It´s amazing how editing travel photos can bring back such vivid memories. It´s one of the things I love the most about post production. My mind wanders back to all the details, like the feeling of the freezing Parisian morning air, the energy of the vibrant city waking up, the taste of strong expresso from a local cafe and the sound of fast speaking frenchmen saying “cest la vie”.
So far, I´ve visited Paris more than 20 times in my life, and I love coming back to explore new areas, new galleries, restaurants and seek inspiration. This time I wanted to capture the essence of Paris during the freezing cold winter. When I got up at dawn to go on my photo walks the temperature was -10 degrees. Uff, but the morning light was ALL worth it!
Sometimes life hits you hard in the face. Difficult life circumstances brings you to your knees making you feel an overwhelming sense of powerlessness.
Setbacks, heartbreaks, stress, depression, losses, lack of passion and meaning. It´s something we can´t escape – it´s part of life! Oh, how wonderful it would be to control our life journey, and avoid pain for ourselves and our loved ones. The hard truth: some experiences in life is out of our control.
The good news is, that what you can control is how you react. How you deal with your life circumstances are your choice and 100% in your control.
So how can you help yourself when you explore pain and frustration?
How can you minimize chaos, drama and unbearable emotions when life tests you the most?
How can you pull yourself up when you are down facing the darkness?
What To Do When You Feel Like Throwing In The Towel
#1: Don’t Isolate Yourself – Give Your Pain A VOICE
When I´m hurt, I want to isolate myself BIG time; in my bed, behind a closed door, phone off avoiding all calls. I also know that doing so will quickly make me feel much worse since I will be alone with my thoughts and pain. So I made this rule that I´m allowed to do it for one day – one day only! Then I force myself to reach out to someone in my life that I know will care. It always helps.
The key is to give your pain a voice. From years working as a coach and therapist, I know the number one most important factor to release emotional pain is to put words to what you feel. If you keep all your negative thoughts and emotions to yourself, they will own you – rob you of your power and bring you further down into misery.
Putting words to your pain will be healing in it-selves. Don´t worry about making sense, or sounding crazy – just say it out loudly. If you lock your feelings up inside of you, it can lead to depression and anxiety.
What actually happens when we are in pain, is that we believe we are the only one in the world feeling like this and thinking these negative thoughts. We think that no one will understand us.
The truth is that everyone on this planet knows what emotional pain is and everyone will recognize your negative thoughts and feelings. So in reality you are not alone. Even if you find yourself rambling for a while embrace it – speak up and let the pain out!
#2: Pull The Plug From ALL Drama In Your Life
We can all be lured into some unhealthy drama or evil game, which is extremely hurtful for you and other people playing along. If you find yourself in the role of a drama-queen or a victim of one, pull out of that game NOW! I promise you, nothing good will come of it!
Take your pride and stuff it down the drain. No matter how hurt you are, be strong and decide that you will not play this awful game. The drama can´t continue if you pull out. Put your best foot forward and show the world how to solve conflicts with kindness.
Whatever drama-situation you find yourself in, your strongest assets will always be kindness and peace. Know that you are too good to be part of any drama! Don´t let anyone lure you in that direction. Consciously choose to let all drama slip right past you – in the end people will stop playing games with you.
You teach people how to treat you. Stand up for yourself, don’t play games, be true to your core values and kill drama with kindness and peace. When you decide to end the drama in your life, you will be in control again.
Surround yourself with kind, drama-free people who lift you up and support you. Diss the rest!
#3: Turn Failure Into Transformation
The positive thing about your struggles is that it will change you, make you stronger and more caring about others. It develops sympathy and compassion in us. We become better friends, parents and partners when we have experienced pain and setbacks.
Sometimes the best gifts in life come in ugly wrapping paper. The struggle you’re dealing with in the present may make you more receptive to the needs of someone else who needs you down the road.
For example, I started my photography training business back in 2010 out of frustrations of not finding a safe place to learn myself. All I met was photographers laughing at me when I asked a “simple” question. The humiliation and rejection I felt back then helped me build a 6-figure business.
No matter what kind of pain you are in. No matter what failure you are experiencing you can always ask yourself this:
“What can I learn from this experience? And how can I use this knowledge to my advantage in the future?”
You will always learn more from your setbacks, than from your success. It´s during your most challenging times you develop the most as a human being. Focus on the learning experience in the process and release all worries and all drama.
Next time you feel like throwing in the towel, know that you are a powerful + wonderful human being, who are able to control how you react in any circumstance in life. Be strong. Be kind. Speak up. Stand up for yourself and embrace the change that comes with the ups and downs in your life.