When You’re Tired of Struggling

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Tired of Struggling? Wish you weren't so miserable?


Recently someone wrote to me here at Believe and Create and told me she was tired:  Tired of struggling. Tired of feeling miserable. Tired of conflict. Tired of not getting anywhere she wanted to go.  Tired of feeling that her life was a mess.

She was also tired of reading self-help and spiritual growth articles and books only to have the ideas they purport let her down again and again.  She’d worked hard to change, but life was not getting any better.  She felt dejected and demoralized and she didn’t know what to do.

Have you ever felt that way:  sick and tired and weighed down by troubles and challenges?   Can you relate to being confused about how to make the lasting changes you want to make (e.g., surviving a job that’s making you miserable;  losing weight once and for all; ending conflicts with family and coworkers; escaping financial woes; finding love in your life, etc.)?


When you’re tired of struggling …

I get it. You’re tired of the struggle. You’re at a place that many people get to, and some get stuck in. I’ve been there. I wish there were a single, brilliant answer I could give you that would release you from the recurring pain you find yourself in. You’ve already tried “quick fixes” and you know they don’t work.

I know how frustrating it can be when our personal growth efforts are sincere, and yet our progress appears to be nonexistent. Again, I’ve been there. It stinks.

I don’t have magic answers for you. But, regardless of what’s causing you to feel trapped in struggle and disappointment, I know there are a couple of things you can start doing that will help ease your pain.   Below are a few things that help me when I’m at my most miserable. They WON’T cure anything overnight, but when practiced over time,  they’ve worked miracles for me.


1. Pursue a daily meditation practice.

Seriously?  Yes seriously!   Now, this doesn’t have to be an elaborate practice.  You don’t have to sit for hours in an uncomfortable position on a pillow or join an Ashram.  It’s not a religious practice, it’s a spiritual and self-healing practice, and I’m suggesting it because I KNOW it works.Spend 20 minutes a day in meditation

It doesn’t have to be an elaborate thing … it doesn’t have to take hours. Just give yourself 20 minutes a day to sit still in a comfortable position and focus on your breathing. If anxious thoughts arise, don’t fight them, but don’t attach to them either. Just allow them to come and go like clouds come and go in the sky.

I find listening to soft instrumental music helps me because when thoughts pop up (and they will … guaranteed they will), I turn my focus to the music. If you don’t have access to instrumental music, then just return your focus to your breathing. It is not possible to focus on two things at the same time … you cannot focus on music (or breathing) AND anxious thoughts.

The power of meditation comes in doing it again and again.  You may or may not feel calmer and more at peace after a single session or two (though you might … I often do). The real magic happens over time.

When you start giving yourself time in peace and calm, your body starts to relax, and that sense of serenity enters into other aspects of your life. Commit to 30 days of meditation and see if it doesn’t make a difference in your life. It will if you give it a chance.

If you feel you need help with beginning a meditation practice or prefer to do guided meditations (which are typically focused on specific issues you’re going through), here are a few CDs/Audio downloads I suggest:

Adyashanti True Meditation  
The Grief Process:  Meditations for Healing  
The Return Home:  Essential Meditation Training for a Vital, Centered Life  
Jack Kornfield’s Guided Meditations for Difficult Times  (my personal favorite)


2. Get yourself a mantra and recite it thousands of times.  (Not kidding.)

Every significant change you want to make in your life begins by changing the vibration of your thinking. If you want to be happier, you need to focus on thoughts that lift you up.  If you want to be more confident, you have to speak to yourself as if you are already strong and confident.  And, if you want to experience more love in your life, you need to keep loving thoughts in your heart and mind every day.  Mantra: I Love Myself

If you’re struggling right now, then chances are you’re stuck in “stinkin’ thinkin’.”   If you want to get beyond the point where you’re struggling every day, then you have to work on shifting your mindset.   One way of doing this is by adopting a mantra — a simple, positive and uplifting statement that speaks to what you want to create and experience in your life.

Examples of mantras:

“I release anxious thoughts.”
“My life is getting easier.”
“I am strong and at peace. My life is good.”
“I am happy and content.”
“I am healthy and fit and I enjoy eating healthy food.”
“I am loving and lovable.” 
(More mantra ideas)

Come up with a mantra that makes you feel good. It must be positive, but it doesn’t have to be something you believe to be true at the moment, only something that you yearn to feel is true at the very depths of your soul. Repeat your mantra daily — hundreds of times daily. Repeat it day after day after day.  Say it in your heart. Say it out loud. Write it over and over. Weave it into the fabric of your being.

