If you are old enough to read this blog, you have seen your fair share of times when the clouds roll in:
- When the struggle in a close relationship seemed to reach a point of despair
- When the strain of financial pressures in the home seemed overwhelming
- When our emotional or physical health seemed to be at a breaking point
- When our professional journey seemed unsatisfying after so many years
Just like in a bad storm, when the clouds roll in on our personal situation, the light of day is dimmed, and we struggle to find a clear path through the storm and become unsure if or how we are going to make it through.
As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, being most effective in handling our thoughts, decisions, and actions during times when the clouds roll in will be an important life skill to help us reach our full potential.
It should be no surprise that we all still can get caught off guard and sometimes shocked when the clouds roll in. The main reasons are two-fold; First, we tend to not proactively address an issue, or we dismiss it when it seems small and just routine. We typically only get serious when we hit the wall at a breaking point. Secondly, we have all been somewhat trained as young kids on the fairy tales of happily ever after and as adults with TV shows or movies where the problem gets solved and peace is brought back into the world. However, we all know that the reality we experience when the clouds roll in can stick around for a while and maybe does not ever get fully resolved.
Regardless of our present life situation, we can confidently state that we will continue to experience times when the clouds roll in. Here are few thoughts to help us be most effective in handling these difficult moments:
- We are not alone in experiencing some cloudy and dark situations. Despite the exterior of those around us, everyone has some dark moments. Take comfort in the fact that we are not an outlier with this present challenge.
- We have been here before and, in many cases, effectively handled the last time the clouds rolled in. Open the door to hope based on our past strength to overcome.
- Take one day at a time. There are no quick fixes to the major challenges in life. Taking very, very small steps in an effective direction is within our control.
- Reach out for a connection to someone. Perhaps a friend or family member or a professional trained to help. We run into greater trouble when we stay alone and isolated. Talking face to face and a comforting touch on the shoulder or the holding of someone’s hand can have dramatic effects on our mindset.
Once last thing, it is always best to try and address an issue sooner rather than later. Avoiding a seemingly small issue now may manifest itself in bigger and uglier ways in the future. In a genuine and caring manner, try and start the conversation today with those you care about most.
When the clouds roll in, if we can anchor our small day to day actions based on principles like courage and commitment, we will build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity for us to be most effective in addressing the situation and keep us on the pathway to reach our full potential.