A breaking point is defined as the moment of greatest strain at which someone or something gives way. Being able to achieve the life that you envision for yourself means that you are going to have to learn how to survive the breaking points that you will encounter along the way.
In my personal experience I have endured these moments in my life by hunkering down and focusing on what needs to be done in the short term in order to get through the tough parts. I have always taken the approach of working harder to plow my way through. However, there are writers and researchers who suggest another approach. They suggest being more open and inclusive. For example, the authors and researchers Mel Robbins of The 5 Second Rule and Shawn Achor of The Happiness Advantage, both reference the importance of taking an approach where you share your stress. They have found that people who engage others and reach out and connect are better able to cope with the situations they face in these instances.
While there may not be one set way that will work for everyone in every situation where they are facing a breaking point, here are some suggestions that may help.
- Remind yourself of your why. Remind yourself what you are working to achieve and why. As Les Brown says, if you know your why, you can endure any how.
- Confront your fear. Ask yourself, what is the worst that can happen. If you are worried about losing your job, consider what could happen if that were to become a reality. Think about what you would do in order to manage in that situation or to recover from it. Are there alternative forms of employment that you are willing to undertake on a temporary basis? Do you have savings you can fall back on? Do you own something that you can sell to keep going? It seems that when we look the beast in the eye and we are willing to acknowledge what is terrifying us, it loses some of its power.
- Keep going. Keep putting in the effort and doing what you can. It often takes a mindset of dogged and determined action to get through a breaking point. It usually seems much easier to walk away because there seems to be no win option available, only stress from all sides. However, if you know why you are here and why you are not leaving, you increase the chances that one day you will look up and be on the other side of that hurdle.
In one of his sermons, T D Jakes described the ability to successfully navigate a breaking point as the secret to attaining mastery in anything. He emphasized that if we are unable to endure the challenge that we will run the risk of never being able to succeed at the things we try to accomplish. He also went so far as to state that the difference between people who get married and only stay married for three years when compared to those who stay married for thirty years, is how well they master the breaking points that they encounter along the way.
So what about you? Have you ever encountered a breaking point in your life? You may not have even realized at the time that it was one. It could have been a time when you had to dig deep to keep going along your path or maybe you didn’t feel able to handle the challenge and so you walked away. Regardless of what you did before, remember that the chances are, more of them will come along. You will need to be ready. They may be big or small. You will need to know how you are going to handle it when it comes. Are you going to cut and run? Or are you going to stick and fight? Decide now, how you are going to handle your next breaking point.
Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach who works with individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance. She is based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. For more of her writing visit https://marjoriewharton.live