We all go through hard times – it’s called “life.” Some people have more hard times than others, but eventually, we all experience pain and loss. It could be the loss of a loved one, a job, a home, or your dignity. Whatever hard time you are going through, you might have lost sight of some of the very things that might help you make it through the rough waters. Here are 10 truths that you may have forgotten during your hard times:

1. Pain is part of life and love – it helps you grow.

Sure, we would all love to live a life that is free from pain. We all want to feel good and be happy at all moments. But as you know, this is not possible. But what is possible is having the choice of what you do with the pain. I have seen many people who go through unimaginable pain like losing a child or being diagnosed with a devastating disease who turn their pain into something positive. They teach others and spread light in the world as a result of their pain and sorrow. You can do the same thing, too.

“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” -William Goldman

2. Mindset and attitude are half the battle.

Most of success lies in attitude and effort, and not in someone’s intelligence. This shows how important your thoughts are. You can re-frame almost any situation if you try hard enough. Remember this: It’s only a problem if you think it’s a problem.

“A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.” -Patricia Neal

3. Sometimes, your biggest fears are just illusions.

Many times, what we really fear is simply the unknown. We fear that we are not going to be able to cope with a tragedy that comes our way. Or we fear that we won’t know which direction to head if we are thrust into an unfamiliar situation. But as a wise friend once told me, “uncertainty breeds opportunity.” Embrace the fear and face it anyway.

FEAR is an acronym in the English language for False Evidence Appearing Real.” -Neale Donald Walsch

4. This “problem” is really a valuable growth opportunity.

You can grow from any experience if you chose to do so. Or, you can choose to be a victim and wallow in your disappointment and depression. The choice is yours. When we are the middle of hard times, it’s easy to forget this. It’s all about mental strength and attitude. Simply re-framing the situation will help you learn from it.

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”  -Oprah Winfrey

5. You can’t change any situation unless you take some responsibility for it.

It’s easy to blame others. But it’s not the mature thing to do. Yes, there ares some times when we are the unfortunate target of another person’s bad behavior. However, there are a lot of situations in life that you had a big part of creating. Whether it’s a bad relationship, a rotten job, or a bad investment, you had some participation in how it turned out. Look at what you can do differently and then take positive action.

“It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.” -Josiah Charles Stamp

6. All we have is NOW – the present.

So many people live the past. They yearn for their “glory days” or their youth. And yet other people live in the future. They think, “when I get that perfect job … or when I meet that perfect romantic partner … or when I get $10,000 saved up … then I will be happy.” But all you have is the present moment. Decide to be happy in the NOW because that is really all we ever have.

“Do not dwell on the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”  -Buddha

7. There is always something to be thankful for.

If you have a roof over your head, food on your table, and air in your lungs, you are a lucky person. You don’t have to be a super model or a millionaire to find something to be thankful for. Believe me, there is always someone else in the world who has it more difficult that you. So look at what you do have, not what you don’t have.

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you,’ it will be enough.”  -Meister Eckhart

8. Great things don’t happen overnight.

We live in a world where it seems like everyone becomes famous from a reality show or Youtube. But real success takes time. You have to keep plugging away, day after day. You can’t let rejection or setbacks stop you from reaching your destiny. Keep on the journey and you will get there at the right time.

“Patience, persistance, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”  -Napoleon Hill

9. You need to validate yourself – don’t rely on other people to do it.

If you always look to other people to tell you that you are worthy, then you are going to be a miserable person. Let’s face it – many people are not kind. So why don’t you start working on your self-talk? Change negative thoughts into positive ones. Be your own biggest fan. Love yourself. It’s not conceit, it’s called inner peace.

“I don’t like myself, I’m crazy about myself.”  -Mae West

10. You’re not alone.

Maybe you are going through something that no one can relate to. But even if you don’t have family or many friends, the internet is a fingertip away for most people. Go look for message boards or support groups on social media. There are always people out there somewhere who are wiling to help and give advice. Go find them if you don’t have support in your every day life.

“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” -Helen Keller

Hard times are not fun. But instead of letting yourself sink into a deep abyss of depression, try to train your brain to re-focus. It does take mental strength, but you can do it. That’s the best way to grow as a person.

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