Did I just hear you scoff: "Wanna bet?!"
Hmmm, okay...let's dance.
Take a look at the accompanying image to this article, what do you see? You see a tree that has grown through a stone boulder, right? Pretty impressive by anyone's standards. Now let's think a little more about what we're actually looking at here.
All trees start their lives as a seed of some kind; small, weak, vulnerable and highly perishable if not nurtured - but always packed full of potential nonetheless.
This particular seed wasn't a seed one day and, by the magical Power of Greyskull, a full height specimen capable of shattering rock the next. This little seed grew and garnered its strength incrementally; little by little, day by day. Then, when the eventual tree's inherent power became too much to contain, the rock split - not nearly strong enough to prevent the tree's progress towards the light. And this is why you're almost definitely not nearly as screwed as you think you are. Let's imagine the seed's journey.
IN THE BEGINNING
I think we can all safely assume the seed didn't have the desire or the wherewithal to burrow under the rock for shits and giggles. So in the beginning, the seed found itself buried under the rock, agreed.
These were not ideal circumstances for the seed. Granted there was clearly soil and nutrients, with access to water, but there was no sunlight to grow towards. Whilst basic survival was possible, the path upwards was severely blocked - but the seed persisted, and found a way; where a way had not previously been apparent.
As a tiny sapling, comparatively frail and fragile, the progression upwards was taken by whatever means possible. The smallest nook, the darkest cranny, the most inhospitable crack in the rock were optimised to the fullest extent, to lend purchase to the ultimate journey upwards - and all without life sustaining sunlight.
The seed/sapling was not a sentient being, there was no intellect in play; this was all done instinctively, by a natural sense, and strength begot strength. With every inch, with every triumph (however small and seemingly inconsequential), more power multiplied. Subsequently the sapling added girth to height, and its force was magnifying; but none of this happened quickly. Over time the increasing power of girth, and a relentless push upwards, started to weaken the strength and integrity of the stone. One day, after God only knows how many years, the stone yielded to the stronger force of a persistent tree, and split in two. Vanquished.
PERSISTENCE PREVAILS WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS
However hard, solid and dense some rocks, boulders and immoveable objects appear to be, we must remember that the persistence and fluidity of water - and now at least one tiny seed/sapling that we know of - can eventually erode their ostensible strength. This is one of your lessons: When you believe yourself to be royally screwed; you're almost definitely not as screwed as you think you are.
Process: The first reality you need to accept is this: Progress does not recognise the concept ort authority of time. Progress will arrive when it's good and ready, and at exactly the right juncture. It may be convenient, or more comfortable, for you if progress would arrive at a designated time and place of your choosing, but holding on to this expectation will become the root of all your pain and frustration. Let this go. Conjuring some arbitrary end date is, in essence, self harm, so let events unfold as they should.
Suspend your disbelief for a moment and imagine our little tiny seed, buried under this enormous rock, thinking to itself: "I'm going to give myself until a week next Tuesday to bust this bugger open, so as to be a fully grown tree (by then), basking in the sunshine". Admirable gumption, but not grounded in reality. Progress is a process, not an event.
Patience: If progress is a process, which will take as long as it takes, all you can do is take a deep breath and be patient. Learn to be patient if needs be (as this in itself may be part of your lesson), and teach yourself to enjoy the journey. So many people (myself included) are in such a hurry to get from A to B, so focused on what's next that they miss the what's now. The key point to remember here is, whilst progress may be slow, quitting won't speed it up!
If you're racing from one minute to the next, what happens to the minute you're in?
It's useful to remember that there are usually lessons within the process of getting from where you are now, to where you want to ultimately be. By fighting such an arduous battle, as our little seed/sapling did here, you will become stronger, more confident and have more self-esteem as a result - simply because you took on, fought and won your battle. You will forever be entitled to stop, breathe and think to yourself: "I did that!"
To help you become a more patient person, live mindfully in the present moment. Focus less on the final outcome, and enjoy becoming the person you need to be when you get there.
Strength: We all know strength isn't just about lifting heavy weights at the gym, but not everyone realises the potency of their mental and emotional strength - until, of course, being strong is the only option they have.
When you hit whatever it is that leaves you convinced you're screwed, you only increase it's power over you by conceding that ground. By telling yourself you're screwed, you are diminishing your personal power and rendering yourself screwed. The only realities in this world are those that we choose to accept. By insisting from yourself a stronger mental and/or emotional response, you can actually manifest that strength into reality. No I haven't been reading too many Harry Potter books, you can literally manifest anything with your thoughts (and hard work) - good or bad - so be careful what you ask for.
When the faecal matter impacts upon the air circulation unit, find your steel. Dig deep - knowing with all certainty that it's in there, that you have the strength to summon and reveal. Decide that YOU WILL NOT be beaten by the challenges you face, and that you WILL triumph and prevail. This is simply a decision you have to make. You are powerful beyond measure, but you must reach inside for the strength and answers you seek - it is in there - no exceptions, that's just your low self-esteem trash talking your id, and you can ignore that traitor.
Perseverance: You have to keep going! There is no substitute for resolute perseverance in the face of all adversity. The challenges you face now have been sent to test and teach you, to rip you out of a comfort zone and make you grow. You will not be the same person when you emerge on the other side of this, but that is exactly the point of why you're going through this! Look at it this way; our little seed didn't quit half way through its journey through rock, did it? And you're bigger, better and stronger than a little tree seed...aren't you? So if the seed can eventually smash open a rock, you can handle what you've got going on, without a doubt!
You're almost definitely not as screwed as you think you are. These challenges will ultimately help you, believe it or not, and offer you wild new opportunities, because of the person you become whilst conquering them. Let me give you one world-scale example.
In the midst of the infamous cola war with Pepsi during April 1985, and upon the high confidence and urging of Sergio Zyman, Coca Cola launched New Coke. So confident were Coca Cola in their new recipe, they stopped making original Coke altogether. New Coke bombed, everyone hated it, the company lost $100 million and Sergio Zyman was summarily fired. It seemed Coca Cola was doomed, and Pepsi the ultimate cola war victor.
In August 1985 however, original Coke - now Coke Classic - returned to the shelves and sales spiked to levels higher than ever previously enjoyed. The battle with Pepsi was re-joined and Sergio Zyman was recruited back into the Coca Cola fold because, as then CEO Roberto Goizueta stated: "We get paid to produce results. We don't get paid to be right".
What could easily be construed as a catastrophic failure (the launch of New Coke) of global proportions, with huge financial consequences being brought to bear ($100 million loss), a magnificent victory could still be snatched from the jaws of defeat - by refusing to admit defeat! Without the failure of New Coke, without the re-launch of Coke Classic, Coca Cola was almost certainly doomed to lose the cola war with Pepsi. Instead, the failure of New Coke was in fact Coca Cola's saviour. Things are not always as they appear to be, which is why you must never, ev-ver quit!
However bleak your circumstances may appear to be now, don't quit. You have only ever truly lost if you quit. It doesn't matter how many times you're knocked down, so long as you keep getting up. You are only ever truly screwed if you allow it, so you must find a way to unscrew yourself. You will become the person you ultimately need to be in the search for, and the implementation of, the solution. You CAN do it. You MUST do it. Now go and do it!
If you can't you must, and if you must you can!
My final point on this matter is this. If a little weak seed can grow and grow, with the patience of saints and the perseverance required to split a boulder in two, YOU can beat this thing. You are not nearly as screwed as you once thought you were, but you do need to change your thinking and take action. I'm here if you need some help with that.
Good luck and give 'em hell!