4 Steps to Take If Your Life Feels “Successful, But With a Struggle”

Even if you think you are a high functioning superstar in moments of major stress, taking everyone else’s needs into consideration before your own, the stage you strut will eventually break.  You’ll find yourself lying on your back in the middle of your living room looking up at the ceiling covered in a constellation of sushi and soy sauce wondering how you got there.  Well, at least I did.  That was the moment the married life I was desperately trying to save and keep as a “normal success”, fell apart.  

I had been lying to myself and trying to hold it together for the sake of having a husband, yet the silent witnesses in my apartment all knew what they knew before I did.  The overturned kitchen table that nestled into the upright legs of the kitchen chairs, silverware splattered throughout the carpet like glitter, or the ceramic soy sauce bowls that had been thrown sky high to the heavens only to fall back in a side-lying rescue position all knew what they knew before I knew.  My marriage was over.

To tell anyone, much less myself, I was living in a stressful unhappy marriage would have been admitting there was a failure in my life when I’d rather not say that out-loud.  I wanted everyone to believe that it was all great, all perfect.  No one knew the insecurity I felt, the complete and utter absence of stability to my life and bank account.  All of my worth was depleting, like a hole in the bottom of a sinking ship, and I was going down in flames without a life preserver.  

On the outside, I was very successful, together, calm, and properly dressed with my hair neatly styled.  Every morning leaving home wearing my white nursing shoes and freshly pressed scrubs, I was a vision of the typical hard working perfectionist who excelled at work and life, but inside was a completely different world.  Internally, I was mixed with anxiety, shame, and a serious questioning of my life.  

My ‘Great Sushi Fight of 2009’ was the first time in my life I felt forced to surrender to someone else, or something else.  It was the moment I allowed the universe to take over and start re-directing my life. 

When you really want something, but it is breaking you to try and keep it, that is a sign from the universe it is really not meant for you.  Understand that “rejection is God’s protection” and know that this is the time to walk away to something much more fulfilling and loving.  

While I feared letting go of what my life used to be, I held on to the trust of my inner spirit that told me I was going to be okay and that I didn’t have to secretly be anxious to achieve and succeed.  

Here are 4 beginning steps to take to achieve your own outrageous inner spiritual success:

1.  Call a friend.  Friends have either been in a hard spot themselves, or know someone who has.  Just taking that one small step provided me with many people who came out of the woodwork and into my life at the exact moment I needed them, to help me understand that I wasn’t alone.  It is a universal truth, there is strength in numbers.

2.  Ask for help.  Asking for help when your motto is “I got this”, can feel like a huge deal and threat to your safety, but it’s not.  It’s a lifeline.  Be vulnerable and take a risk to receive help.  Find a trusted counselor or even a family member to help get you where you want to be.  And ask for more signs from the universe saying you are open to new ideas of where to go and what to do.  When you surrender to that higher power, it will show you the way.  

3.  Turn your outer assets inward.  You already know you can pull it together to be a high performer, so use those positive traits to your benefit.  Perform highly when it comes to your own needs.  Take some time off from usual outward activities and put that into your own self development.  Read a book that speaks to you, join a spiritual or meditation group, or fine quiet time to journal and figure out more about your needs and feelings.  

4.  Discover your spiritual side.  Spirituality involves getting in touch with your inner self.  It is not necessarily connected to a specific belief system or even religious worship, instead it arises from a connection with yourself.  The key to enhancing the health of your life, both mentally and physically, is to stay connected to your inner self and inner spirit.  Spirituality is different for everyone, but some places to seek it are in nature, music, art, meditation, journaling, or prayer…whatever helps you connect to yourself and the beauty of the world the most. 

When you start with these steps, you might be pleasantly surprised and feel like a real true high functioning superstar to discover that success need not be the result of struggle, but rather the opening of yourself into a more authentic experience of you in the world.  

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Jenn Maronek

Nurse | Blogger | Coach | Author

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