This article was last updated on December 29, 2015
One morning, the sunbeams woke you up. You lie in bed, and memories of a recent terrible event, like losing your job, the death of a loved one, failing a course, or breaking up with a long-time partner come gushing in.
The realization that you didn’t die in your sleep – especially if you somehow wished for it to happen – is terrifying, at least in this case.
It feels like you’ve got nothing to live for. Your chest starts to feel heavy as you sit up, and your mind pops in this question:
“What the hell am I doing?”
These kinds of events bring out the worst in us: we either fall into a pit of depression, not willing to climb out or we start the long, winding process of self-destruction. It’s harsh, and you have to admit you woke up in a morning like this at some point in your life.
Basically, you’ve hit rock-bottom, and it feels like Dwayne Johnson just pulled off the popular wrestling move “Rock Bottom” on you. Jokes aside, when it feels like your dreams are shattered and you feel like you have nothing to live for, settle down, cry, grab a notebook and plot your comeback.
Take a Break
Breaks are never a waste of time, especially if they are spent on recovering from a tedious and depressing ordeal. Resting up is a must, and the key here is to simply spend it the right way. Take a leave of absence from work – visit your parents, go and have weekend beers and barbecue with your friends, and regularly watch your sports team duke it out with their rivals.
Anything which can help in reducing the release of stress hormones in the bloodstream and create an opening for you to walk into and move forward will help. Remember, life’s too short to be stressing yourself out over something you can’t control.
Remember though, your goal here is to NOT forget the depressing experience – your goal is to see the beauty of life once again.
Walk your dog around the neighborhood, see the sunset, and hear the children’s laughter. Life is beautiful, all you need to do is open your eyes, and clear the cobwebs off your mind.
Craft New Experiences
Life is like a role playing game: every ordeal is an experience, and when you’ve completed your quota, your level will increase. The lack of motivation and the feeling of not knowing how to press onward are comparable to facing a seemingly unbeatable video game boss. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t dodge the baddie’s giant axe.
If you’re stuck at a certain point in a video game, retrace your steps, and “grind”. In a real-life scenario, you’re supposed to stand up and try out new things, especially ones you’ve never tried out before. Life experiences allow you to “level up”, and more importantly, discover things about yourself.
Check out the restaurant you’ve been raring to eat at, or travel solo to an unfamiliar place. Getting lost (literally) will help you find yourself, and you’ll end up learning a lot.
Add Value to Yourself
Finally, you’ve realized you’re never getting your dream job at first try. You’ve set the bar high by giving yourself lofty goals, only to fall short. Whether it’s entering a university you wanted to enroll in or getting hired by the firm you’ve wanted to work for, rejection can ultimately lead to depression. That being said, this also applies to relationships – being rejected by someone you love is devastating.
Rather than sit in the corner and self-destruct, plot your comeback. After all, success is the best revenge: read the stories of Milton Hershey, Manny Pacquiao, J.K. Rowling, and Steve Jobs and be inspired. Adversity is nothing in the face of determination.
In your case, fine-tune and hone your skills and capabilities, and then make a comeback after doing so. Here are examples:
• Didn’t get hired by the company you wanted to work for? Join another one, hone your skills, and add more bulk your resume. Become an asset to the company that accepted you. Once you have the experience, you can either apply again or better yet, stay put.
• Got rejected by the woman of your dreams? Hit the gym, study hard, improve your appearance, and work hard. By being preoccupied with enjoyable activities and your priorities, you’ll end up hitting two birds in one stone: you’ll improve and might even find another person on the way.
Remember though, you’re not supposed to add value to yourself with the aim of destabilizing the person or the party who rejected you. Do it with the correct mindset, which is doing it with the goal of getting better.
Do Volunteer Work
If you feel like you can’t be happy, dedicate your time to making other people happy: the best way to do so is to do volunteer work. Volunteering gives you a sense of self-worth and purpose, given that you know your deeds are for a good cause and are making other people smile.
Whether it’s cleaning the community park, working on the animal shelter, or helping out in the soup kitchen, volunteer work is always fulfilling. Also remember that volunteer work on your resume catches the eyes of prospective employers!
Update Your Goals
There is nothing constant in this world, but change. In order to adapt to the perpetually-changing world, you’ll need to conform because if you don’t you’ll end up getting the shorter end of the stick. By conforming, you’ll need to update and possibly change your goals.
You’re probably saying that this is crazy, but let me ask you, did you end up becoming someone you dreamed of when you were a toddler? Times change, and so do your needs and wants. Take up a practical degree, apply for a newer job, and pursue new hobbies.
Change is never adversity, but a chance to improve. Use it to make a comeback.
Pursue Your Hobbies
There are people who work on full-time jobs in order to support a hobby. If you’re not supporting a family, why don’t you take it up a notch? If you like photography, save up, buy a better camera, and take lessons. If you enjoy writing, grab a pen and write a story.
Channel the negative energy into something productive and tangible. For example, Edgar Allan Poe was an alcoholic and was a crazy and depressed person, and he transformed that sadness into beautiful – yet depressing – poems and literary pieces. His works have had a huge impact in American literature, and most are still being discussed in classrooms worldwide.
Be inspired and bring your hobbies to life. Although it would be hard at first (the start is always difficult), but once you get the ball rolling, it’ll be hard to stop. In any case, you may also want to work on turning them into profit – put up a photography studio or take up a freelance job of some sort. As they say, it’s always best to make your passion your profession.
Overall, there are a lot of things you can do in order to mount a comeback. Life’s too short for regrets and sadness – appreciate the little things and always put a foot forward. You may not know where you’ll end up, but at least you will never stagnate.
You’ve never hit rock-bottom: you only feel like you do.
So, what’s your comeback story? Please share it to us on the comments!