Repeat your mantra anytime anxious feelings arise.  Repeat it when your mind is shifting to self-depreciating language.  Repeat it when self-doubt and worry arise.  Hang on to it like it’s your lifeline. Let it permeate your being so it can do the transformation work you crave.

There’s a great book called Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, by Kamal Ravikant that features a mantra that can change your life.  I recommend this book to EVERYONE  (and, no I don’t even earn a commission for doing so).   Also, it’s dirt-cheap … under $5, so you have no excuses!

It’s short so you can read it in a couple of hours.  Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It is the story of how Kamal changed his entire life just by repeating the mantra “I love myself” over and over. I can’t recommend that book more highly for anyone who finds themselves in a state of constant struggle.  Just reading it will help you feel better immediately.

When I’m going through rough patches, I take time out to read this book. I’ve probably read it 50 times, I almost know it by heart. I also downloaded it on Audible, so I have an audio version, too. The lessons are simple, but they resonate with me, and maybe they’ll resonate with you, too.


3. Walk in nature for a minimum of 15 minutes every single day.

Thirty minutes is better. Seriously — I probably should have made this #1 on the list because it is so VERY important.   whenever you're struggling, spend thirty minutes a day walking in nature

Nature offers curative powers that you won’t find anywhere else. I recommend walking at a moderate pace and practicing mindfulness the entire time.  Stay present to the beauty of the sky.   Notice the blooms on the flowers.   Watch the dance of the swaying branches in the trees.  Listen to the birds’ chirp.  Stay present to the world around you and soak it in.   It’s there for your joy and your healing.   It’s the best medicine there is.


4. Accept that life’s not easy, but also realize that you are strong and can handle whatever comes your way.

Spiritual and personal growth gurus sometimes teach that life can be easy. That’s not the life that most of us experience. It takes trial and error to find out what works for us, and some situations are just tougher and rougher than others, and the “fix” that helps in one situation may let you down in the next.

Life is more like a roller coaster:  lots of ups and downs,  jarring twists, and scary turns.   It can be exhilarating and fun, but it can also be bumpy and frightening.

Struggling is inherent in the journey of life,  yet anytime it becomes a constant state within the journey, it’s time to make a change.

The most important thing is to be kind and caring with yourself along the way. Your heart is calling for you to be gentler with yourself and the world around you because struggling is breaking you down.  You deserve better.  We all do.

When you’re feeling miserable and stuck and frustrated, the most important thing you need to do is this:   love yourself more.  To escape the prison that you feel you’re in, you must give yourself ample doses of kindness, compassion, and love. Instead of fighting, begin building … building the new self-nurturing habits that will keep you lifted up. Be willing to let go of what you can let go of, and follow the Beatles’ advice “let it be” for things beyond your control. Also, make a decision to walk away from that which no longer serves any purpose in your life.  This all takes bravery on your part, but you are stronger than you realize.

Again, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for what you’re going through. There’s no overnight fix, but I hope you find some solace in the suggestions I’ve made here.

Sending you my prayers for love and lightness for you … that you might quickly find a path out of this painful part of your life. – J. Marie Novak, Founder of Believe and Create

QUESTION FOR YOU:  What seems to bring you relief when you’re struggling?  Please share your advice in the comments below … others will benefit from the lessons you share.  Thank you!



8 Replies to “When You’re Tired of Struggling”

  1. Hi.
    I’m tried. Struggling.
    I lost my husband 8 years ago, my grandma 3 years ago.
    I lost my mom, 1 years ago
    Now… I lost my daughter. 518th of May well be a year.
    I have to pay 2 funeral bills. One got sued. My mom’s. Im trying to hang on there. I’m close to giving up.. I have a son. He isn’t talking to me that much.. I’m so tried of the heartache in 8 years. Plus I had to put my dog down. That he was my late husband’s dog.. I lost one of my birds. When is everything I love. Get taken away from me???? I’m so tried

    1. Melissa — you need someone to talk to you and you need that very quickly. I urge you to reach out to a trusted friend, clergy or therapist. Or, join and stick with a Grief support group. I suggest joining one where you actually show up and talk face to face with people. because you need that human connection.

