Life is filled with seasons, and a season is a marked period of time. Look back over your own personal history, and you’ll remember plenty of them. Seasons of heartache, seasons of insecurity, seasons of triumph, seasons of poverty, seasons of sadness, seasons of joy.

Sometimes you’re in a season of darkness, which I would characterize as a period when you’re confused about who you are, where you are, or where you’re going. It’s when the world and life seem too big for a little piss ant like you to find any meaning. It’s when the hope and idealism that once drove you is covered over by the dense clouds of personal despair.

Stop Exaggerating

First, you must recognize that this is only a season—it’s not permanent—and the hope that you once had is still available if you’ll keep making your way through the howling wilderness of this dark period.

If your child tells you, “I ALWAYS have to do this,” you’re quick to tell them, “Don’t exaggerate.” Well, now it’s time to tell yourself that. The season isn’t forever, so stop exaggerating and whining that it will be.

Stand on Solid Ground

Second, you must find your footing on the solid ground of basic life principles, and that means focusing on the primary areas of life that provide you personal security such as employment, finances, good health, and strong relationships.

In other words, during a dark season, you want to be sure you keep the primary areas of life strong. For example, you might be confused about your life direction, a recent divorce, or the death of a loved one, but during that season you can still keep yourself mentally strong if you’re eating right, training hard, focused on work, and staying close to people that build you up.

Build Your Confidence

Third, you have to build your faith, and faith is a strong confidence in something that hasn’t materialized in your life. Faith sees possibility and not impossibility. When we get frustrated over not being able to achieve something, we tend to exaggerate and say, “It’s impossible!” But, if someone else is living whatever it is you’re after, then it’s not impossible.

You build your confidence by knowledge and practice. The more you know about something, and the more you practice what you know, the more confident you are about being able to achieve it. During a dark season, you should immerse yourself in learning.

Remain Steadfast and Unwavering

Lastly, you must have patience, which the ancients referred to as longsuffering, and it is the ability to endure and tolerate difficulty over an extended period of time without allowing yourself to get upset. Exasperation will only add more days to your dark season.

Try not to allow the length of the season to drive you to frustration. If you allow yourself to get upset, it’s only because the long season of not seeing your hope realized magnifies that part of you that you’re warring against. What happens is that you turn on yourself, and if you do that, you’re working against the only person that can change your life—you.

You must be steadfast, which means “firm and unwavering”, and you can only do that if you keep in mind what I wrote above. Here’s a breakdown of the principles:

  1. Recognize that a season is not permanent, so stop exaggerating.
  2. Keep the primary areas of life strong (health, job, finances, relationships).
  3. Build your faith by knowledge and practice.
  4. Remain patient and steadfast.

Never give up!

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C. J. Ortiz
C. J. Ortiz

My mission is to help equip people to maximize their resources for a purpose greater than themselves. That's what my own mentors and teachers have done for me, and I'm paying it forward. Life can be merciless, and the world can be a messed up place, so what's needed is a stronger people that can both endure and overcome in life. My motto is, "In whatever you do, don't suck! Metal up!"

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    9 replies to "Season of Darkness: What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do"

    • Todd

      The article is good. But sometimes it’s not easy to apply all what you read. Many people (including me) just do what they do because they think what they have is better than nothing. Risk is not easy at all when it comes to your bills, car, house, …etc. I don’t really know what should be done. Especially when you don’t know what are the things that you’re not good at and what you should do

    • Todd, nothing is easy, but that doesn’t help the situation to say that. You can either wallow in it or get out of it. It’s your choice.

    • Todd

      Thanks for your reply. It’s the FIRST time I post anything on a blog. Ok, nothing is easy. But you did not answer the second part of the question. How to know the things I am good at if I did not try much through my life. I am not old btw :) I’m 25 but I am lost.

    • You should take some gift assessment tests as offered by Myers-Briggs to get an idea of what your personality and natural gifting may offer you career-wise.

    • Alejandra

      Great article! :D I’m gonna keep it close so I can read it again when my next season of darkness comes! Sometimes when difficult periods come to my life I become my worst enemy, but reading this reminded me about how important it is to remain my best friend, no matter what, after all, as you said, I’m the only person in the world who can really make the difference for myself! Thanks for this C.J!

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      That’s awesome.

    • Sommer Sharon

      Sometimes that’s part of the path. I’m in my 30s and just finally finding my passion. But I always knew what I was good at and what I enjoyed if I really thought about it. I just fought it because my priorities were more focused on what others thought, what was going to look like success to others and what made the most money. Don’t fight it. Listen to that inner voice. It’s all within you. You just have to be ready to listen.

    • WiseMetalChica

      In these moments of “darkness” some of us flat out refuse to see the “light” at the end of the tunnel. Some can snap themselves out of the emotional wreck faster than others too. I’ve worked very hard towards accepting my mistakes, but man oh man, has it been worth it. I’m so grateful for the “shit” in my life. The “shit” has made me stronger & smarter!

    • C. J. - The Metal Motivator

      Awesome! That’s the same thing I learned.

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