When It All Seems Like Futility.... Do This
Oct 17, 2017
You have a goal, and you've made a plan, and you start out with lots of hope... and then you hit a bump. No big deal... charge ahead... keep trying... because you still have hope. But then another bump, and another, and another... until you start to lose that hope, little by little, and then you begin to wonder why you're trying at all. Have you ever been there?
The more I work with law enforcement and hear stories and watch events unfold, the more I start to wonder how these brave souls keep getting up every morning with enthusiasm and go to work, giving their all to a job that, yesterday, tore them down. My work is to teach these heroes how to care for their mental health and stay strong, resilient, and healthy, despite a world that seems intent on breaking them. I'm an entrepreneur, working long hours to spread the word about my training business and keep creating more training for these tireless rescuers. If you've ever been an entrepreneur, you know what an uphill climb it can sometimes be. I'm a 50-year-old single woman in the dating world... talk about a continuous feeling of futility. There are so many different social causes to support that it sometimes feels like there is no way one person can really contribute substantially to the greater good. You may be dealing with money struggles, troubled children, poor health, addiction, or some other sort of chaos that makes you sometimes wonder how you're going to keep going, or why you should. Let me tell you...
Someone needs you... to make that effort you've been making, to be here with your heart beating, and to have your plan in place. It may be hard, you may have bad days, or weeks, or months... but keep hanging in there. One of your days, or life moments, may be the one that makes a difference to someone else. You may smile at someone who was wondering if anyone would ever smile at them again, you may make a comment that is just what someone needed to hear that gives them inspiration or a solution to a problem. We influence people very often without even knowing we're doing it - you never know who is watching you, who's following your lead, or who still has hope because of something you're doing.
If you feel like everything you do is pointless, an act of futility, and you're wondering why you should keep trying, give yourself more time to find that answer. If you feel like you don't have any enjoyment in your life... make some. Find something to start doing that brings you happiness, calms you, or gives you a sense of fulfillment. Learn something new all the time, set goals, reach for things that may seem out of reach. Look up and around you, not down or behind you. Strive for good things, and make those things happen, even when you keep hitting bumps in the road to get there. Some of those bumps may feel more like walls. Go around them. Go over them. Go through them. Whatever you have to do.... get yourself to the other side of them.
If you need help, put your pride aside and ask for it. Find a resource, whatever it takes, and if you're feeling so much futility that you don't even have the energy to look, ask someone to help you. Don't have that person?... call a social resource -- that's their purpose in life, and you're their plan and their goal, and they want to help you -- 800-273-8255 is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You don't have to even be thinking about suicide to call them.... they'd love to just listen to you and help you find resources to keep you from ever getting to that point in the first place.
Purposely thinking positive thoughts actually trains your brain to think more positively, so it makes sense that doing this is a good idea. Read positive things, hear positive things, say positive things, focus on positive things... and start feeling more positive.
Lean on your friends or family. I had a pretty rough week this past week, and instead of acting like I was good and everything was fine, I shared my struggle with my close friends, and they rallied around, held me up, supported me, loved me, and reminded me they were there no matter what. They may have no idea just how much I needed that from them, or what a very deep effect it had on me. But if you have those people in your life, even ONE good friend... lean on them, and let them be a friend to you. And when it's your turn to be there for them, you'll be reminded of my earlier point.... someone needs you to be here, doing your thing.
If it feels like the world is against you, look at other parts of the world. If your immediate environment is hurtful, look just past it, find other things and people that aren't against you, and focus on them, surround yourself with them, and make them your new world. The whole world cannot be against you -- even mean-spirited, harm-causing idiots have followers and fans. Who do you think they listen to?... the critics, or the supporters? They listen to the ones that keep them moving ahead -- you need to do the same (but try to keep being a good person rather than a bad one).
Both problems and successes are temporary - you have to keep working to stay successful, and you have to keep trying to move away from problems. If you resign yourself to a situation you'll be stuck in a place where things happen to you, rather than you making things happen. You're going to hit bumps and walls... when you're making your plans to reach your goals, know this so you'll be prepared and more resilient to keep moving forward when it happens. No one's life is without obstacles - learn to be one of the people that pools all the resources, help, and knowledge necessary to find a way past them. Be purposely happy. Be intentionally hopeful, and when you can't see a reason to do so, find one. Get help - whether it's medical, psychological, or both. Don't ever be afraid to take care of yourself.
It's not futile. It's life... with ups, and down, and ups, and downs.... and you, my friend, can do this.