5 Life Lessons from Rock Bottom. How to Climb Your Way Back to the Top

February 23, 2020

Rock bottom.  Where it feels like nothing is working out.  It sure isn't the happy place you want to be living.

But the lessons to be learned there are invaluable.  If you're open to learning them.

How do I know?  

Well, does sick, exhausted, depressed, broke and unemployed count as rock bottom?  That was certainly my rock bottom.  

But looking back (and thankfully waaaay back), I'm grateful I went through that tough time.  Because the lessons I learned stay with me to this day.

They helped me to build a better life and they keep me from sliding back.

And now, I'd like to pass them on to you. 

So, are you ready to learn five lessons from rock bottom from a tried and true veteran?  

Good, let's get to it.  

<Warning:  Tough love ahead>

Lesson #1 – The World Doesn't Owe You Anything

We don't really deserve to have the good things in life.  We're not owed anything.  

And when I realized I was silently blaming the world for my ills, and felt entitled to the success I saw other people enjoying, I began to regain my personal power.

I decided to focus on what what life was trying to teach me, and expected nothing but the fruits of my own labor.  

Sure, there may be larger forces working against you (looking at you, banks), but they work against us all.  The point is, if you focus on that and blame the world for your problems, you'll remain a victim... powerless and helpless.

The opposite approach is to assume full responsibility for everything in your life...everything you think, say and do.  

This puts you back in the driver's seat and it's here where things begin to change.

Lesson #2 – Clarity is Power

When I was there, lingering on the bottom, I wasn't really clear on what I wanted in my life.  

If you had asked me, I probably would have said, “More money and a good job.”  But that's just too vague.  I couldn't make a real action plan on that. 

I was just left with hopes and wishes.

But when I sat and thought about what I really wanted and made clear and precise goals, my mind started to organize the steps I would need to take to reach those goals.

It's really a miraculous process how the brain works on your behalf when you give it clarity.

Let's use financial goals for a quick example.  Let's say you want to earn a modest $50,000 a year.  That's a clear number.  (You should also be clear on what you want your money for, by the way)

Now you know you need a little over 4 grand a month or 1 grand a week or about $165 bucks a day, working six days a week. 

Those are your targets. 

Now you can start asking yourself, “How can I earn that?  What skills will I need? What changes will I have to make in my lifestyle?” and other similar questions.

The point is...Be very clear about what you want, and then ask yourself, “How?”

Lesson #3 – Energy is Everything

The night can be the hardest time when nothing is working out.  Because that's when you're alone with your thoughts.  

I struggled with insomnia because my worrisome thoughts wouldn't let me sleep.  I'd toss and turn and eventually fall asleep... from exhaustion.

This didn't leave me energized the next morning, which made it more difficult... to do anything at all.

A friend suggested meditation, and this really helped.  Meditation lowers your stress hormones and helps you to quiet the mind at night.

I also started to exercise daily which helped me to "shake off" any stress from the day, plus it made me more physically tired and ready for sleep.

Trust me, when you're energized, everything is a little bit easier. Get a sleep strategy.

Lesson #4 – Drop the Bad Habits... or Suffer

There's an old saying, “You will have as many masters as you do vices.”

And this was certainly true in my case.

Were those beers helping me?  Nope.  Will your vices help you?  Nope.

Simply put... The vices in my life held me back.  I would easily justify them to myself, but I knew I would have to give them up if I ever wanted to get out of my rut.

And when I did, it freed up so much more bandwidth and energy and time for the things that I needed to do each day to build a better life.

I was more confident and felt in control of myself.

It's obvious really... If you're not your own master, how can you expect to thrive?  

So, you (and only you) know what it is you have to let go.  

Lesson #5Nobody's Coming to the Rescue

Simply put, no one's coming to save you.  Nobody else can do it for you.  It's got to be you.  

That doesn't mean you can't find help along the way, but don't expect anyone else to do the work for you.  

You're going to have to be the one to push yourself to do the things you don't want to do.  

You can't wait until you “feel like it.”  You're never going to feel like doing half the things you have to do.  

But that's what separates the successful from the rest.  We do what is hard to do.

Are you up for it?

Bonus Lesson:  Motivation is a Limited Resource. You Need Systems and Strategies for the Long Haul

My life didn't change overnight, and your isn't going to either.  It's going to take some time. 

What I learned is that I couldn't just rely on my own motivation.  That was limited, and it also ebbed and flowed.

What helped was to get doses of motivation from external sources.  And I also used systems and processes to keep me on track towards my goals.

That's beyond the scope of this particular article, but if you want a little taste, sign up for the free Lifeline Email Course below.  

This short but very useful course will provide you with some of the building blocks you need to build your own successful life.

Just put in your email and I'll send you the details.

That's it for today...

Got a question or comment? Just reply in the comments section below.

Keep going for your goals,


About the Author

I'm Nigel, accountability coach and creator of Holding Your Feet to the Fire. I offer online accountability coaching to help my clients reach their goals faster and support them every step of the way. Check out the Online Coaching page to find out how this accountability system will help you reach your business, career, financial, health and personal goals.

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Nigel Cook

Currently coaching online from Vancouver Island, Canada. 

Originally from Vancouver Island, Canada.

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