Written by: Debbie Debonaire, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
When one finds themselves on rock bottom, the only way is up, right? RIGHT!
But when you are at rock bottom, moving up seems such a huge mountain to climb. Putting one foot in front of the other takes all of your energy. I know how that feels.
In this article, I am sharing how I went from overcoming my adversities of clinical depression and suicidal tendencies. I wish to create opportunities for you to overcome your own adversities so you, too, can realize your true purpose on Earth and shine in your own uniqueness.
Let me take you back to a time in my life when darkness was the norm and the spiraling was the only way out, or so I thought.
Clinical Depression was the label I was living by, and it is the result of me attempting three times to leave a world where I had been convinced into believing I was the toxic person in my son’s life. He was only 8 years old then. He had been a witness to my demise since he was 5 years old.
Being my rock during my agoraphobia, though on reflection talking to him about it now, he did not see the situation as I saw it. Thankfully! What followed after my agoraphobia was a rollercoaster of a life that was not being lived. I was barely existing!
This article is not to delve deep into my story; that is a whole other article. It is about the pillars I created from the steps I took after my ‘Oh Shit’ moment (another whole different article).
These steps are what moved me out of the darkness and into the light. These pillars were brought together to give you a way to build and strengthen your own emotional resilience so you too can step forward onto your own life stage and rewrite your own life script. You can become your own director where you'd take your life in a whole new direction and where the people in your life are the characters you choose, desire, and deserve.
It’s time to create the new acts of your life:
Act One - Self Awareness
Act Two - Self Acceptance
Act Three - Support
Act Four - Flexibility
Act Five - Responsibility
Act Six - Focus
Act Seven - Optimism
Act Eight - Gratitude
Act Nine - Courage
The act of Self Awareness is about nurturing a positive view of yourself. It's about being consciously aware of you and your life, in every area, every moment of your life. It's the ability to recognize your feelings; whilst they are happening. Also, the ability to understand how you react to those feelings and creates the life that you live.
So, to be consciously aware in any given moment, you need to stop, look at what you're thinking and look at what you're feeling. Think about what has caused that feeling and how that can be changed. If it's negative, then it needs to be changed more positively. That's how you become consciously self-aware.
With this awareness, you can build on your self-limiting beliefs. You can overcome negative life patterns, giving you the gateway to step onto a more positive life stage — one in which you are comfortable and love living.
Self Acceptance gets you into the habit of checking your initial interpretations of things. When you accept the way things truly are, rather than what you believe them to be, it helps you perceive things differently.
Begin to look into your heart and recognize how you are feeling towards each interpretation. Are they the right feelings? Are they serving you well, or do you need to create a greater harmonious feeling that serves you better? Then align these feelings with your thoughts so you create acceptance that stands more closely with your reality. Ask yourself questions about the situation you find yourself in that is challenging for your thoughts and feelings. Then further question your initial answers until you are accepting things as they are in reality. You will feel better in the moment, and you’ll be far more effective moving forward.
It's about accepting all of the facts of who you are, accepting what you can and cannot change, accepting what you can and cannot control in all areas of your life.
Until you accept everything about yourself currently, you will not be fully equipped to step into the changes you want to make to live the life you truly want to live, doing the things you truly want to do.
Stepping into the act of support for me was two-fold. Firstly, it was about rebuilding my life’s foundations. This included creating a morning ritual, creating a healthier diet, taking a daily walk, journaling, gratitude cards, and creating a self-care/self-love routine. Secondly, it is about surrounding yourself with a positive support network of people. These are those people interested in you, people who find the best in you, people who encourage you to follow your choices and follow your dreams. They can also be those who will support you enough to point out your mistakes or give constructive criticism. You are supported enough to take on board and investigate to see if it gives you a better, more productive outcome.
Having that encouragement around you allows you to move past all of the things that held you back before. You know, the lack of self-worth and a lack of self-esteem. When you have this positive support mechanism around you, you flourish, you step into the person you want to be. The person you were born to be. Do not be afraid to step away from those characters in your life who are creating negative vibes that are keeping you stuck. This will create the space you need to open up to more positive support.
Flexibility is about the willingness to change or compromise as long as the compromise works for both parties. Being flexible is about having more than one way to deal with stressful situations in your life. Allowing your brain to be strengthened so you can adapt more easily to situations. Flexing your brain and heart muscles has great psychological, emotional, and physiological health benefits. Cultivating your understanding of why you're stressed, what's causing you to be stressed gives your brain and heart more flexible options to overcome that stress.
Stress is a symptom, not a cause.
Finding the cause is paramount, and having flexibility can allow your brain and heart to adapt to stressful situations much, much easier. This flexibility allows you to change your outlook on your life and how you are currently living it. This, in turn, will give you flexible options to choose how to make the change you want to make for your life to run more smoothly. Too much rigidity can set you up for a more stressful life.
When I stood up and took responsibility for all aspects of my life and moved away from the blame game and the victimhood mentality I had been living from the age of eight, so many curtains lifted on my life, and the lights began to shine.
It is all about taking responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, and actions. It's about being accountable for all of those feelings, thoughts, and actions, taking the blame and not blaming others.
