Overcoming Life’s Challenges in the Face of Adversity
I have long held the belief that we are accountable to ourselves, first and foremost. Sometimes we don’t feel like living up to our self-directed expectations or challenges, but that will never be a reason or excuse not to move forward. Instead, make a schedule, add your tasks and activities to it, and then focus on accomplishing your goals every single day. I find that three or four items work best for my daily to-do list. This is just one small part of the process of overcoming life’s challenges.
Yet, life can be a struggle at times and we must rise to the challenge of moving forward in a positive and productive manner if we are to enjoy all that we can do, be, and have as a part of our life experience.
Successful People Deal with Adversity by Facing Challenges Head On
Did you know that successful people deal with adversity? It’s true. If you read the stories or profiles of most successful people, you will be surprised at just how adverse their situations were. They often tell the stories for others to learn and use to overcome adversity.
You should read the profiles of successful people. They contain gems of information and can act as a resource for everyone else. The story is one aspect of reading about them. However, how they dealt with the situations is often a source of inspiration. When you become inspired, you increase your chances of dealing with your problems. When I left my job as a classroom teacher and started my online business in 2006, I began a study of the people I admired and how they were overcoming life’s challenges in innovative and creative ways. This was the beginning of my business education that continues to be beneficial to this day.
Inspiration doesn’t last forever, unfortunately. You need to reinforce the message. If you can, try to set aside time to read one story of a successful person every month. It will help you with your inspiration, and it will feed ideas on how to use their stories to make your life easier or better.
The stories of some people are dated. However, their techniques may be timeless. A perfect example of this is Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. The stories themselves describe people and occupations of days long gone. But, his techniques are as valid today, perhaps even more so, as they were back then.
You can read all about the stories of successful people and get inspired. But, if you don’t take action, it will be of little help to you. At that point, you become nothing more than a dreamer. Having dreams is good, but you need to make sure you take action on those dreams.
Reading the stories of successful people shows that they are just like the rest of us. There isn’t anything superhuman about them that led them to their successes. You will find a common theme among those facing adversity. They had persistence and kept a positive attitude. Those two attributes will take you far when facing any situation.
You can choose to read stories online or find material in your local library. You can also choose to find stories on the internet. Be careful of the resources you find online. Anyone can publish whatever they like and sound convincing on their authority. Make sure you check the resources and keep a critical eye out for people who don’t present qualified information.
When you get in the habit of reading material of successful people, you will shift to a successful mindset yourself. You will have a memory bank of stories to draw upon for inspiration.
Overcoming Life’s Challenges by Believing in What You Are Doing
You have heard the classic tale how Thomas Edison continued 10,000 times before getting the light bulb to the way he wanted it. Supposedly Edison stated at the time that he had not failed; he had simply discovered ten thousand ways it would not work. It’s hard to say if that number became exaggerated over the years, but he likely tried several thousand times at least. The point is, he believed in what he was doing. When you try something that is untested, you need to take a leap of faith. Otherwise, it’s too easy to give up on your venture.
Learn from your failures. Think of each one as helping you to “fail forward” towards greater success. If you ask any successful person how they got that way, they will most likely tell you it’s due to overcoming failures. They learned from those failures and tried something different. Each iteration, they learned something new from their failures. They continued until there were no failures. I struggled with this aspect of overcoming life’s challenges for years. Then I failed a few times and realized how much I had learned and grown due to what had happened during each situation.
Let others help you. Sometimes, when you face adverse situations, others can help you to turn your situation around. It’s rare that anyone faces something unique. Others have been through what you are going through. Reach out to them. It’s better to get the help you need than to needlessly struggle with your situation. Some people avoid reaching out because they are embarrassed. Just remember, those people once went through it, too. They know what you are dealing with.
If you are facing some adverse situation, it may be due to setting too high an expectation. You could have tried to accomplish something that is not possible or beyond your current level of skills. By adjusting your expectations, you may be able to succeed in your situation.
Don’t wait to try again. If your adverse situation is due to procrastinating, you can probably figure out you need to stop that behavior. If you let something build because it’s uncomfortable to deal with, in most cases, the situation will get worse.
Learn how to conquer your fears. Often, adversity is due to not taking action because you are fearful. When you face your fears, you can move past the adverse situation and get on with your life. Try some daring activities like bungee jumping or skydiving. The point is to create situations that you would not normally find yourself doing. Usually, when you overcome one fear, the process helps you to overcome all of them.
