The pit is that place of drama where you might end up sometimes, when things are lousy: you lost your job, your kid called from the police station, your best friend let you down, you burned dinner.

Sometimes, we just let ourselves go there.

Sometimes, we see our friends go there.

It sucks. There's no question.

So what can you do, when you or someone you love is in the pit?

One response is to jump in with them…that's pretty common, and completely unhelpful. You or they may enjoy the company – but now there are two of you stuck down there, and you're no closer to getting out.

You can ask for or offer them a rope or a ladder that you or they can use to get back out. Sometimes people will be ready for this and sometimes, they won't. It can seem like a lot of work to get out of the pit – and they may not feel ready to do it yet - for any of a number of reasons.

In that case – what are you going to do?

Well, if it's you on the rim, before you consider pitching a tent and camping out to keep them company, consider what this act will mean to YOUR life, and your ability to bring your special gifts to the world. If you're camping out at the edge of the pit, you're not in a position to help the person in the pit, especially if they're not trying to climb out – and you're also not doing what you came here to do.

There surely are times that your presence helps them to climb out, and it's worth being there. But use this little mental image to evaluate that. If you close your eyes and envision this picture, do you see this person climbing? Or are they sitting in the muck, glad that you're willing to sit on the edge and keep them company?

Are you serving them in that case? Maybe you're actually making it easier for them to stay in the pit. What if you go ahead and dance in the meadow of life….you can still love them. It's not about loving or not loving – in fact, I would argue that there are times that it is MORE loving to go ahead and live fully. Go ahead and dance in the meadow – you're showing them what is possible. You can come back and check on them now and then, and see how they're doing, see if they've decided to do something different, and if you can now offer some loving and effective help that they are ready to receive.

If it's you in the pit – keep this little image in mind. How long do you want to choose to stay in the pit and miss all that dancing? No matter what happens in our life, it's our response to what happens that dictates whether or not we drop into the pit - and if we stay there once we land.

When we dance our dance, it encourages people to come out and dance with us. It's great to draw them out, to invite them, to encourage them, to support them. Just be sure to continue to dance.

There are many specific tools for dealing with feeling stuck in the pit – you'll find some of them on the resources page of this website. The neurological repatterning work I do creates the mindset shifts that allow us to stay out of the pit, no matter what the external situation is.

How can you USE this new image?

Sit with your personal image of the Pit, and think of three people who take up a fair amount of your time and energy.

One at a time, imagine these people in the pit.

What they are doing? Are they trying to get out?
Do they want you to join them down there?
Are they pouting, are they trying to climb the walls, are they digging even deeper?

Now, turn it around.

Imagine yourself in the pit, in whatever area of your life you may feel you go there.

(If you don't ever go there, good for you! Don't take this as an implication that you should!)

If you are there, how do you view yourself?
What are you thinking?
What are you doing?
What do you want your friends to do?

What picture would you LIKE to see?

Imagine THAT picture clearly.

How many ways can you know that it's true right now?

What 3 specific actions will you take to incorporate the picture you would most like to see?

If you want to explore further, please visit my website at http://scoutwilkins.com to apply for a complimentary strategy session. We'll dig into your most pressing challenge, and see if or how this work might be a fit for you.

Author's Bio: 

Scout Wilkins, the Official Self Growth Guide to Women's Issues, is a speaker, coach, and practitioner of Neurological Repatterning. Using this work, she leads people through the process of releasing limiting programming so they can truly and fully be who they most want to be in the world. She also leads adventure trips for women, in which small groups of women support one another through the process of completely changing their internal conversation, while having a great time! http://www.scoutwilkins.com