It can be your best friend — if you let it.
Throughout life, we undergo many changes that instill a kind of fear, anxiety, or depression in us — usually because of the unknown, or letting go of what we currently have (tangible possessions, friends, lovers, etc.) On the flip side, there are also highs we experience because of that same change; whether it’s new relationships, friendships, or financial and economic milestones setting us in a (temporary) state of bliss. Sometimes they are great and exactly what we need. Other times they hurt and it takes us longer than we would like to “get over it.”
As someone who reads countless blogs (Medium), Articles (PsychologyToday, MensHealth, Cosmopolitan) and books promoting self-growth, mindfulness, strategies for growth and leadership skills in business and life, I am constantly reminded of this simple truth: time is the only constant and, in true form, it allows us to adapt to change. Those of us who cannot adapt get left behind, forced to try and keep up, struggling along the way. Otherwise, we can embrace it, allowing us to grow, becoming better, stronger, wiser human beings — hopefully teaching us to avoid past mistakes.
Personally, when I am going through something shitty (usually epic in nature), I try to think of the future. I even think of the past, if it helps. Specifically, I think about where I will be in two months (for example), and ask myself: “Will this problem still exist in my life?” If it is more extreme (involving matters of the heart, or relational changes), I go further out in time; one or two years, maybe more. If it is a personal squabble with family or friends, I tend to go a few weeks or months from the disagreement or argument.
However, when faced with a problem and self-doubt starts to rise, I think of my past. I think of situations I previously overcame. Things such as difficult classes (obtaining the desired grade), a change in career, financial hardships, or the loss of relationships, friends, or loved ones. While doing this, I have noticed that the problem seems less grand in nature. Instead, when I see it from a third person view, instead of a (my) first person view, it is small. Accomplishable. Doable. This helps me compartmentalize the problem; I put it in a box, so to speak, and not view it as an unclimbable mountain set in place by the universe for the sole purpose of fucking me over.
It helps me look at this problem that I have placed in this box and say to it…
“I will overcome you. Even if it’s not now, or in a week, or in a year… I will overcome you. I will destroy you motherfucker. I will destroy you like many problems before you, and the many that will surely come after you. So come at me.”
I have been through my fair share of hurt, heartbreak, denial, rejection (personal and professional), mistreatment and overall fuckery from early childhood until early adulthood. And, as I am sure it will not end, I am also confident to look each problem in the eye, with time on my side, and beat that sonofabitch into oblivion.
Time changes things. Time changes people. Time changes situations. What matters is how we will use that time. Will we use it to our advantage, adapting to the situation and overcoming the problem? Or will we sit idly by and let it run its course, leaving us in a perpetual state of stagnation — moving so far ahead of us that we can’t see our exit — our path to growth?