How To...Recover From Rock Bottom
The idea of “Rock Bottom” was always intriguing to me and I was filled with many questions, my main question being how do you know you’re at rock bottom? And what are you supposed to do when everything is crumbling at the same time? Well Summer/Fall 2016 I learned the hard way as I felt like I’d lost absolutely everything and it seemed to be happening back to back. It was the first time I really understood the Bible character Job. But what I learned during my “rock bottom” is that there’s beauty found in the ability to recreate yourself and to become the 2.0 version (new and improved). So! How do we recover from rock bottom?
1. Give yourself grace
Okay. So sometimes you have to preach to yourself sometimes so if this doesn’t apply to you, I just need y’all to bear with me! With that being said one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced on a personal level is extending the same grace and forgiveness to myself that I freely give to others. I don’t think I’m alone in this but in the chance I am DON’T JUDGE ME!!!!! But if you’re anything like me, you’re probably really hard on yourself and hold grudges against yourself longer than you probably should. That thing you’ve been holding onto for years?...Yeah forgive yourself!
We’re imperfect humans and we’re not always going to get things right all the time. Things happen whether it was your fault or not you have to find a way to move forward and extend grace to yourself. You may have made horrible choices, or maybe horrible things have happened to you, or maybe the things you want just haven’t happened. Give yourself grace and be kind to yourself!
Now that we have come to terms with our standing in rock bottom, it’s time for some intense self-reflection! Get clear about where you are currently, where you’d like to be, and evaluate what the deficit is. It may not be a pretty picture but I promise you it’s a necessary step. I remember when I hit my financial rock bottom and boy was that ugly, but it was finally time to take a serious look at my finances and evaluate where I was strong and where I wasn’t. I had to bite the bullet and get real with myself (and my mom who’s an accountant lol) in order to make genuine progress in the right direction!
3. Create a game plan
Once you know where you’re struggling, it’s time to come up with a game plan. If there are multiple areas in your life where you feel like you’re struggling I suggest starting with the easiest area to fix or the more important area to fix. For me (when I was at rock bottom) I decided to start with my finances because it fit both categories, it was easy to fix because all it took was some strategy and organization, but it was also the most important because if your money isn’t right…nothing else will be! I sat down with my mother and evaluated what I owe, what I earn, and how to make those numbers work cohesively. With my structured game plan I was able to pay off debt, save a good chunk of change, increase my credit score, and have a little fun! Whatever it is that you’re struggling to overcome, seek help from someone who has a deep understanding of that area.
4. Accountability is key
If you’ve been following me any amount of time, you already know how I feel about accountability and how necessary it is to growth and development. When I was recovering from my rock bottom I had an accountability partner for literally everything! Financial (my mom/accountant), spiritual (lady at my church), emotional (my therapist), professional (my work mom), sorority (my Sigma mommy), business (my mentor), and an overall accountability partner (my best friend). I literally had all of my bases covered and it kept me aligned with the goals I had for myself. Sometimes just knowing someone has the right to ask the tough questions and holds the “sit down and shut up” card is all it takes to keep you engaged in the things YOU said you wanted to do!
5. Live your best life
Lastly, please live your very best life. Don’t know what that will include? Revisit step 2…it’s time for some more self-evaluation. One quote that has stuck with me the most and has almost become my mantra is “Whatever’s good for the soul…do that!” Now be clear that doesn’t mean living your life recklessly and carelessly, but I believe it means catering to the desires of your heart and allowing yourself to move in a way that feels organic. For example, just because I want to go to fancy restaurants every weekend and travel every week…doesn’t mean that’s good for my soul because if I’m not financially prepared for those adventures, then it will lead to long term havoc. However, if I know I enjoy eating at nice restaurants and I want to travel, what’s good for my soul is planning for these adventures and including them in my budget!