      In the meantime, though, there are are some online groups that you might check out as well. Here are two that I’m not familiar with, but I googled them and I think they might be worth checking out: Daily Strength Bereavement Support Group https://www.dailystrength.org/group/bereavement and Online Grief Support http://www.onlinegriefsupport.com/groups.

      Melissa, PLEASE don’t give up. You’ve undergone FAR more than your fair share of your loss, and you need help coming back into the light. Two more suggestions if you don’t know anyone to turn to talk with right now (and neither will cost you anything): The Silent Unity Prayer hotline answers calls 24/7 — 1-800-699-7729. You don’t have to be a member of Unity to call, or even believe in their principles. You can call right now and they will listen to you and they will pray with you in a completely loving way. If things continue to feel desperate and you’re afraid you might do something — reach out to the suicide prevention hotline 1-800-273-8255.

      My heart goes out to you. You’ve had a lot of loss and it sounds like financial problems are a burden as well. That’s a lot for one person to take. Just know that just because you can’t see hope for your future, doesn’t mean there isn’t hope available to you. But you need support … and not the kind of support than anyone can offer sufficiently online in a text reply like this.

      My prayers for healing and relief are with you tonight and will continue to be with you. Sending love, – J. Marie

  2. That poor lady… Her shit sounds wore than mine but even when I things do t I look that bad they can be.
    I am tired of the live yourself mantras. I’ve ruined my life, and I, and me are the stupid idiots. But it’s not me it’s inflammation, I it’s irresponsible n medicos. I am torn into shreds by family conflicted a cruel partner and you Ll tell me e it’s my fault and it is.

    It was not my fault again but you all say it is. I didn’t meditate enough, I did t gave a good bantam, I I didn’t love enough. When life throws the odd ball T you Its ok it’s not your fault, it’s capable but when you do it to yourself then it’s hell.

  3. Thankyou so much for this.i felt better just reading it. I have a profoundly disabled spouse- every day is a struggle and wondering why such hard things happen and watching their battle..over and over again. I feel very uncomfortable with the “i love myself” concept..i don’t and i don’t even like myself. Feel so guilty. Yet the world and nature is so beautiful..it does give peace. I just always feel like some drama will appear and just as it resolves and even before it does, another is already occuring. Maybe it is too much to expect more than a day of nothing bad happening!

    1. Mary — I know you’ve written before and my heart continues to go out to you and your spouse. The burden you share is indeed great and I can fully understand how easy it would be to be demoralized.

      Right now, instead of hoping for a day of nothing bad happening, let’s work on getting days where you have MANY moments of peace … where breathing is easier and life doesn’t seem so heavy.

      More than anything else right now, you need to give yourself permission to feel at peace … even if you can only string a few moments of peace together throughout the day. There’s no point in feeling guilty; it doesn’t help you and it certainly doesn’t help your spouse. Choosing to feel guilt (and yes … it IS a choice you’ve made that has become a habit) is not helpful. There’s something inside you that believes it is wrong and possibly an act of betrayal to your spouse to have any lightness in your life when your spouse is hurting so much. Adding more pain to your life will never take away his pain, in fact, it likely adds more pain to it as when your cup is empty, you have nothing to give anyone else. On the other hand, strengthening yourself with more peace CAN and WILL not only lighten your burden, it will allow you to be the compassionate caretaker you want to be.

      So make a commitment right now to stop believing thoughts that say “it’s wrong to feel good” or “I need to feel guilty.” When those thoughts pop up, and they will, remember the mantra “Peace is my birthright. I claim it now.”

      Allow yourself to feel moments of joy: listen to the birds sing, feel the breeze, appreciate the sunrises and sunsets each day. Read uplifting books. Watch uplifting videos (I do this all the time when I’m feeling blue. I just go to YouTube and search for my favorite inspirational speakers. Here are a few of mine: Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Ed Bacon, Oprah’s Super Soul Saturday program, and that’s just to name a few). By adding lightness and hope into your life, your perspective will change … and the energy and love you have to bring to the world and to your spouse will multiply.