Another aspect to adversity is not being honest with yourself about the situation. People tend to hide their true feelings or deny that they are facing a situation. Try some introspective to learn what is truly going on.
Staying Hopeful During Uncertain Times
Life isn’t always the way we want it to be. All we have to do is to glance at the headlines to see that we live in very uncertain times. The job we thought was safe might not be there tomorrow. There’s always some natural disaster somewhere. You wake up one day and learn that the world is in the middle of a pandemic. And people seem to be more cruel than kind.
It’s easy to get caught up in a negative spiral of self-doubt and anxiety. How do you stay hopeful and positive when around you all you see are negative messages and fear?
Be. Here. Now!
By focusing on the present, you will find it easier to take a step back and act as an observer. By practicing mindfulness, you’ll see you can enjoy the simple things in life, no matter how bad things may seem. All worries and fears of the unknown can melt away if you focus on the present. Look for things in your life for which you’re grateful.
Look for ways to exhibit compassion and empathy
Spreading hope needs to start somewhere. Begin with the one person you can control, yourself. By looking for opportunities to pay it forward through random acts of kindness, you then become the impetus for others to do the same. Your compassionate heart and ability to walk in another’s shoes will be the guide to those around you. And even if it’s not? You’ll have at least changed one heart — your own.
The person without hope becomes stagnant, preferring to hide from the world. If you find that’s the case with yourself, then it’s time to force yourself into action, even if you don’t feel like it. Get out of the house. Call a friend and suggest an outing or go by yourself. Find a green space somewhere because these places have been found to create calm and contentment in those who spend even a few minutes there. The goal is to find a positive action and embrace it, whatever that might be. Pick up litter, hug a child, do something that makes you feel good inside, and there you will find hope blossoming.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the negativity of the world around you. Only by actively seeking hope will you find it. By practicing these three steps regularly, you’ll find yourself able to look forward to each day, no matter what’s going on around you.
7 Steps to Stay Hopeful During Tough Times
No one escapes difficult times in their lives. Whether we like it or not, our life challenges teach us the most. The ability to stay hopeful during those tough times though is a skill, and one that is well worth developing. Here’s how to go about honing it in your life.
Accept the Challenge for What It Is
If you’ve been hit broadside with a difficulty that’s left you negative, the worst thing you can do is try to ignore that it’s there. By acknowledging the problem, you can deal with it head on and find a solution. Start by asking yourself if the issue is something you can change. If so, then it’s time to make a game plan. If not? Then learn how to live with the new status quo, rather than wasting time and energy fighting it.
Ask Yourself What You Can Learn From This Experience
By seeking out the lessons to be learned, you can calmly face the problem. Discover what you can about the situation, learn and then move on.
Revisit the Past
You’ve been through tough times before. Think back to them to remind yourself that challenges don’t last forever. Hope springs up from the knowledge that you’ve gotten through problems before.
Record the Experience
Blogging, journaling, or recording what’s going on helps you to process the experience and find creative solutions. When we get things out of our head, we’re able to deal with problems logically rather than emotionally. Looking back at this record becomes a powerful experience of your progress, which offers hope. While I was growing up I became an amateur photographer to record the world around me. Looking back as an adult I could see how helpful this had been to me as I attempted to make sense of my life experiences.
Laugh…Out Loud and Often!
Even if you don’t feel like it initially, the act of laughing changes moods. Hopelessness doesn’t stand a chance against a good belly laugh. The fun thing about laughter is, once you start, it’s hard to stop. You can even fake it till you make it with laughter. It will lighten your mood and help you see solutions that weren’t there before.
Much of our life can be performing ‘shoulds’ if we let it. In this case, ask yourself if doing the ‘right thing’ means doing the thing that’s best for you? As long as it won’t hurt others, make the choice that will create happiness in your life. Believe in the possibilities and magic will occur.
Put Together a Mastermind as a Support Group
Trying to manage tough times alone is a sure recipe for fostering hopelessness. Gather people around you who make you feel hopeful just by being with them. By spending time with positive people, their hopefulness will quickly become your own.
Working to change your life, and overcoming life’s challenges along the way prepares you for anything that comes your way. Greet each challenge with open arms and an open heart and your life experience will be one worth living and sharing with others.
This article was originally published on my site at http://mondaymorningmellow.com/overcoming-lifes-challenges/.
I’m Connie Ragen Green, overcoming life’s challenges one moment at a time, and reveling in the day to day victories that are possible. Come along with me, if you will and let us discover just how much life has to offer us.