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25 Reasons Why Hitting Bottom May Be Good For You

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They say every cloud has a silver lining

freedom Pictures, Images and PhotosTell that to the many people feeling the squeeze of this economic downturn and they’ll probably take a shovel to your head.

Foreclosures, short sales, job losses – you name it. No one would deny we’re in a down cycle.

However, there’s one very important thing about hitting bottom – once you’re there you’ve got a foundation beneath your feet again that you can rise from.

You’ve stopped falling and can now reassess and retool, and regroup and rebuild.

Once you’ve hit bottom – there’s no where to go but up.

The worst is behind you. Sure, the way down is no fun. You scramble to hold onto the shreds of  your life as it crumbles beneath you.

We fight – we claw and try anything to keep our lives together – the lives we knew that were our security blankets. For many once the chain of events for the downfall is set in motion – it can be nearly impossible to stop.

Some of us unknowingly set up this downfall long before it happened.

Many people were living lives the way they thought they were “supposed to” rather than how they truly wished to live deep down in their souls.

Once they attained the “dream” according to societal standards they found they weren’t satisfied. Their lives still felt empty and unfulfilled. The trappings of success they’d yearned for were just that – trappings trapping them.

How do you back away from the trappings of success?

This is where our inner beliefs and true desires come in as a driving force behind our downfall. Over time the yearnings of our souls become stronger until they permeate and undermine the life we have and line up events that create the demise of our life as we know it. We may not want to believe that at first, but with time we see this truth.

Our first reaction is to resist what’s happening

At the first signs of this crash we try anything to keep things going, but after the dust settles we realize deep down this is the escape we wished for. It might have been messier and more painful than what we would have liked, but still it allowed us to exit from a life that no longer suited us.

Hitting bottom frees us

When we hit bottom we’re free to reinvent ourselves and our life. That’s a pretty enticing prospect. Freedom. Just think about that word for a minute….

What does the word freedom conjure up for you?

For me the word freedom means that I can be more of who I really am. I no longer have to pretend that I’m happy in a life that no longer suits me. I’m free to start rebuilding my life around the things that I have a passion for.

Hitting bottom can be the best thing that ever happened to you. Really!

Here’s a list of some of the hidden advantages of hitting bottom.

1. You get to start over – the sky is the limit.

2. You can walk away from the things you never really liked doing in the first place

3. It may entail reducing possessions which makes you feel so much freer anyway.

4. You get to downsize your life – and your overhead.

5. The money you do make will go much farther now.

6. Life feels a bit simpler

7. You will see the beauty in less is more

8. After the fall, you will really value the people who supported you through tough times. The fair weather friends will be long gone.

9. You can make a very real distinction, based on having been to hell and back, about what’s truly important in life after all.

10. You can take time to see what feels right to you, rather than having to stay on the treadmill to keep everything going.

11. You might now be able to go back to school.

12. You can explore many different career options by offering yourself as an intern.

13. It gives you time to write that book.

14. The more distance you put between yourself and your old life the clearer your mind becomes.

15. The time may be ripe to start your own business.

16. That year you dreamed of taking off and traveling has arrived.

17. Without the constant yoke of the rat race you’re finally able to hear the voice of your intuition.

18. You wake up excited about the possibilities before you.

19. Your life feels like a blank canvass.

20. You can move to that special place that’s always called to you.

21. You get to build more confidence in yourself as you take new steps in new ventures.

22. You stretch and grow in ways you never thought you would.

23. You find out you like change, and you love challenge too.

24. You realize your old life was weighing you down and reigning in your talents.

25. You can be a totally new person – the one you only dreamed of becoming.

If you’re feeling that your life is in a tail spin take heart – it will get better.

Know that you will survive. The worst thing that can happen is allowing defeats to keep us down and at the bottom. Choose to see the vast opportunities open to you instead and listen to you heart and gut and let them lead you to the next door of opportunity. It’s there just waiting for you.

What’s your take on life after a downfall? Do you see the glass as half full or half empty? What would you do if you had the opportunity to start over?