      As Victor Fankl (holocaust survivor) once said, “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”

      Because the weight of your life is so heavy, you need to find a reprieve from your pain. New challenges may appear daily, but with every storm comes rainbows … so don’t forget to look for the rainbows. You NEED to bath yourself in positive energy. It won’t take the hard things that are happening away, but it will help you get through it with a little more love and lightness in your heart along the way.

      Sending my love and prayers to you and your spouse, J. Marie

  4. I’m having a low day today.

    I don’t mind admitting that this year has probably been one of the hardest I have ever encountered and sometimes I wonder how I am even still standing on this earth fighting.

    2017 started with my ex-wife changing the contact arrangements with my two youngest children as this would increase her maintenance payments, whilst I had my two adopted teenage girls living with me full time.

    My Mum’s Cancer was getting worse throughout this year and she eventually passed away in July at 63, she was my rock and go to, but unfortunately I haven’y been able to grieve her passing as I have also been forced to settle my divorce from my ex-wife at the time of her passing and funeral.

    So on top of this the company I was working for went bust at the start of the year and I didn’t get paid for that period, I managed to get a job with a couple of weeks, but the financial impact is still very much around now. I struggle every month to make ends meet and try to live on £20-£30 a week for food (less than $40).

    On top of this I was forced to send one of my teenage daughters to go and live with her adoptive mum as she got involved with a 21 yo man, who I and the police suggested she could have been in very real danger of CSE.

    I try really hard to keep everything together, to keep getting up and going to work, but sometimes like today the realisation of how much pressure there is just gets a bit much. I know I just need to keep going and one day I hope to be on an even keel, where I don’t have to constantly worry about budgeting down to the last few pennies in my pocket, where I can actually think about saving for retirement.

    I am also aware that really I have a lot to be thankful for, I have my health and some really wonderful people who support me.

    Sorry this is all a bit of rambling mish mash of things, but there is so much going through my head all the time it’s difficult to get through it properly 🙁

    1. I’m crying as I read your post … my heart goes out to you completely. You’re not just going through one Divine Storm; you’re going through multiple storms all at once. I’d be lying if I said I completely understood your pain; I can only imagine the intensity of the difficulty and the courage it takes to get up each day when your heart is broken from the loss of your dear mother; from the pain of the divorce and the ongoing complications from it; from the worry a father has for his children when they’re at risk; and finally, for the weight of the financial pressures as intense as the ones you’re facing.

      I get the feeling that you know there’s really no advice I can offer that will make it all better, but what you really needed was just to share your story with another person, and sometimes it’s easier to share with a stranger. Know that even though I don’t know you, I see you. I hear you. I offer prayers and send love your way.

      I can’t resist trying to share a few words of wisdom. If they resonate, embrace them. If they don’t, just remember that this is a season of your life, not your whole life. Every storm passes … that is the nature of storms.

      When it all feels like too much, there are few things you can do. The first is reach out; it’s lovely that you’ve journaled this note here because we MUST not keep the pain inside. Sharing helps. You’ve mentioned you have some really wonderful people who support you, so lean on them … and don’t be afraid to ask for more help than usual as you actually give them a gift by doing so (as the honor of helping others is the #1 gift anyone of us can receive).

      Take it a day at a time. Sometimes you’ll need to take it a second at a time. I know this seems trite, but looking too far forward can be too overwhelming. There is peace in the small moments of your life; don’t miss those moments of peace, as you need them more than ever.

      In the 12-step movement, they have a saying: “Let Go and Let God.” When you find you’re at an impasse in any area, and the pressure is mounting, surrender the pain and worry to a higher power … whatever “Higher Power” means to you.

      Finally, find time and ways to grieve for your dear mum. (I remember reading a short book — Embraced by the Light — that brought me a little peace. Though don’t misunderstand me, it just brought some moments of solace, the grief process is complicated.)

      Every person mourns differently; allow your heart to guide you here. My mom died 23 years ago, and I still miss her so very much and get teary eyed when I see her photograph; those first few years after her passing were the most difficult, though. Time doesn’t heal all wounds; it just allows you to live with those wounds in greater peace.

      Going forward if you just feel you need to talk, you can return here. I’m no expert … and I don’t claim to be one … but I care.

      Sending prayers for peace, love, light, and more for you and your family. – J. Marie

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