The Only Way Out, is In
Posted On: August 14, 2018
Robyne F. Howard, Psy.D.
Lakefront Counseling Group, Ltd.
Throughout one’s lifespan, it is nearly impossible to avoid challenges: loss of loved ones, financial difficulties, children with special needs, health issues, job loss, depression and anxiety, struggles with your partner or boss. The list goes on. Few of us live life unscathed.
Developing strategies to manage challenges is lifelong and an important part of your development. Strife and turmoil, as painful and difficult as it might be, help us to create internal muscle mass and a greater capacity for tolerance. Akin to lifting weights, the more weight you lift, the more frequently you practice, the greater your ability to press even more.
As with lifting, to build internal muscle mass you need to face challenges, most of the time, head on. Entering the problem, whether it is a conflict with your partner or parents, or significant anxiety that has developed or deciding on whether or not to end a romantic relationship, requires an ability to move towards the struggle, not away.
How do you develop solid strategies to navigate through life’s challenges? Be mindful of what your thoughts and feelings are. Take note of what your internal voice tells you. Collect data by talking with trusted friends and family. Read and learn more about how others have faced your challenge. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with accepting others and show up as you are.
Seeking help through therapy, in groups, with peers or through your faith, is not only wise, but courageous. Remind yourself that conflicts are unavoidable and that by moving towards them, you are strengthening yourself.