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36 Comments

  1. Yeah losing your money,family,friends,job,dignity,what little possessions you still own, and your car is great for you. Who needs the stress….

    Reply
    • 2 yrs ago my wife divorced me and i lost everything, house and business and money-everything. I have never felt freer and less stress. I don’t miss my mother in law either.It was hard at the begining but i’m finally on my way up.Any advice?

      Reply
  2. This is so powerful:
    You scramble to hold onto the shreds of your life as it crumbles beneath you.

    Then no. 9 You can make a very real distinction, based on having been to hell and back, about what’s truly important in life after all.

    Once when hubs lost his job due to an injury I remember getting food stamps. I was so young I don’t think it phased me. Then when he lost his job 20 months ago we both were in complete shock. We’re back on our feet again.

    I never minded living a simple life. I like Leah can live in a tent for shelter and be happy. Hubs not so much…he loves being comfortable. We have compromised and it works. Some times he tells me “You’re no fun!” I just laugh…he knows it’s not true! Well written!
    Tess The Bold Life recently posted…Kick Your Obstacles to the Curb- Live Your DreamMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Tess,
      I’m so glad you found this post worthwhile. I know isn’t it funny how when we’re young these setbacks didn’t seem to overwhelming? I too lost a job when I was in my early 20s. I didn’t worry too much and took a few months off and played. I had a room mate back then so the finances were much simpler. Why is it is so different now at our ages though? We know we’ll get on our feet again? I guess getting older you feel as if you have more at stake. Thanks so much for visiting and your kind words.

      Reply
  3. Angela, what an empowering way to look at hitting rock bottom! Like you say, it doesn’t feel like a good thing – yet it can be incredibly freeing. – and ultimately it can be the best thing that could happen to us.
    “Over time the yearnings of our souls become stronger until they permeate and undermine the life we have and line up events that create the demise of our life as we know it.” It’s a phenomenal thing to experience – and we may not know it until after.

    I hope these words reach everyone!!!
    Aileen recently posted…How Inspiration Created A Golden OpportunityMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Aileen,
      Yes, I believe that is what I’ve done in my own life. After leaving finance and entering graduate school I vowed to follow my heart – but when I needed money I jumped back into the only think I knew: finance. At first it was great but as the time wore on I became miserable once again knowing that I had not followed my heart’s desire. Now I am having to relearn this lesson once again – do what you love and do not follow the money!!! I hope these words reach everyone too~!

      Reply
  4. I really like this list. So inspirational. It is hard for people to find their way back up once they fall but there is always a way to do it. Thanks for the great list, this is a must-print and hang on the cork board :)

    Reply
    • Hi Maya,
      Thanks so much for your lovely compliments. Yes, it’s definitely hard for people to find their way back up but they should know that they can, and that their lives afterward can be even better. It’s a pleasure having you come by and add to the conversation here.

      Reply
  5. Hi Ange,
    Wonderful post. And boy can I empathise about that ‘bottomed out’ feeling. Starting again can be so liberating and joyful. Yes…it can also be excruciatingly painful but that pain is a bit like going to the gym or doing a marathon. If you can just go tunnel visioned while it’s happening and know that when you hit the ground you will wake up in a new world, ready to take the first baby steps as the new you. A word of warning if I may to anyone who is starting again from the bottom…just take those steps really slow and enjoy each one. This is an opportunity to have a whole new life. Take your time and consider your options carefully. Try really hard to make ‘this’ the life that really fits YOU!
    Rosemary recently posted…Do You Still Dare to DreamMy Profile

    Reply
    • Rosemary,
      That is really sound advice. Take your time and really think about the life you want don’t be in such a hurry to replace what you’ve lost. Excellent. Thank you so much for sharing that here with us!

