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Did you ever reach your breaking point? Are you stronger or less tolerant because of it?

Truth is nobody is unbreakable. There are only strong people. Those who aren’t afraid of exploring the unknown and taking difficult situations in an admirable manner. Most likely, these people get to be that way by already experiencing the ‘tough’ and learning to cope. However, is it possible that you jump from one to another constantly, thus becoming stronger and stronger?

My theory is that it’s not, at least not to a never-ending extent. Such experience is crucial in the growing process, but after a while we start losing other invaluable things: patience, tolerance, humility, health. Why else do stressed professionals get heart attacks?

What one may pick up on the way though is bitterness and sarcasm. Think of any bitter person you know and try to figure out where it all came from. This is also a good exercise of allowing someone to tell their story because admit it or not, everybody needs to bring it out there, just not to anyone. Be the ‘someone’, the truly empathetic one. Help them get it out of their system and cleanse. Don’t forget to learn from it. Each story matters and teaches. Only the ability to find the moral of the story differs.

So how do we save ourselves from reaching a breaking point, which will ultimately take an important piece of us?

  • Be alert.

Be alert to what’s important to you. Eliminate any unnecessary worry and see the big picture. By focusing on the big picture, you’ll eventually realize how insignificant those tiny daily annoyances are and you’ll gradually discard them altogether.

  • Take control of the things you can.

Sounds pretty straightforward, but easy to overlook when overwhelmed.

  •  Avoid multiple repetitions.

Nothing can bring you closer to the breaking point than repeating the same mistakes/getting into the same situation over and over again. You may get angry with yourself and divert from the real problem. Being your own enemy is the worst.

  • Save energy.

Nothing can prepare you for the unexpected. But if you keep wasting your energy on little disturbances, you’ll be completely exhausted for the time when you most need it.

The secret to get stronger, yet not reach a breaking point is to know where your line is. Nobody can deny that it’s brave to fight. Yet, sometimes the strongest thing to do is to know when to stop. Draw that line. Show your strength by standing up and making a choice for yourself.

Do you know where your breaking point is? What have you learned from past experiences? 

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6 thoughts on “What Is Your Breaking Point?

  1. Excellent tips, Sophie. We all have stress and troubles to deal with in our lives and they do change us in very big ways if we let them. I’m not sure where my breaking point is, but I always seems to know when I’m about to hit it. Somehow, I feel that it is there and it gives me the motivation I need to bring myself back up and fix what needs fixed. While I do find that motivation helpful, it is definitely a way healtheir idea to try and stear clear of getting to that point.

    • Thanks Kevin! I feel exactly the same way with being motivated to bring myself up and fix things, but I’ve realized that sometimes I just need to stop. Working on drawing the line nowadays. I guess it comes down to practice like with anything else. Wishing I was a cat with nine lives. 🙂

  2. Gosh Sophie. I am not sure i want to hit my breaking point. Whew! There-by I can’t tell where that might be.

    I wonder if that comes down to flexibility? Hmmmm…….. You know, one of the things that I love about blogging is the opportunity to vet ideas (and frustrations, I suppose) and by writing about them it seems to make them less significant as an overwhelming issue in your life (if they are). I attribute that to exposing or sharing the ideas and by doing so taking away some of the potential magnitude it might hold if kept inside. That and you can get feedback that may, in some small way, change your perspective.

    So, I would add to your list with: be flexible (rigidity can frustrate you) and have perspective (see the issues or problems you may be experiencing form a different viewpoint – discuss them with others and listen).

    Thanks for this piece. You know, every time I come by here you make me think. I love that! Great stuff…..

    • Ralph, thank you so much. That is exactly the purpose of this blog – to make people think and I’m so happy that it’s managing to hit that point. Like you said, blogging is a perfect opportunity to vet and share ideas, and get into discussions that potentially may change your perspective. Flexibility and perspective should definitely be added to the list. Thanks again for your valuable contribution!

  3. Great post, Sophie. I think part of being human is discovering the conditions that need to be in place in order to keep the risk of reaching the breaking point low. For me it’s the right combination of exercise, yoga, being in nature, alone time, prayer, and writing (to name a few). It’s never perfectly balanced (at least not so far!) but just having the list helps me figure out what may be lacking when things start to feel “off.”

    • Thank you for sharing Liz. It sounds like you are keeping yourself away nicely. The problem with breaking points is with people who can’t make their own choices for too long and need to endure. Not many things help in those cases, but we need to keep trying. Inner strength is built through hardship and character.

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