Breakdowns suck. They just do.
What I know to be true though is that with every breakdown comes a breakthrough—if you can stay in the game long enough and ride out the discomfort, fear and urge to quit. In today’s post I’ll describe what breakdown is, some signs you may be in it, and some tips for riding out the storm that have worked for me.
In March I attended Suzanne Evans’ Be The Change Event in Orlando, FL. I felt a sense of foreboding in the week leading up to the event. I knew my life and my business would never be the same afterwards. This was the first time I had been to one of her events and I know she is a no BS straight shooter who values getting you to a decision so you can take action and get results.
I’ll spare you the details, but suffice to say, during 90% of the time I was in breakdown. What is that, you ask? It’s where your whole world (and your business) gets thrown up in the air because you made a deeper commitment to yourself to really step into what’s possible in your business and every part of your being freaks out and tries to sabotage the whole thing.
It’s SUPER fun. (note heavy sarcasm here).
If you’ve ever tried to do something really different than you ever have before, or listened to your inner wisdom and made decisions that were going to radically change your life or the lives of others, you’ve likely experienced breakdown. It doesn’t just happen in business though. It can happen anytime in any area of your life. I’m talking about the times when you’ve actually chosen differently, vs the times when life seemed to “happen to you” and you didn’t have any choice, but either way, breakdown is sure to occur!
Breakdown is kind of like a washing machine–in order to get rid of the old, outdated, oftentimes ‘dirty’ way your life’s being going–you gotta churn it up and agitate it all in order to come out clean on the other side. (Of course, just like laundry–you do it over and over again vs. just once).
Some signs you may be in breakdown:
~It feels like the solid ground you were standing on just got ripped out from under you
~You may have the sensation of floating or falling in space and never knowing when, where, or if you’ll land
~You may start trying to rationalize everything in order to gain some sense of control
~There is nowhere to hide. All the “comforts” that used to work to help soothe, whether that’s food, drink, TV or some other drug of choice (chocolate anyone?) no longer work the way they used to. You are face to face with yourself, and there’s no more hiding or kidding yourself. (This, by the way, is a very good sign and worth every moment when you move through it without getting stuck—more about that to come!)
~Crying…lots of crying. Or, being on the verge of tears until you have a good cry.
~You may have “accidents” or experience some health challenge
How do you get to the breakthrough?
Here’s what has worked for me:
~Find a trusted companion/coach/colleague, the kind that helps you hold the vision you have for yourself and who knows what you’re going through. I do not recommend talking with someone who will only commiserate with you, or who has no idea what the hell you’re going through because they are either totally stuck in their own stuff, or they have some vested interest in keeping you small. (You know who I mean, right?)
~Take a break. Play. Exercise—just move! Let the decision or whatever it is take care of itself for a while. You gotta get your rational mind out of the way and let the process unfold somewhat. When you’re playing or exercising or simply moving it will help you feel better, distract, and the answers can come more easily.
~Often, if not always, breakdown occurs when you are avoiding making a decision. I learned this from my coach: Get quiet and close your eyes. Picture two paths before you, one with one of your options and the other with the alternative. Ask what is the right path for you to take, right now. (This is crucial, because it may be that it is only a timing issue—not that you never follow the opportunity.) Notice which path draws you, it may lighten up for feel more compelling, while the other is clearly heavier or not as appealing.
~Whatever you get clear on in the exercise above, make a decision then take immediate action that is in alignment with the decision.
~Finally, trust the decision you made, let it go and move on—trust you where one door closed, another will open.
If you are still in breakdown after all this, know it is nothing more than second-guessing yourself and not following through with the decision you made. This is where people get really stuck and stay in relationships, jobs, business models, etc that don’t work and then they become depressed, anxious and have all sorts of other health challenges. It feels like hell and it really is that!
I had a huge breakthrough in all of this, and by the time the picture was taken above, of me riding that roller coaster—I was on the other side, stronger, clearer, more confident and alive than I had felt in a long time!
In fact, my Find Your V.O.I.C.E Blueprint and 7 Keys for getting M.A.G.I.C.A.L results in life and business were both revealed to me through this process–I had been doing them all along, but my vision needed an upgrade. Through playing with my family on Spring Break (after the Florida breakdown!) the ideas came flooding and they haven’t stopped. I’ll be sharing the Blueprint and 7 Keys in upcoming newsletters and blogposts, so watch for them!
Tell me, how do you deal with breakdowns? I’d love to hear!
From My Heart to Yours,
p.s., If this article helped or inspired you, please consider sharing it with a friend or colleague—Thanks!