This is a guest post by Frank Lavine.

We’ve all been there – I know I have. The majority of my friends and family have, too. The “all-time low” that we can find ourselves dealing with is a stressful, challenging part of life.

There is no shame in hitting a point in your life where you feel like nothing works. It’s a common affliction, one many of us need to overcome to finally succeed.

To defeat that all-time low, however, requires a level of mental diligence that many people simply do not believe they have. I remember thinking, after failing university, that I’d just hit a point of no return.

After years of easily passing course objectives and going through each level of education, I failed. Before that, I thought I was too smart, to fail. How wrong I was.

This was probably the point where it all began to change for me. My self-belief and iron-willed confidence was gone. I felt insecure in my actions and my head became infected by a swarm of negative thoughts.

When my employment prospects began to dwindle, I worried that I had no opportunity in my life. My ambitions were gone, replaced by an inability to see my strengths.

Watching the Struggle Unfurl

Having left my job to go to university, I was unemployed. I couldn’t afford rent and before long was back at home, living with my parents.

As someone with a history of bulletproof confidence, it was hard to bounce back. Truth be told, I’m still recovering today in some aspects – and that is a good thing. I realized I was too comfortable – I stopped giving my full effort.  Now, anytime I find myself getting too comfortable in any situation, I look at my confidence to be sure I am not taking things too lightly.

I am able to reel in overconfidence when it feels like it might be bubbling below my surface.

When I found myself in a position where I couldn’t find employment, before long I was wasting my days away doing nothing. In my mind, I had gone from destined for greatness to destined for destitution.

It was exhausting.

Clawing Myself Back to Reality

In my time off, I finally reflected on my situation and my failings and I found my solution. I looked closer at the subject of my choosing at university (computer networking) and realized my lack of effort came from a lack of interest in the topic.

Before long, my all-time low began to make a little more sense. That feeling of hopelessness – that my destiny had been altered against my will – was gone. I decided to pursue something that was more compatible with my interests. My days were now filled with taking in new knowledge.

Making it Work

I ended up starting an online business. I started to leverage my creativity and my confidence to learn various computing skills that were more suited to me than networking. A thirst for success returned. I was able to earn enough money and save enough time per week to go back and finish university.

So, my advice would be this – use your all-time low to help you see it as a blessing in disguise. I’m not a special case. Feeling like you failed at your one true calling certainly feels a lot better when you realize it was never your calling at all.

Frank Lavine is a writer for a site where people are encouraged to live actively and take charge of their lives.

How have you bounced back from an all-time low? Please join the conversation with your comments…