Before I begin, I want to tell you that there is no shame to be struggling in life.
You might be struggling with finances, struggling because of a relationship, struggling with depression, struggling with your job, struggling with not having a job, struggling with addiction, struggling with issues in your family or struggling with just about anything.
And I want to tell you, that you’re not alone.
In my own life I have struggled with many things:
- Struggled with my studies that I had to drop out of college
- struggled with not having money to even pay my tuition fees and being tired of being broke.
- struggled with not having a job and being constantly compared to my friends who had already started earning
- struggled with body weight issues
- struggled with a father who was an addict and had depression
- struggled with severe depression and anxiety myself
- struggled with a family member ever since I was a kid
- struggled with heartbreak, with my self-esteem, confidence and many other things.
Some of these struggles are what I grew up with, some of them happened at different points in my life and some of them simultaneously.
How I shifted my struggles and changed my life is a long story, but it all started as I decided to take my personal growth seriously and brought more kindness and intention into my life.
But I know when you’re struggling, all your problems seem to be magnified, and it is hard to focus or see how our future will ever be, that you start questioning, “What is the point of living at all if life is only about struggles?”
And here I want to tell you what I know now- that life is not just about struggles. There is really so much more.
Right now, if you’re failing to believe in this, it’s okay.
Just hang on to that thought and keep it for testing.
But for now, if you’re feeling like your struggles are sucking your joy, your enthusiasm and your energy about everything in life, I want to share these 15 essential reminders for you to keep in mind.
I hope they help you and bring you comfort, hope and encouragement.
10 things to remember when you’re struggling in life
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1. You are meant to be here
In a book or a movie, the story only becomes more interesting when a climax is born- when your favourite character is going through a big problem that’s when the real story begins.
Without the climax, not a single good story can be born.
When this part of the story comes, as an audience or a reader, we know exactly what the character has to do and we sincerely hope the character does the right thing.
Sometimes we even feel like shouting at them-
“Go give it another try”
“Oh no! Don’t give up”
“Go the hell after it!”
“You’re not a failure”
“You are the best!”
And we keep rooting for our favourite characters because we know their potential and what they can achieve.
Finally, when they do go after it, that eases us and we are relieved to have a happy ending.
When we are struggling, we are at the climax of our own story and our story too has all the potential to have a happy ending.
Without this climax, our story would not be interesting either.
And the best part? We are our own directors, actors, managers and producers of our lives.
When you’re struggling, you need to step out and you need to see yourself as being part of a potentially wonderful and great story.
Zoom out and see your life from the lens of a director.
Zoom out and see your life from the eyes of a reader or a loving audience.
Step out of your life mentally and analyse your life as an observer.
What would you shout to yourself? What would you be rooting for?
Start rooting for the character that you are in your life.
You are meant to play this role of whatever you’re playing.
You are meant to struggle so that you can show others how it can be overcome.
Become an artist of your own life.
You are meant to be here.
P.S. If you are ready to give a try at working on yourself and changing your life, I have recently created a Special challenge/Guide for you to Change your Life in 7 days.
I think you’ll love it if you give it a try for 7 days and see what’s possible for you.
2. You are more than your struggles
Remember that you are braver and much bigger than the problems and struggles you are facing.
The size of your life is infinitely greater than the problems and struggles you are going through.
You / Your life >>>>>> Problems.
Don’t let your struggles and problems become your whole life and the only thing that consumes you.
Don’t let your problems become the centre of your every conversation and life.
You are a living human being.
We forget what a miracle it is to be this living breathing human being. Make use of being a living human being- capable of walking, thinking, dreaming and doing anything.
Continue to do things on the side even as you struggle.
Make art. Have hobbies. Write poetry. Read books. Travel where you can. Start a blog. Make candles or do anything.
Keep doing things on the side. Don’t let your problems and struggles stop you from becoming whole.
In short- Disrespect your problems. Show them how big you are and how it was a bad move for them to challenge you.
Continue to keep your struggles as a tiny dot, or tiny dots as compared to the big life that you have and are.
P.S here are some ideas:
3. Don’t let others narrate your story
People are very good at narrating other’s stories and even other’s characters.
But they always fall short.
