The rug underneath your feet has not only been pulled out, the entire floor has collapsed and sent you into the existential abyss where nothing makes sense—you’ve officially hit rock bottom.
Hitting rock bottom for all of us can come in different forms, shapes and sizes —but the feeling is the same:
We feel completely lost.
We feel completely alone.
We feel completely stuck.
And ultimately —the reason it hurts so much —is our identity has been rocked and the ego is scrambling to figure out who the hell it is anymore.
However you get there, one thing is for certain:
When you’ve hit rock bottom —there is nothing left but radical honesty.
There are no more excuses, rationalizations or any other ways to distract, numb and sedate our life circumstances:
We are naked, exposed and vulnerable like never before.
While extremely jarring and painful —rock bottom can be the fertile ground for your next transformation.
It often takes rock bottom to get honest.
We’re incredible at deceiving ourselves, but when we hit rock bottom —we have no option but to be honest, which is the first key to change.
When we hit rock bottom, we learn the lesson.
There’s one thing to intellectually know a lesson —but when we’re at rock bottom, it punches in the face into submission where we’ve become it.
When we’ve lost everything, we get to know who we are.
The infamous Fight Club quote is true —when the ego has little to hold onto anymore, we get to know who we are.
And in this place, there are two options:
One —we can continue to lie to ourselves, to run away from the pain and responsibility, or:
Two —we can finally choose our liberation by letting the pain of rock bottom compel us to a new reality.
So, how do you choose the second one?
Allow yourself to feel the pain without running away.
Let the emotions flow —the sadness, intensity, anger and despair are there for a reason.
Be willing to open yourself up to a new level of radical honesty.
Examine yourself and how you show up —and be as honest as you can without judgement.
Practice the art of detachment and surrender.
To make it out of this place requires a complete and total letting go of our old identity.
Let your old self die in the flames of what used to be.
This complete ego-dissolvement is incredibly painful, yet will start your transformation.
Hitting rock bottom with a relationship of 3.5 years cheat on me woke me up that I would never settle again.
Hitting rock bottom by living in an environment that was eating me alive for years woke me up to stop lying.
Hitting rock bottom financially with years of work and nothing but endless debt to show for it woke me up to take control.
As David Brooks, author of The Second Mountain says about suffering:
“These seasons of suffering have a way of exposing the deepest parts of ourselves and reminding us that we’re not the people we thought we were.”
The reality is —this moment can be the gift you have been waiting for.
These crucible moments in our lives are what define us, and there are countless people who have gone through the valley you may be in and who months or years later said:
“That was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Not in some social media cliche way —but truly recognizing without hitting rock bottom they would have never chosen something new:
Chosen a new way to live.
Chosen a new way to grow.
Chosen a new way to evolve.
Because the worst thing that can happen is you stay floating above rock bottom —and make it comfortable.
And because you’re comfortable, you never harness the power of agency to choose something new.
Last, if you find yourself in rock bottom —here are four of my favorite books as you navigate its intensity:
- Loving What Is —Byron Katie.
- The Second Mountain —David Brooks.
- Dark Side of Light Chasers —Debbie Ford.
- Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself —Dr. Dispenza.
One last note:
It’s probably going to get harder —before it gets easier.
But please, for the sake of your future self —keep practicing faith, trust and resilience during these times.
He, she, or they are begging you to.
The keys to your ultimate liberation lie on the other side of your ability to square off with your current reality.
Have you ever hit rock bottom?
I’d love to hear your lesson inside the comments.