I like to think of myself as a positive person (at least most of the time). I try to live my life doing the right thing (at least most of the time). I believe that hard work is important to get what you want and to get what you deserve, but I also believe that things work out like they should (most of the time).
What happens when life hits you sideways and all of your beliefs are questioned? I know that all of us have different ideas about things, but it doesn’t matter what the specific belief is that’s being questioned. What matters is how we react when the things that we believe in are no longer dependable. We have each been in a position where something happens that makes you wonder if what you’ve always believed in is true or not and, if not, what then? What do you do?
Like I said, I get along by staying on the road, doing what I can to get by, and believing in fate to take care of the rest. I’ve been able to get most of the things that I’ve wanted through hard work, persistence (stubbornness), and the belief that I could do it. Of course, I am also realistic and didn’t reach for the stars or anything unreasonable, but rather those things that were within my own reality to achieve. I didn’t really have a career, but a job to pay the bills. I didn’t get rich, but made enough money to (just) afford the American dream of a family, house, and three kids. I am very happy with that. Did I want more money? Of course, but I’m realistic and tried to live mostly within my means. There’s always going to be more that we want but, to me, the key to being happy was all about appreciating what I had and what I was able to accomplish. I’m always finding things that make me happy. I have lived believing that this was good, that this was the right way to live. I thought that by staying within reason in both my expectations and abilities, I wouldn’t suffer too much disappointment. I figured life always works out in the end and that, since I had faith (and hard work), things would work out like they’re supposed to.
Of course life throws curveballs at you and things happen that you don’t expect, but up until now I’ve always been able to navigate these pitfalls. Of course things happen that we have to deal with and I did. They may not have worked out perfectly and I definitely had some detours that I didn’t see coming, but you just find your way through it. I thought it was finally my turn to ride out this next part of my life with little effort, much patience, and no big surprises. Well, surprise! My health and, consequently, my finances have taken a bit of a hit…and then another one…and a few more. At first, I was like, well, that’s okay. Stuff happens, nothing new, and I’ll deal with it. I did, but then there was more. Then it starts getting defeating and harder to find your way back to optimism and faith.
So my question is: what do YOU do when things start getting harder and you have doubts about what you’ve always believed in? I’ve tried staying positive, I keep doing everything I’m supposed to do, I haven’t given up, I repeat affirmations that things always work out like they’re supposed to and when they’re supposed to. I am really struggling to keep believing this, though. I’m looking for some ideas on how to keep my chin up, how to keep doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I guess this is what we call a crisis of faith except that I’m not really spiritual, although I’ve tried that too. How do you get back to believing in these things, in yourself and in life, with confidence once you start doubting them? Any ideas? Please share your tips on how you manage setbacks and doubt and how you get yourself back on track. I’m pretty sure we could all use some of these tips in our toolbox.