Great job. Check. Great family. Check. Great friends. Check. Great life. Check.
Oh, wait! The Wheel of Fortune has begun to spin! Whhhiiiiirrrrrrrrrr……. And it slows down with a loud squeal!!!
A bright neon sign lights up saying,“Congratulations! You’ve Won A Surprise Trip to Your-Life’s-Screwed Land! Enjoy Your Stay!!”
Just when you thought you might win a trip to Miami or Switzerland, the feeling that everything seems to have finally fallen into place begins fading. This is the much dreaded, horror story of all of our lives.
Life decides to go into an overdrive and power drills huge screws into you so tightly at all the wrong places! And you were probably not even ready!
The pretty perfect checklist you had prided yourself with seems to fade away one by one and you know by now that you have been officially screwed!
Your relationships start to slip away. Your career takes a plunge into unfathomable voids.
Everything seems to fall out of place and the roller coaster ride that you had taken seems to be going downhill along the steepest slope ever, at godspeed!
Your mind and body get ready for a war with each other and even a good night’s sleep begins to seem like a distant memory!
You see, this is just a gist of what happens to us when Life catches us off-guard, at our best moments and screws us tightly!
Can we ask Life to stop? Can we really try and talk some sense into it and get it to chill? I don’t really think so. I have tried to do that too but to no avail. Life can be pretty stubborn like that.
When Life screwed me left, right and center, I nearly lost it and almost allowed myself to be crucified with screws being drilled into every inch of my soul.
Wriggling out of it was impossible. Those screws seemed damn strong! I begged Life to stop screwing me so bad! I pleaded with all the influential gods up in the heavens! But no one came to my rescue and neither did Life give a damn about me!
Forced to accept my fate I began to succumb until Life got a bit tired and took a tiny break, probably to have a smoke or read up a joke.
That’s when it struck me that I was wasting my time and the little energy I had left to talk a relentless person out of this insanity. With all the willingness to fight that I could muster in me, I came up with a witty plan to deal with the temper tantrum of Life, backed by the blessings of the god above who finally decided to pay attention to my pleas.
Y’all want to know what that master plan was, don’t you? I am sure many of you out there are also in the process of being screwed by Life and are frantically looking for a foolproof plan that will work and can help you deal with this!
So without much ado, let’s just go into the details of how I used 7 extremely effective ways to loosen my screws when Life screwed me tightly, and guess what? I even ended up making friends with Life! And here’s that piece of wisdom exclusively for you:
The first thing you need to do to begin to loosen your screws in life is to become self-aware that you are being screwed! Become aware of the intensity with which each problem you are being slapped with hard across your face.
Become aware of your unresourceful patterns that have led you to this outcome. Become aware of your strengths and resourceful beliefs that can get you to handle this situation better.
Focus on the emotions and feelings you are beginning to experience within you at every point of time that you feel like you are being suffocated by Life. Address them and understand them to know the root cause of why you are feeling what you are feeling.
Once you become self-aware, you will be able to break down your big problems into much smaller ones and be able to deal with them with efficacy. Moreover it will also offer you a vantage point to take control of yourself and the manner in which you respond.
I meant it when I said respond instead of react. We are normally inclined towards reacting whenever Life starts screwing us but it is very important to be firstly, self-aware, and then be conscious of the way in which we encounter the problem.
One of the biggest skills I had to master while loosening my screws, was to stop myself from reacting and focus on responding to the power drilling Life was playing around with. And I learnt to respond by keeping my state of mind, calm and composed at all times.
That doesn’t mean I never felt low. I did and I probably shed a tear then but immediately shifted my mind to a more resourceful and calm state of mind. Neither did I get excited and go bananas when Life took a break!
So you see, it is important to keep your state and not let Life see the panic or anger in you. Life will for sure get confused wondering why you are not reacting to the power drilling at all! And that my friend, is a score for you.
And whilst you are mastering the art of keeping your state of mind, be patient with yourself and with the temperamental Life.
You will tend to lose your state a lot and begin reacting quite often in the beginning but with time, you will get better at it. Be patient and kind with yourself in this process. And also with those who are genuinely there for you and helping you loosen some of your screws.
Also, be patient with Life too. Think of the times when Life was extremely loving and gracious towards you and understand that Life too will have mood swings like us humans and give cut it some slack!
Keep state and be patient while you are loosening your screws. Life will also get tired of all the power drilling and will make friends with you! And better times will surely come. This too shall pass.
