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How to Pick Yourself Up From Rock Bottom

by Siobhan Quinn

Images courtesy of

Rock bottom is an overwhelmingly isolating place to be. You feel hopeless, lost, dejected, and worthless. But at the same time, you know there is nowhere to go but up. There is some comfort in knowing that these circumstances are the worst they’ll be, and if you can just get through them, there is sunshine on the other side. I spoke with Janessa Rose, author of "HOW TO STOP BEING A F*CKING B.U.M. (Broken Urban Mentality),” about her journey rising above the negative circumstances around her, releasing her limiting self-beliefs, and ultimately achieving success. Here is some valuable insight she had to share about picking yourself up from rock bottom.

"Rock bottom is a good place to be...”

“Because there’s nowhere else to go but up. [It's] a wake-up call … [it’s] where you gotta be for you to rise up,” says Rose. As desolate and miserable as it may be, rock bottom is a place you can’t climb out of until you come face-to-face with everything that led you there.

When Rose was at rock bottom, stuck in her “broken urban mentality,” she admits she was selfish, violent, and nearly always angry or sad. She felt victimized by her surroundings, dated violent men, and refused to listen to anyone. She rebelled and chased money for fulfillment. But she never found it—at least not until she paused to look around at everything that was keeping her stagnant.

“We try to force what we want without doing the work on the inside,” she points out. You might have an idea of what you want and who you want to be, but you’re keeping yourself trapped at rock bottom by refusing to acknowledge the effort that climbing out truly requires.

“The first and main thing is going through it.”

“That’s what woke me up first and foremost,” Rose expressed. “I had to become tired of who I was under all these different types of belief systems.” According to Rose, self-awareness is what helped her take inventory of her life, choices, and beliefs, and ultimately align herself with who she truly wanted to be. “I don’t like Janessa violent; I don’t like Janessa miserable; I don’t like the way I’m always complaining.”

These are some of the thoughts she had while reflecting on her life, and they’re the kind of thoughts you have to come to terms with, too. It can be incredibly humbling to acknowledge behaviors about yourself that you’re not proud of. But the first step toward becoming who you want to be is admitting who you don’t want to be any longer.


“Allow the universe to hand you what’s next for you.”

When Rose was stuck at rock bottom, she acknowledges that she was “manifesting a mess” around her. Instead, she recommends that you “take manifestation by the hand and say, ‘Let me show you what I want.'" Rose notes that when things that make us feel uncomfortable start to show up in our lives, it’s a sign that it’s time for us to level up.

“Take inventory on what you want,” she suggests. When you start putting your energy and focus on the life you desire instead of staying trapped in self-pity, you’ll be telling the universe exactly what it is that you want. The universe, in turn, will help you get there. Setting that intention is the first step.

As uncomfortable as it may be to hit rock bottom, it can be an incredibly powerful awakening that changes the course of your life completely. Despite her past circumstances, Rose was able to pick herself up from rock bottom to achieve all of the success that she is grateful to have today.

She managed independent hip-hop artists, started her nonprofit, Motivational Monsters, spoke at prisons, and wrote her celebrated inspirational book. Rose's growth and accomplishments are nothing short of commendable. So, take it from her: Tell the universe what it is you want, and then be open to receiving all the gifts it has to offer. Get specific and raw with who you want to be and which behaviors aren’t serving you, and then lean into the discomfort of not knowing what’s next. Once you set the intention to climb out of rock bottom, the universe will be there to grab your hand.


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