Getting over it

Ever so often in life, we find ourselves facing obstacles that we need to overcome in order to achieve growth. These hurdles come in many different shapes and forms, overbearing us emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually. It is a well-known fact that your ability to grow from a certain situation is highly dependent on your reaction to it.

I am going to infuse this article with the lessons I learnt from a book called “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. Bear in mind that I rarely enjoy self-help books (I have a pet-peeve for being told what to do lol!). But this book introduced me a kind of liberation I never knew existed. A kind of liberation that allows you to introspect purely and re-route through the hurdles that life possesses.

The Four Agreements are challenging practices sought to bring peace and joy into one’s everyday life. Here’s a summary of what those four agreements are and their implications towards overcoming the hurdles that I deal with.

  1. Be impeccable with your word

Words give life. Labelling your obstacle as something ‘unbeatable’ will in fact make it that- unbeatable. Impeccable words are those that speak truth. Impeccable words are not negative and are never intended against you or anybody else. These words carry integrity and do not contain malice that eventually leads to destruction. Impeccable words have the power to restore what has been shattered, they have the power to motivate as well as to empower.

2. Don’t take anything personally

I recently came to terms that everyone has their own demons that we know nothing about. I remember congratulating this one lady on the birth of her new baby and her response to me was shallow, and unexcited compared to the warmth my introverted self had expressed to her. I felt unwanted and ashamed to the point where I questioned whether I had overstepped.

One person’s words towards you are shaped by circumstances in relation to their upbringing, or hurdle they’re trying to overcome. In this scenario, her actions might’ve been shaped by her mood at the time. Taking things personally is negative weight that produces unnecessary baggage. Just think, you have much less to worry about when you choose to be unbothered by people.

Unkind words expressed by someone have nothing to do with you. That is their own opinion. Remember, what others think of you is none of your business.

3. Don’t make assumptions

There’s a famous Swahili saying that goes: “kuuliza sio ujinga”- meaning, it is not foolish to ask. You know that feeling of relief you get after finding out the truth about something you once assumed? Oftentimes when I make the wrong assumptions I come to feel guilty that I wasted my time inviting negativity into my space. Or if its the other way around and I assumed something positive, I get frustrated that I wasted my time.

Think about all the sadness, misunderstandings and drama you can avoid by simply being direct and by asking about the things you’re unsure of. So don’t make assumptions, this is one way to avoid a hurdle and also a way to overcome a hurdle.

4. Always do your best

This last agreement- probably the most powerful is to always do your best. Recognize that there is no standard for doing your best. Your best depends on your current capabilities. The best you’ve got to give today might not equal to the best you’re going to give 60 years to come.

To me, doing my best at something gives me more clarity. Knowing that i’ve given my best at something that does not work out lets me know that I either deserve better or that my creator has much bigger plans in store for me to conquer.

Do your best when being impeccable with your word, do your best when not taking things personally and do your best in asking as many questions as you can so you don’t make assumptions.

And when you find yourself stuck, sit back and meditate. Search your mind for new possibilities and new ways to overcome. Following these four agreements has never been easy and from time to time I find myself referring back to them.

How do you get over it?

P.S. If you’ve read this far, you’re my favorite 💛 .