Having gratitude is something that I practised religiously and consistently when I was being screwed by Life. Even though everything in my life seemed to fall apart, I began feeling grateful for those that did not.
I was grateful for the little things that I still had so that I could sustain myself, like for instance – love and support from my inner circle; good food and water to eat and drink; a roof above my head; clean clothes to wear; good education; sufficient money to sustain myself; and a safe place to live.
We sometimes take all these basic needs in our lives for granted but trust me, these are the ones that will get you through your tough phase. Be grateful for those because there are people in the world who don’t have any of those and are still trying to loosen their screws! Imagine how harder it would be for them.
So have gratitude. And choose to find the silver lining in all your dark clouds. You may never know which screw that Life is power drilling into you will actually help you to hold your broken pieces together. Hence, look for the silver lining and acknowledge your blessings in disguise!
As you are doing all of what I have shared with you so far, remember, the screws aren’t going to loosen up easily. You need to keep working on it without giving up. You need to bounce back with all your energy into overcoming your challenges.
And that will happen if and only if you are willing to be resilient in doing so. Not just once, but be prepared to fail multiple times, bounce back each time and succeed finally! Problems, pain and suffering are inevitable but you can choose to react by succumbing to them or respond by bouncing back stronger and harder than before.
Since I have spoken at length about how to build resilience in my previous blog on “Resilience – The Art of Bouncing Back”, I will just move on to the next action item on my master plan.
Sometimes humor is the biggest silver lining you can find in all the problems you are facing in life. And it is a great tool that will help you reframe your challenges into a more resourceful experience from which you can learn from and find hope.
For instance, when my marriage of four years crashed one fine day after months of abuse and torment, and I had to move back into my maternal home with my parents, my parents felt severe heartache at seeing their only child having to go through all the pain and suffering.
Despite my multiple attempts at trying to get them to stop feeling bad, I decided to reframe the situation with humor and it worked wonders on all of us!
We were packing my kitchen items one day when I felt a heavy tug at my heart strings and I did not know how to stay calm and composed in front of my parents who were helping me out. My mother’s eyes had become swollen and red as she was crying her heart out at having to see me lose the space that I once ruled.
I immediately told her, “Ma, make sure you take all of these back safely and stock it up on our loft. I will need them all back when I get remarried in a couple of years. I mean these are some really expensive cutlery and crockery that I have here!”
That was all that was needed for my mother and my father who was also listening to me, to burst into laughter. They walked over to me and hugged me tightly and said, “Yes, our dear little baby elephant! We will safeguard this for your second attempt at marriage!”. That moment of laughter amidst the pain gave us all a renewed sense of hope.
On that note, a friend of mine made me roll with laughter by helping me to reframe my mind with the help of powerful metaphors that shifted my thinking to the fact that I had gotten a second chance at being single and not many people were lucky enough to do that!
I did not care that Life was power drilling screws tightly into me but I knew that I could always reframe, especially with humor, my mind and those of the people that loved me and find hope in a better future.
If all of what I have told you is still not sufficient enough for you to figure out how to loosen your screws, then don’t worry. You can always reach out to someone who has a good deal of expertise at loosening screws when Life screws them tight.
While I had difficulty figuring out how to take my next steps in the ambiguous path ahead, my coach, Mohammad Rafi, spent multiple hours helping me come up with strategies based on my capabilities and strengths and helped me with foolproof methods to loosen my screws!
That was the time I realized why it was extremely important to have a coach in one’s life. Sometimes, we become tired after struggling with all that we have to deal with but having a coach surely does make that job a lot easier. I have elaborated on this in detail in one of my previous blogs on “8 Reasons You need A Coach In Your Life”.
So if the Wheel of Fortune did not favour you, and if Life decided to mock you around and screw you tightly, do not fret! Keep your state and come up with a master plan that works for you. For you to loosen your screws when life screws you tight!
Mine worked for me and Life has become one of my best friends now. There are ofcourse, times when Life throws around temper tantrums but I know now how to handle them and not let myself get affected! I trust you will do the same.
Happy unscrewing! Ciao.
Manisha Manoharan hails from Vellore in Tamil Nadu. She is an Internationally Certified Behavioral Trainer and NLP Master Practitioner who is passionate about transforming the lives of young-adults so that we can create better human beings. She enjoys good food, music and humour.