Feel Like You’ve Hit the Wall? (Look Again)

drawing - hit the wall

August 2008: Depressed.

April 2014: Bleak.

November 2016: Empty.

September 2019: Burned out.

Those are a few of the times in my life where I felt like I hit the wall. Like I had come to the end.

According to Grammarist.com, “hit the wall” is a term that athletes use to mean “the point in an athlete’s performance when he is fully depleted as does not feel he can continue.”

Fully depleted. Yes, that’s it. And you‘ve felt it, too, haven’t you?

I know you have, because you’re human.

While we don’t often talk about these things, we all experience them.

And yet, the fact we’re both here today tells you that what felt like the end clearly wasn’t the end. So, if you feel like you’ve hit the wall again here lately, I will remind you: this isn’t the end. To the contrary. Is it possible this is… the beginning?

What if “the wall” isn’t a wall?

Maybe you’ve heard me share my journey “from surviving to thriving” over the 10-year period from 2008-2018.

I’ve had a lot of time to reflect over the last couple of years, as we all have. And as I’ve reviewed that 10-year period, I noticed something.

I noticed that every time I thought I hit the wall, it actually wasn’t a wall. Instead…

One step at a time

It was a step.

A step looks just like a wall from one vantage point, you know. (If you’re miniature, you know.)

But when you zoom out, you see a different picture.

When I look back over that decade of my life, I can see that every wall was actually a step, with an invitation to rise to another level.

Every ending, you see, is actually a new beginning… if you’re open to it.

At every wall, there was something calling out to me to “look up.”

The depression invited me to make a decision and say, this must change, now. Step.

The bleakness invited me to finally follow my heart and step into unfamiliar territory. Step.

The emptiness invited me to unleash my true power within. Step.

The burnout invited me to slow down, regroup, and reimagine possibilities. Step.

These aren’t the only times I’ve hit the wall in my life, of course. Just a few of the more dramatic ones.

On the other side of every “wall”—when I accepted the invitation to rise up—was a breakthrough.

On the other side of every “wall” was me discovering more of myself.

On the other side of every “wall” was me discovering more joy and more peace.

Oh, and with every one of those steps… was also leaving something behind. That’s what happens when you rise, right?

And today, the journey continues.

If you ask me, this is the journey of life—one grand spiral staircase. Up we go!

So, if that’s true, and every wall really is a step, then I ask you:

  • What might be needed of you right now, to reach the next level?
  • What fears stand between you and the next level?
  • What skills do you need to develop?
  • Who do you need to become?
  • What support do you need in that process?

Remember, you’re not alone.

Truly, we’re all in this together.

And I’m in your corner.

All that matters right now is right now. The next step. One foot in front of the other.

Today, may you find the grace and peace and strength–a.k.a. your “second wind”–to take that next step.

Up we go. 🙂

Shawn Ellis
Mastering the Moments:
Living with Heart

Nashville, Tennessee

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