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How to live your best life - even when times are tough

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How do we live our best lives, even when we’re going through a rough patch? It’s not a crisis until we call it a crisis, says mind architect Peter Crone. 

According to Crone, we try to simplify life’s complexity with words. Instead of labeling a rough patch as a crisis, we should embrace life just the way it presents itself, he says. If something ends, it’s a chance to make a new start. With this mindset, you enable yourself to see the positive sides of a situation and you live your best life. Even if your world seems to be tumbling down. He shares his insights with Goop

Survival methods 

The construction of your identity starts when you’re just a child. The first time you do something wrong, you find out that love and acceptance aren’t self-evident. You develop survival methods to regain that feeling of belonging. These methods help you to create an identity as an expression of a deep desire to be a part of something bigger (a family), and to feel loved and accepted. 

Not good enough 

When we fail, we tend to make this feeling of ‘not being good enough’ a part of our identity. We get so attached to the idea that we’re not enough – no matter how strange that sounds – that we start seeing it as part of us. We don’t think we’re beautiful enough, young enough, smart enough, attractive enough, etcetera. 

Holding on to this belief – that, in fact, is just a reflection of something in your past – has a huge impact on your life. It causes you to bump into the same problems and restrain yourself, instead of giving yourself the chance to grow. That’s how we let the difficult moments in our personal history decide the image of ourselves – an image or identity we mistakenly think is fixated. 

Resistance 

As soon as you label your situation with the word ‘crisis’, you deny the advantages of it. You make it into a bad thing, causing your ego to resist. Biologically, our brain was designed to protect us from (possible) failure and pain. The irony is: once you resist, this will only cause you more pain and grief. Difficult times can represent transformation and new possibilities. Live your best life, and in order to do so, says Crone, allow a version of us to disappear, so that a new version can be ‘born’. 

Go with the flow 

We all experience setbacks. The trick is to accept them and think of them as a natural part of life’s flow. If you hold on to your past and define yourself based on what went wrong, it’ll cause you more pain. But if you learn from your mistakes, accept that there are difficult times and don’t blame yourself for them, you can go with the flow. There’ll be space for you to grow, even – or maybe especially – in times of crisis. That’s how you’ll live your best life. 

Text: Sanne Eva Dijkstra - Photo:  Joe Gardner