How to Pull Yourself Out of a Dark Place

When you are in a dark place, it can feel like there is no way out.

It may feel like it’s impossible and that you don’t know where to start.

At best, you may make progress and then suddenly slip backward right back to where you started.

As I was reflecting upon this challenge with a friend of mine, it reminded me of what my thought process was when I was suicidal after my father took his own life in ‘07.

I remember being in that dark place and thinking that it felt like I was in a war (which, metaphorically, you are in a war – with your mind), hiding down low in a bunker.

Living in a Bunker

Using the metaphor of being in a bunker, when I was in a dark place, (a.k.a. “ in a hole”), I always envisioned it like I was trying to climb up a mudslide.

The surface I was trying to climb out of was filthy. It was muddy, full of rocks, wet, and incredibly slippery!

It often felt like no matter what I tried, I somehow kept sliding down.

But when I started to re-analyze my approach, I could see that I was often trying to hurry myself out of depression.

I was looking for a quick fix in things like medication, the perfect therapist, financial breakthroughs, or anything that in my mind would “solve my problem”. I wasn’t willing to be patient as I turned things around.

Now, while I do encourage everyone wanting to get better as quickly as possible, I realized one day that if I could just be a bit more strategic and patient while getting out of this “hole”, I could more effectively make progress and help avoid falling backwards.

What did I do?

I built a ladder.

Build Your Ladder

To me, building a ladder means still trying to take the same necessary steps to find a solution (for the record, I don’t have any problem with people taking medication, but it wasn’t for me and I think many people are able to heal themselves without it), while shifting your mindset to be more patient and “stack your wins” on top of each other by first focusing on what you can control.

Very often when I hear someone is struggling with depression, they are poorly operating in one of three main areas: Nutrition (N), sleep (S), and exercise (E).

To me, those are the three pillars of self-care to help ensure you give yourself the best chance to be mentally healthy, strong, and resilient.

Following that, if you can set a new vision (V) for what your life can look like beyond depression, along with new goals (G) and the habits (H) that support that vision, you can begin to build your ladder and climb your way out over time.

Though I do believe starting with nutrition, sleep, and exercise is best, you can start by going to therapy, hiring a coach, talking to your spouse, or whatever works for you.

The key is to shift your mindset from trying to climb and claw your way out of depression to take a more strategic approach and slowly build a ladder and stack your strategies, step by step, to support you.

In Conclusion

Climbing out of depression may feel daunting, but it is possible to achieve.

I have done it three times in my life. I was suicidal the year after my dad took his life in 2007, the summer after I competed in the Paralympics in 2014, and once more in 2015.

However, never once have I attempted anything, I have sought a ton of help, and I now want to help teach other people how to do the same. I want you to learn how to become a hero in your own story.

If this resonates with you, I encourage you to please reach out and ask for help. To a therapist, family doctor, spouse, HR, and if you’re interested in coaching, I can show you how I turned everything around using The Hero Mindset Blueprint.

Climbing out of depression is possible.

Just take things one step at a time.

Whenever you are ready, if you would like to learn more, here are the best ways I can help you:

Connect with me on LinkedIn – This is where I post my best content to help you shift your mindset to drive results and embrace change. Click here

Hire me as a speaker for your next event – Watch my keynote demo reel on The Hero Mindset to see me in action. Click here

Work with me privately – If you would like to work with me and my team privately to help strengthen your commitment towards the change you are experiencing, increase your mental resilience, and perform with relentless stamina, just send me a message here and let me know the important details about your business and we’ll take care of the rest.

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