      Reply
  6. 25 beautiful sentiments guaranteed to lift heavy hearts and low spirits. I’ve been to the bottom and it’s dark and scary but when you get there (and you know you are there) there is only one way to go from that poitn. Up! From then on life can get better every single day till one day you stand on a mountain top and you smile that you are so alive. Bless you for the inspiration and essence of this post Angela.
    John Sherry recently posted…Where Does The World Start And Where Do You StopMy Profile

    Reply
    • Thank you John! I’m glad you could see the value in this post, although I’m sad to hear that you know about being at the bottom too. I guess many of the best people have been there too!

      Reply
  7. Thanks for the reminder. You are so great at this stuff. Really. I am happy you have found and are pursuing your true love.

    Reply
  8. Great post, Angela. I’ve hit bottom a lot of times in different ways, but at the same time, I started out in life with very little and lived on the edge for many years as I struggled to put myself through school, so challenges aren’t new to me though they’re hard. I’ve never had much money (except when I was married to a high-earning spouse and our combined incomes put us way beyond anything I had before), so in a sense, I’ve never hit bottom–unless you count the times I didn’t know where I was going to hang my hat next. My life has been so up and down while I worked on what was important to me.

    But I HAVE lost what I’ve gained a few times, and it’s hard. One thing that I’ve learned since I was divorced 4 years ago is that I can’t do the “rat race” or get into material possessions and lovely stock portfolios and whatever else I was into by association while married, and that was part of the problem in my marriage–I’m not really into it if there’s not a balance between that and what’s really important in life. I’d rather live in a tent and be happy than have all the money in the world and be all stressed out about it. And I’d rather work really hard and struggle with uncertainty doing what I love than try to squeeze myself into a box of the prescription for “success.” It doesn’t work for me.

    Love #25: You can be a totally new person – the one you only dreamed of becoming. Yep! :)
    Leah McClellan recently posted…How to enjoy something you don’t feel like doingMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Leah,
      I’m so glad you found the post worthwhile.

      I know what you mean about not hitting absolute bottom. I’ve hit my own personal bottom, but not to the point where I was worried about being homeless. I do know exactly what you mean about giving up the trappings of success to find yourself and live your own truth. I did the same thing. I walked away from a marriage for those very same reasons. Money and status mean very little if you’re not living authentically.

      Living your own way following your own truth is the most fulfilling way to live. I think you can only know that once you’ve gotten all the notions about how money affects your life out of the way. Money is a good thing to have, but it has very little to do with being happy once you’ve met your basic needs.

      Reply
  9. Hi Angela,

    I believe that after we hit rock bottom, there is only one way left to go and that is up. Everything happens in cycles, we will have ups and downs in life. All we can do is to make the fullest use of the good times and manage the bad as best as we can. Also things do not happen for no reason. If we are responsible for our lives then hitting rock bottom could well be an important lesson that we have to learn so that we can reach greater heights in the future. Doing so generally means we have to live authentic lives that is aligned with our true passions and goals.

    I love the 25 ways that you have listed to make the best of hitting rock bottom. Adversity can either help or hinder us, it all depends on the choices that we make. I used to see the glass as half empty, but then I learned to see it as half full. Nothing is really good or bad, only thinking makes it so. A truly successful person will have the ability to make the best of any situation he or she faces.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article! :)

    Irving the Vizier
    The Vizier recently posted…Knowing When to Let GoMy Profile

    Reply
    • HI Irving,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. You’re absolutely right too – when we do fall it usually has to do with us having lived inauthentic lives in some way. I also agree nothing in life is bad or good, it depends on our reaction to it. If we can learn to change our perception of these events we will find true fulfillment in our lives.
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us here.

      Reply
  10. You’re speaking my language, Angela! :) Splatspeak. ;) Yes, hitting bottom has so many gifts, and your list is a GREAT one! And it’s interesting about hitting bottom–sometimes the bottom you think you hit isn’t the bottom at all, and being able to get up from what you thought was the bottom gives you the strength to find the gift in the REAL bottom when it comes. I thought I hit bottom in the late 90s but it was nothing compared to what I’ve gone through in the last few years. And all of it has made me a stronger, more focused AND more powerful person.
    Ande Waggener recently posted…Coregreen Inspiration Seed 2- Capitalizing On AccomplishmentsMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Ande,
      You’re funny! Yes, I guess this would be perfect on Up from Splat!
      You do have you’re hands full, but you seem to be coping with it really well.
      I can feel your focus and your power comes right through your videos!

