when you hit rock bottom, it’s quite difficult to get anything new, and some things may be out of your reach, so it’s important to take into account what you have now and utilize it to your advantage.
For example: if you’re an artist, and all you have is a paint brush, utilize your paintbrush to make a masterpiece.
Don’t compare yourself to the high-tech graphic designer that has a computer, laptop Photoshop, lighting, or the latest software to create a beautiful design.
The graphic designer needs all those tools to make a masterpiece, while you have the resource of only your paint brush. And if you can make a masterpiece with the bare minimum imagine what you can do with the world at your feet.
Use what you have now.
5. Adopt new skills.
When I hit rock bottom, I had a great set of skills under my belt, but my situation pushed me to learn more.
I was forced to apply for jobs I had no skills for; I would enter at entry-level positions only to immerse myself with knowledge in the field.
I learned how to build an online presence by marketing and networking, working with a Tech Start-up, understanding white-glove service through a High-end Luxury Real Estate, creating curriculum and distributing E-courses, and live training, through Training and Development, and grant writing and philanthropy through a non-profit organization.
I probably wouldn’t have ever had the drive to learn new skills sets, as I did as when I hit rock bottom. It forced me to dapple in different industries I never had an interest in before.
6. Discover your strengths.
As I dappled in these different industries, one thing was certain I had strengths that were truly undeniable.
I was a fast learner, I could easily be taught, I could take director well, I could delegate, I could speak with compassion, made strong relationships, was a team player and took criticism well.
One thing that was undeniable was if someone doubted me, I would always prove them wrong, and this was my greatest strength.
Being underestimated showed me that someone could think of me as invaluable and replaceable, to begging me to stay, it showed me how valuable I truly was in any situation.
7. The value of money.
Now when you have nothing, but the bare minimal, it is easy to blow through money.
When you are in survival mode, you either spend like crazy or invest in what you need. Living off of $300-500 dollars a month in California is nearly impossible, especially LA.
You start to value your money and only spend on what you need which is the bare necessities. Every dollar you spend you start to keep track of it, and learn where it’s going, whether it’s to food, gas, clothes or even small unnecessary splurges.
You become more conscientious as to where your money is going, and your means of survival with what little you have.
8. Being present.
One thing I would always do before hitting rock bottom was always visualizing my life in the future, and how amazing it would look and how to get there.
When I hit rock bottom, I found myself doing the same thing only to find it nearly impossible to reach those same goals, taking the course I was in now. I would always be forward thinking doing future progressions, which took me away from dealing with reality.
Instead of being present and creating the life I imagined regardless of the obstacles or challenge I was facing, I used it as an escape mechanism. And only when I was fully present did I have the power to change my life course.
By being present, it allows you take the little steps each and every day to reach your goal. It doesn’t matter how far or nearly impossible it may be, it’s the action you take toward in your present moment that allows you to create your future vision.
9. Recognizing your motivation.
Before my motivation was to be the best, period. After hitting rock bottom, my motivation was my daughter, for her to be proud of me.
As a single mother, nobody wanted to get out of my situation more than myself. I taught myself how to pick myself up after a fall, and be the example I wish her to be.
I was able to find a motivation far greater than myself that allowed me to push harder each and every day toward my goals.
10. Finding your purpose.
Some people may already know their purpose in life, and others not so much.
For me, I thought it was becoming the best district attorney in California and defending others for justice, but it turns out that wasn’t it.
I found my purpose, by struggling through my situation and trying to find a solution out.
When I let go of my ego, I saw a future greater than I could have imagined, I saw a future of hope, joy, and excitement. My purpose was to share my skills, and struggles, to help empower others.
It was no longer about I, it was about we, and helping to transform the world which made my struggle more enjoyable and meaningful. Because now I know I am here for something greater than me.