3 things to remember when your story becomes difficult
At some point in your story, you will find yourself in the Pit.
You will be surrounded by impossibility. The stench of failure will fill your nose. You will sit in the cold, wet darkness and wonder what you did wrong. How did you get here? Why did you even try?
You will give serious consideration to giving up, going back home, and living the same old story that everybody else lives.
A the bottom of the pit lies the remnants of dreams long since given up on.
When the day of the pit comes, you will be overwhelmed, but if you recognize it for what it is, you can survive it.
There are 3 things you must realize about this lonely place of despair.
The Pit is Necessary
The definition of a great story is overcoming difficulty to do good. The more incredible this good, the more incredible your story will be.
Some view helping old ladies across the street as good. It is. Please continue.
But there are some of us who want something more out of our story. There are those who view selling all that they have, moving to a developing country, and rescuing girls from underage prostitution as good.
The more incredible the story, though, the more difficult it is to overcome the obstacles.
If you help old ladies across the street, the pit you face is rather shallow. Maybe the old lady is ungrateful. Maybe the groceries are a bit heavy.
But if you go farther with your story, then the pit is deep.
Try to rescue girls from pimps and the challenges are immense. Lack of success. A government that functions primarily through bribes. Angry pimps trying to kill you. Who wouldn’t turn around?
Enter the pit. Don’t avoid it. Recognize it as an opportunity to make your own story better.
The pit is a sign that you are on the right track.
The Pit is both Hard and Good.
Even though it is necessary, the pit is still a very hard place to be. Don’t give up. Keep forging ahead.
Even when we expect it, its severity can still surprise us.
You may be struggling to raise enough support for your nonprofit. When you check your blog traffic stats, you may hear the sound of grasshoppers chirping. The little bell on the front door of your brand new store may be silent, but don’t give up.
This time period of the pit is when incredible personal growth can occur, if you persevere.
The mark of our character isn’t exhibited during times of success.
It is most evident when you sit in the midst of the pit, but still manage to keep going. To show up to do the work. To keep taking small but daily steps.
When you finally climb out, you won’t be the same person.
I know it’s easy to say now, but the pit is good. Eventually you will be thankful for it.
The Pit will End.
The Pit does not last forever. It may take days, hours, or even years, but it will end.
One of the lies it will tell you is that the Pit is immortal.
When we are siting in the middle of it, it certainly seems like it will last forever.
But the Pit has a lifespan and if you stick with your story, if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you can out live it.
Am I promising success? It depends on your definition. If you make it through, if you change for the better, then in my mind you have succeeded.
And if you succeed in this way, then you will be even more prepared to continue writing your story. Armed to do more battle.
You will be ready to enter an even deeper pit.
Have you experienced the pit? Have you suffered trying to live a better story? Tell us in the comments.