Rock bottom. No one wants to be there yet people end up in the pit anyway. Sometimes, that’s been, is or will be us. Some people have an extended stay. Others depart to rebuild lives, name and reputation. Yet that doesn’t happen until the mind and behavior stops doing at least one thing.
“When I’m at the bottom looking up, the main question may not be ‘how do I get out of this hole?’ In reality, the main question might be ‘how do I get rid of the shovel that I used to dig it?”
Craig D. Lounsbrough
Licensed Professional Counselor
Or maybe even better…
“You need to reach a point where you’ve simply had enough and you have to have the motivation to change. You’re ready to put the shovel down, so to speak. People reach that point at different rates. ‘So, really, how deep do you want to dig this hole?”
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Chief Clinical Officer
That figurative shovel is an off-target mindset and misaligned subsequent behavior that moves us away from what is wise and healthy and towards, you got it — rock bottom.
It’s a place of crisis and suffering. It can become a trap too if we allow it.
To move out of it — escape it if you prefer — requires understanding. That means smart stress management, poise and proper vision of which direction to move. It requires self control, a plan of wise action you are willing and committed to taking and persevering through to check out.
The pain of rock bottom should inspire introspection and provide clarity of what we don’t want. It should lead to accuracy of thought, ownership of whatever we’ve done to contribute to our pain and what wisely, morally needs to be done next and done consistently to improve.
Doing this can act as the necessary catalyst to change our current reality. Our hardship doesn’t have to be a final chapter and the end. It can become, as author J.K. Rowling experienced.
“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
How humble, receptive to learning and making smart adjustments are we? How committed to them are we? What are we willing to do and stop doing to improve our reality? Who is wise to trust and who should we stop trusting (that also might be ourselves in some situations)?
Rock bottom can teach us something if we allow it. We can pass through it sooner and with less harm and it can prove to be a springboard for not only survival but vast improvement and healthy outcomes.
Michael Toebe is a reputation analyst, consultant, advisor and communications specialist, serving individuals and organizations. He has provided analysis and advisory for Chief Executive, Corporate Board Member, Physicians Practice, Corporate Compliance Insights, New York Law Journal and Training Industry and regularly publishes at Red Diamonds Essays and Reputation Specialist Essays (both on the Medium platform) and LinkedIn.
Permission to republish by request and with proper attribution.