      Reply
  11. I really enjoyed this Angela,

    Especially that last point:” If you’re feeling that your life is in a tail spin take heart – it will get better.”

    It’s so easy when things are falling apart to think that this is the way it’s going to be forever. It’s rarely, if ever, true. We humans are made to bounce back from adversity. I hit bottom and had to completely rebuild my life in my mid twenties, I wouldn’t wish that period of my life on anyone, but all the strength and good things in my life grew from that period.

    Thanks for a great post!
    Dave Rowley recently posted…Cultivating A Small FieldMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Dave,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. When we’re on the way down it does seem like it’s going to last forever doesn’t it? We wonder when will it end, when will I get my life back, etc? But, as you say we are resilient! We wouldn’t have survived as a species if we weren’t. I’m sorry to hear that you hit bottom in your 20s, but I am glad you see the value in it and all the great things that came from this experience. Thanks so much for visiting and sharing your story here with us.

      Reply
    • Arvind,
      LOL! Pretend is much better than having it happen to you!
      Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
    • Hi Marnie,
      I’m sorry to hear that you hit rock bottom the other day. I’m glad you’re looking at it so positively though.
      It seems like you’ve found your silver lining! I’m glad.

      Reply
  12. This is lovely and oh so true! Sometimes we’ve gotta hit bottom before we can really change and turn our lives around for the better. A couple of my close friends just lost their jobs today. I’m going to share this. Thank you, Angela!
    Lindsay recently posted…Birds of a Feather guest post on Practically IntuitiveMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Lindsay,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It is true I think hitting your “personal bottom” is important too. If you’re smart you’ll realize what mistakes got you there and then use the knowledge to change yourself and you life so that it doesn’t happen again.
      I’m so sorry to hear about your friends! I do hope this will be a time a great change and opportunity for them instead of just a real bummer!

      Reply
    • Hi Jonathan,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I bottomed out with a net to catch me Jonathan, but for me that was as low as I ever wanted to fall! The economy has effected the real estate finance business very hard. I went from making a great living to barely making one at all. It’s been rough, but I hope to use this as a lesson to help me make better decisions in the future.

      Reply
  13. Angela,

    Hello there! This is such a great post and one that touches me at my core! You hit it “on the head” with so many of your points made and being one of those that got pretty close to bottom, or my next “chapter” as I look at it, you really nailed it!

    Thanks so much for sharing and I am sure others will find this very helpful!

    Have a great day!

    Michael
    CCO OutMaturity.com
    Michael recently posted…“Stop pushing the Car”!My Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Michael,
      I’m so glad you found the article useful. We should all have hope that things will get better. They might be different than what we would have thought but it might make life more exciting to have to navigate new territory.
      Thank you so much for coming by and adding to the conversation here.

      Reply
  14. I would also like to point out that when you’ve hit bottom, you know that you’ve survived the worst, and it didn’t break you, which, when you think about it, is a huge confidence booster. You did it! Coming out of the crucible in one piece reassures you that whatever crucibles there might be in the future, you’ll survive them too.
    Shanna Mann recently posted…Defining the Process of GrowthMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Shanna,
      Yes, I feel the same way. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger – it’s a cliche but true.
      I’m hopeful that all the people who are suffering right now will see that too.
      Thanks so much for visiting!

      Reply
  15. Love this Angela! In the same vein of thinking as my lastest post!! I’m going to print this out and keep it handy as I continue to embark in new territory.
    Betsy recently posted…Can You Find Opportunity In AdversityMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Betsy,
      I’m so glad you did. I wasn’t feeling well when I wrote it last night.
      Woke up today sick as a dog. I had no idea if it turned out well or not~!

      Reply
    • Hi Betsy,
      I’m glad you enjoyed this post. I see it’s very similar to the one you just wrote. I’m going to go over and read it now.

      Reply

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