That’s because other people are only good at narrating our story looking at our past or our present ‘outer’ reality.
A family member of mine never believed in me. When I was studying (and not earning) she would narrate my story as being unable to ever get a job or do something out of my life.
“I don’t know how long she will keep on studying” (when I decided to do my master’s)
“I guess she will keep on studying and won’t get a job even after I die”
These were some of the narrations I used to hear.
This family member only saw my present outer reality, not the inner work I was doing. Not the hard work I was putting in. Not the struggles I was facing. Not the hours I was giving into my studies and in my growth.
She failed to see where I could be and what I could do in future.
And that’s what it always happens.
Other people can only judge our story by looking at where we are currently, not where we can be.
Only a few are really capable of narrating our story looking at our future possibilities and potential.
When that happens, you need to remind yourself to believe in yourself.
Don’t let others narrate your story and don’t believe in their incomplete story.
Let it fuel you instead as you’re struggling in life.
Complete your story for yourself and show them what they failed to see.
There is no satisfaction more than proving those who didn’t believe in you wrong.
Keep believing in yourself even when no one does.
4. Bless people who are ahead of you
When you are struggling and in a bad state of life, it’s hard to feel happy for those who are doing great in their life.
When we see what they have that we don’t have, it’s very easy for the feelings of jealousy, envy or comparisons to come.
But here, I want to remind you that you should be really mindful of these feelings.
Many of us don’t admit that it is envy or jealousy, but if you feel like criticizing their life, their moves and their way of being, you need to be mindful of it.
The feelings of jealousy envy and comparisons only create more lack in life. They only create more blockages because the root cause of it comes from the belief that you can’t ever have it.
If you truly trust yourself in your journey, you will be happy for them for the efforts they have put in their life to reach that position.
Here a small thing to remember if such less than positive feelings crop up is that- it is only your mind that makes comparisons and feels jealousy, hatred or enjoyment, our hearts know no such thing.
Our hearts are always free of judgment and is the purest of all.
Focus on your heart that is so vast and encompassing and capable of being truly happy for other people’s happiness and success.
Remember- You are not your mind, you are your heart.
Go independently in your journey without the pressure of comparisons or reaching where others have reached.
Reach where YOU want to reach. The truth is, in the end, there is no one ahead of you, neither behind you.
5. Make curiosity your friend
When you’re struggling with something or in life in general, you end up losing your zest for life and life stops being interesting.
But life actually has stopped being interesting and we feel that there are only more and more struggles, because we have stopped being curious.
Bringing curiosity into your life is a gift you can give to yourself.
If you’re struggling with finances, making money and want to get rich, be curious about what the rich people do, how do they make money, what you can learn about saving money and all such stuff.
For this, start reading books on wealth and finance, listen to good podcasts, watch YouTube videos, and google the best books to read to make money.
If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, be curious about what it would be like to go to therapy if you haven’t. There is no harm in trying. But don’t give up on yourself.
If you’re struggling with a relationship, be curious about what it is that is really causing problems and get to the root of it.
In a relationship, self-awareness and inner growth is the most important thing. Our outer relationships are a reflection of our own relationship with self-awareness.
The more you put in the inner work, the more the outer relationships flourish.
Be curious what would happen if you make a change.
I wanted to see what happens if I didn’t give up. I still want to see what happens if I keep on going.
I am happy for where I am right now and it’s all because I decided to try and be curious.
6. Nourish your mind and body
Keep nourishing your mind and body with good things.
Eat good and healthy food.
Work out and exercise regularly. It’s a must.
Even if you’re struggling a lot, if you exercise, a lot of it will vanish away.
I find working out healing. Moving our body has a transformative power most don’t talk about.
I automatically feel good after a good workout. When I am feeling down, I exercise and I feel motivated again.
Similarly, nourish your mind. Read good books. Listen to good podcasts. Sit down in silence. Journal your heart out and keep growing through your struggles.
As they famously quote, ‘Grow through what you go through’
7. Being is more important than doing
When you’re going through your struggles and feel like you’re not doing anything, or you feel like what you’re doing is not enough, remember that being is more important than doing.
The Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh says,
“We have a tendency to think in terms of doing and not in terms of being. We think that when we’re not doing anything, we’re wasting our time. But that is not true. Our time is first of all for all of us to be
To be what? To be peaceful, to be joyful, to be loving. And that is what the world needs the most.”
Here is a post I wrote on this: On Being Vs Doing:Focusing on Being more than doing
Thay (as his students lovingly call him) changed my life in so many ways and if you have never heard of him before, you should read some of his books or listen to the podcast ‘The Way Out is in’.
8. Be excited about your future
Don’t give up and keep working on yourself and your goals. Be excited about your future and be so certain about it.
When we were still in our tough times, I remember me and my mother would still sing, ‘Apna Time Aayega’ (My time will come)
It was from the movie ‘Gully Boy’ recently released at the time and we both loved it.
We would sing it every time and I would work out on this song truly believing and being excited that our time will really come.
And it did. Our life slowly began to shift in beautiful ways.
So be excited about your future and for this, you can do so many things to get excited:
- Start writing down your goals
- Make a vision board. (Here is how to make a vision board that manifests)
- Sit for visualization every day
- Read autobiographies of great people. (Best Autobiographies of all time)
- Listen to motivating songs
- Pray (here is why I pray and how to pray)
Just keep believing in yourself and in your future no matter what.
9. You don’t have to wait for the greener side
Please don’t wait for the greener side to be happy.
We struggle more because we think happiness lies on the other side and it won’t ever come to us.
We keep waiting for this or that to happen and keep our happiness on hold.
We wait for when our struggles will end so that we can be happy.
But it doesn’t work that way.
You have to be happy first and then your struggles will slowly vanish away.
Happiness is not the result of success. Success is the result of happiness.
Don’t wait for things to get right to be happy. Make the best use of the moment you have and be happy now.
Happiness is a habit that needs to be cultivated.
Here are some of the happy habits that will make you happy NOW.
10. Cut down on complaints
Watch your words, because you are always listening.
The more you complain, the more you put yourself down because you are always listening and feeling the energy of the words you say directly.
Remove negative affirmations from your life and be watchful of them.
Stop saying, “I am so tired of my life”
“I am so depressed”
“Life is full of struggles”
“My problems never go away”
“I can’t do anything with my life”
The more you keep saying such things the more you keep reinforcing such beliefs in yourself.
Whatever we say, we end up doing exactly so.
Words are the most powerful weapons we have that can be used to do the greatest good or the greatest harm.
Be watchful of them and speak only those things that you want to receive in your life.
Go on a 24-hour complaint fast.
Don’t complain even once. Then notice how you feel like complaining and also end up complaining about some things.
Was it truly necessary? Could anything be changed by complaining?
The struggle is already hard. Don’t make it harder with your complaints and negative beliefs.
Final reminder when you’re struggling in life
Lastly, as I end here I would like to give you my final reminder, and it is this-
You deserve your own compassion.
Be kind to yourself in this journey. There will never be another you.
You are getting this chance to live this life. You got it because you were able to live it.
And live not just to survive, but to thrive.
Your struggles are fodder for your growth so that you can tell a wonderful and inspiring story of how you’ve overcome.
There is not a single person who has become successful without struggling
To struggle is Human
We are all struggling. And that is what makes us human.
Our struggles are what helps us connect with each other and be vulnerable. And it’s in our vulnerability that great bonds are built.
Have compassion for yourself and see yourself as a loving friend who needs your support.
Also, have compassion for your life. Life has not done anything wrong to you. You are in charge of it all.
Ask for wisdom. Ask for guidance from your heart. You know the way.
To struggle is Noble
And if you ask me, why is it noble?
It is because our struggles always teach us so much more about ourselves and about life than our success ever will.
But nothing will happen if you don’t let your struggles teach you and make you better. If you don’t want to learn and be better,
So it’s up to you, how you use your struggles- will you use it to make you small, bitter and resentful of life and others or will you use your struggles to learn how something is done, to learn how to grow, to feel compassion, to open up and be as vast as the sky?
The choice is yours.
We are not here to be small.
P.S This was a part from my Mindful Monday Newsletter. If you liked what you read and want to receive my updates, join below. It would be wonderful to have you ❤️