How A Broken Heart Can Be Your Greatest Motivator

woman holding chin with white petaled flowers on right cheek
Natalia Figueredo / Unsplash

The moment my relationship ended, a light in my life was extinguished. What I didn’t realize was when one light disappears, a new brighter light takes its place. The catch is, it doesn’t appear right in front of you. It has to be found.

The hardest obstacle of my post-breakup healing was not what I expected. I was told the hardest part of a breakup is getting through the heartbreak, the sadness, and the loss. I don’t disagree that these aspects were difficult to overcome, but they definitely weren’t the toughest obstacles.

After my heartbreak, my body instinctively did everything it could to eliminate the pain. Some of the reactions were counterproductive, like contacting my ex which made me feel worse every time. On the other hand, the productive things I did created many positive changes in my life. For example, I took on extra classes to keep busy, more responsibilities at work, increased the intensity of my workouts and reignited past friendships. As a result, I am able to graduate earlier, got a raise, accomplished my gym goals, and met several amazing friends. Even though these were all productive moves, they were also the toughest obstacles. When you’re in a relationship and you achieve something, the first person you tell is your significant other. But in post-breakup life, that person isn’t there and that is damn painful.

The heartbreak was agonizing and the sadness was harsh, but the pain of standing at the top of my achievements without her to share it with was immeasurable; it was the toughest obstacle of the healing process. It felt awful, but at the same time, it felt so damn good. It felt so damn good to know that I could be the best version of myself without her. It felt so damn good to transform one of my biggest losses into permanent wins. At last, it felt so damn good to learn that despite how badly I feel, I could still achieve everything I want and more just by pushing forward.

This might be hard to believe, but the period after a heartbreak can be the most motivated a person is ever going to be and there is a very logical reason for this. When the heart breaks, the body naturally goes into full survival mode and every little action is deliberate towards healing the heart. That’s why some of the greatest achievements we have were accomplished as result of heartbreak; they were created out of a necessity to survive. For instance, Adele won six Grammys and Record of the Year for an album of songs inspired by her heartbreak. The Taj Mahal, one of the greatest wonders of the world, was built because an emperor was suffering from the heartbreak of his wife. The list goes on. It’s not a coincidence that most of the greatest works of art and literature in existence revolve around the subject of love. Great pain has always been the biggest motivator in life.

Success can be achieved after a heartbreak as long as the energy and efforts are focused towards something positive. While some people turn to drugs, alcohol, or go down some other rabbit hole, others focus their energy into something positive like their self-development, career, family, and so on. Truly, I feel for the person that goes down the rabbit hole, my heart bleeds for them because it could happen to anyone. With that in mind, please don’t be the person that goes down the rabbit hole. Use your breakup as a motivator towards great things; create your own Taj Mahal. Transfer the commitment you gave to your love to your own improvement and repossess all the sacrifices you made. Essentially, put yourself first again.

When a light in your life disappears, a new brighter light takes its place. The key to finding this new light is trusting the process. Trust that the pain you’re going through is temporary but the work you put in during this period will yield permanent results. Trust that there is more to life than being in a relationship. Trust that you can and will be happy again as a single person. Finally, trust that you are meant for great things and this setback won’t be the end of you.

Choose to walk the greater path, reignite your inner flame and light up the sky. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog

Sponsored by Homecoming available now on Amazon Prime Video

The People Bringing You Delicious Dairy

A new Thought Catalog series exploring our connection to each other, our food, and where it comes from.

Meet Tara Vander Dussen
How A Broken Heart Can Be Your Greatest Motivator is cataloged in ,