There are so many people out there who do not take responsibility for themselves. They believe that the situation they're in is because of what someone else has done to them, or the actions someone else took has made them be the way they are.
Ask yourself this about a given situation: "Whatever I say or do, can I change the outcome?"
If the answer is no, then do not waste your energy, especially your emotional energy on it.
Remember, you cannot control what others say or do in connection with yourself, but you can control how you react to them.
So many things are out of your control, do not waste your energy on them. It's all about taking responsibility for yourself, working through those actions, those feelings, those thoughts, so you can go out and thrive. When you take back your control on your own terms, you give yourself the freedom to be you and create the pathway on the journey you were born to take.
Focus is all about concentrating on all areas of your life. Take time to acknowledge that focusing on all aspects of your life gives a holistic view of yourself. So that if necessary, you can change them.
Emotional, social, relational, physical, financial, psychological, spiritual are just some aspects of your life to focus on. You can enhance them if, when, and where necessary. You can adapt them, so they serve you better in your life. Removing your focus away from the things that aren't serving you well or the people who aren't serving you well gives you the ability to move forward. When your focus is steered in the direction of the things that serve you well in all of those aspects of your life, you can begin to thrive.
Balancing positivity with realism. It's a belief that good prevails evil. It's all about having confidence and hopefulness about the future in all areas of your life. In optimism, we can use self-efficacy to believe in our own abilities to succeed in anything we set out to achieve.
When you have a more optimistic attitude to life, it helps you live a happier, more successful, and healthier life. Learning that optimism can protect against depression was one of the turning points in my life. It made me more resistant to the stressful things that, in the past, had spiraled me down my clinical depression route. It could be argued that optimism may even help people live longer.
I would also debate that optimism is all about facing your fears, accepting those fears for what they really are.
Fear is False Emotions Appearing Real.
Stepping into those fears, stepping through those fears, and realizing what fantastic things there are all waiting for you on the other side creates optimism.
Having an attitude of gratitude was another turning point in my life. Being blinded by stress, depression, and negativity hid the true things I already had in my life. When these were unveiled, my life was opened up to the wealth of things I already had.
By creating a gratitude diary/journal, you open yourself to see what you already have in life. Many people focus on the things they do not have in life, which can have a detrimental effect on their current lives. Taking the time to be aware of what is already in their life often changes people’s perspective of what is important in life.
Gratitude is not just about things, objects, or attitudes. It is about the people around you, about life’s beauty, about your inner and outer environment. Gratitude is about appreciation. Being appreciative about what is already in all areas of your life opens you up to more positive, regenerative emotions that help build and strengthen your resilience.
Finally, we come to courage. It was not until I reflected on my life’s journey that allowed me to realize what people had said about me; being courageous and resilient came to light. Courage, like optimism, is about facing your fears, doing something that frightens you, and having strength in the face of adversity. All of which were part of my past life script. To move forward, you need to take courageous steps and realize that you will be okay on the other side.
Although I did not stand up to the bullies for many years, when I began my journey back from the proverbial brink, courage came in many forms. Courage to look at myself in the mirror after 9 years, courage to face my son for the first time after my ‘oh shit ‘moment, courage to take back my control, courage to go out and make a difference in the world by sharing my story.
One of the most courageous things is admitting when you are wrong or have made a mistake, not only to others but also to yourself. Another is to have the courage to forgive others and, most of all, to forgive yourself. You see, courage is not all about doing dangerous things. Often there is no danger involved. Except for the danger of not living your true life. The life you desire and deserve.
So how do these nine acts allow you to build and strengthen your emotional resilience and rewrite your life script?
Take self-Awareness; this gives you the freedom to choose
Self-Acceptance allows you to build on who you truly are.
Looking at support gives you the ability to give strength to who you are and what you do.
Flexibility allows you to adapt in the face of adversity to strengthen your resilience and change your current life path.
Taking responsibility for all aspects of your life allows you to decide what works and does not work for you so you can change course and build on who you are.
When you fully focus on the life you want to live, you rewrite your script with the knowledge and the resilience that you are in control.
When you have optimism, you can allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone and experience so much more in life, and these experiences build on your life story.
Gratitude allows you to appreciate your life as it is now and adjust it, which in turn builds and strengthens your resilience; and
Leaving courage for you to take chances, risks and have the ability to see fear for what it really is.
These give you further choices to create your best life and have the freedom to be you now! Choose Life! Choose Freedom! Choose you!
Debbie Debonaire, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Debbie Debonaire is a Global Emotional Resilience Consultant and Holistic Counsellor who has transformed her life, to become a beacon of light to help others suffering in adversity, fear, severe lack of self-confidence, and self-esteem. She failed suicide three times, overcame extreme clinical depression, and prolonged mental domestic abuse, so knows what it takes to take back control and transform one's life. Her story is one of extreme courage and focus and has resulted in a complete transformation that has seen her rise to become a highly esteemed expert on contemporary emotional and trauma recovery. Debbie brings solutions, inspiration, and change, through her innovative process the HeartAct Approach™ to guide career women (and men) from negative life patterns to triumphant transformation and empowerment. This gives them the courage to take back their control and live life on their own terms so that they can thrive to their true potential and live the life they desire and deserve.