Ever feel like you’ve hit a dead end – that you’ve got nothing left to give?
Life has some intriguing lessons for each of us to master. If we do not learn from them first time around, they tend to turn up again and again – just in harder, more confronting doses.
Eventually we hit a dead end. Our old patterns and ways of doing things are no longer working; we’ve run out of puff.
Ideally, we should stop at these times to consider the underlying obstacles and stresses in our lives, and learn to adapt, re-frame and see things with a fresh perspective.
However, what all too often happens is that we simply ignore the signs and push through. Chances are, through sheer strength of will (often an admirable quality as long as it does not manifest as stubbornness and denial) we manage to get back on track – for a while anyway.
But how long does it last? And what will happen next time you hit a dead end?
Your Mental Health can Impact Your Physical Health
The reality is that if you just push through the dead end, without addressing the underlying issues – it is likely to happen again. And this is the sort of stress that can take a very high tool on our mind and body.
I’m reminded of a client I worked with recently, who has spent a lifetime of kind-heartedly putting other people’s needs ahead of her own. She had frequently experienced that “dead end” of being emotionally drained to the point of exhaustion, but time and again she forced herself to override these feelings and continued to put others first.
Now, some cumulative years later, the immense unrelenting levels of work and family stressors this generous everyday working mum has endured, have led to serious physical health breakdown and perhaps even the potentially irreversible loss of sight in one eye (due to a stress related ulcer)!
If you identify with this article, and realise that too have often hit a dead end in your life, please see this as a warning sign – and time to sort through the underlying issues. I urge you to talk with a registered psychologist to learn more about how to wisely let go, in a spirit of accepting matters that you do not have the capacity to change, and allowing the sometimes fearful ending of one pattern in your life to instead represent the beginning of many new possibilities for positive growth.
Author: Peter Doyle, B Psych (Hons), MAPS, MCCOUNP, MCOP.
Peter is endorsed both as a Counselling Psychologist and Organisational Psychologist and has over 25 years’ experience in clinical, counselling and workplace settings, helping clients with a diverse range of personal, lifestyle and psychological wellbeing issues.
Peter is currently not practicing at M1 Psychology, find his details on his website: Guidelight Psychology.