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How to Endure and Overcome the Worst of Life’s Hardships

How to Endure and Overcome the Worst of Life’s Hardships

I’m sure at some point in your life, you’ve had to endure some form of hardship. We all have.

It could be personal 

Maybe you’re having trouble with a your spouse or partner, and you just can’t seem to get it together. Maybe it’s from being complacent for too long and a need for change begins to build inside you. After all, that’s what we do right?

We’re human. We change. We can get comfortable in our environment, but sometimes we get too comfortable and the desire for change kicks in. It’s a good thing, but it can also be your enemy, if you allow it.

It could be financial

Maybe your job doesn’t bring in the kind of money you need to do anything more than survive, so when you suffer a setback, you really struggle. You not only struggle with the financial issues, but you also struggle with your emotions. Not having the amount of money you need to live without the fear that comes along with being broke, sucks.

You can be feeling great mentally and physically and able to perform at your best, but if you are struggling financially, there’s a good chance you’re causing more harm to your body with the stress, worry, and anger that comes along with it. This also plays a role in your personal life as well, doesn’t it?

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We let our financial frustrations affect ourselves and the personal relationships around us. This brings with it more problems and and suffering, and pretty soon, we’re left with only two options.

1. Change

You can change your circumstances to get out of your unwanted situation. It can be difficult to do this, especially when nothing but negativity surrounds you, but if you decide willingly to change your circumstances, you can. It’s just a matter of knowing how.

2. Be forced into change

It’s human nature to need to be constantly growing, evolving, and changing. If you are stagnant and stick in a routine for too long, what happens? Well, most of the time, you get a feeling of boredom, a desire for change, or despair that comes from being in a stalled state of progression. That’s just you telling yourself that you need to change something.

If you were to learn the process a little better, you could really help yourself when it comes to understanding how to endure and overcome the very worst of your life’s hardships. Knowing that there is a specific reason you are in a hardship will help you to learn how to get through it in a positive way vs. a negative one.

So what’s the process for being able to endure and overcome, you might ask? Well, as you probably already know, no one process will work for everyone, just as there is (usually) no quick-fix solution for the various hardships that come into your life. There are, however, certain ways you can choose to perceive the realities you’re hit with.

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Perception

Perception is in the eye of the beholder, so if I’m perceiving my life in a negative way, I’m more than likely going to be dealing with all of the emotions and thoughts that come from that perception. In other words, thinking negative thoughts—in any situation—is going to bring out negative emotions. This can get you stuck in a tailspin, and you’ll find it very difficult to get past emotions such as anger, sadness, and low self-esteem, which go along with negative perceptions.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t want to feel those negative emotions—they are a valuable part of progressing and moving forward in your life. The negative emotions are there so you can overcome them. Let’s look at just how you can change your feelings of suffering when hardships hit into a new perspective on your life, which will allow you to endure when there is suffering, and overcome when it’s time.

Enduring

When hit with any kind of hardship, it’s difficult to know which types of emotions will surface. Of course you will be experiencing suffering, so the bad emotions that follow are going to be entering your world. One of the worst things you can do, (other than hurting yourself or another, of course) is try to hide or not acknowledge your feelings.

  • Accept

It is very important to accept what is, both in terms of the external reality and your internal reality, with thoughts, emotions, etc.

  • Feel

Allow yourself to feel, and also allow yourself to listen to what comes through while you are allowing your emotions to go through their natural process.

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  • Listen

When was the last time you truly sat down with no distractions, (technologies, cell phone, Facebook, e-mail, television, etc.) and listened? Take a moment each day to look inside yourself and hear what your higher consciousness has to say. Don’t think, don’t wonder—just listen.

Overcoming

After you’ve taken the time to sit back, reflect, and gain clarity on your current circumstances, it’s time to start moving forward. After all, how can you expect to overcome a challenging situation in your life if you don’t move? It does require a little inspirational push, but if you want to get over a hardship, you need to let it in. Here are some ways to overcome any difficult situation when you just can’t escape your own thoughts and feelings.

Find inspiration in your life – Inspiration brings hope and desire, which also bring positivity. These are all good things and can offer you the tools you need to move forward, away from the depths of despair that haunt you when experiencing hardship.

Strategy – Once you have a positive attitude and desire inside you, it’s the perfect time to come up with an escape plan from your current situation. When you see the vision of where you want to be, you can start to fill in the details with a direction to start moving in. The key here is to make the decision to consciously move forward, and have a solid action plan to follow.

Take Action – This is one of the most obvious pieces of advice people can give. You know it, I know it, we all do, but it’s easier said than done though, isn’t it? It’s easy to say “take action”, but it’s not as easy to follow that advice. Why is that?

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Many factors can come into play here, but beyond the obvious, (that you may be stressed, tired, moody, and depressed) there is another reason, a deeper reason that holds most people back. Almost everyone should be able to picture some form of positive outcome in their minds, but when it comes to taking action and making an actual change, very few of us follow through. We just end up enduring until our emotions settle down and we continue on the same path, which led to our current circumstances in the first place.

If you really want to overcome it, not just endure, you need to start changing your status quo. Discover and pursue a life that brings progress and positive changes to your world. Surround yourself with people who care about you, want the best for you, and believe in you. The most important factor is to remember that you’re not alone. Sometimes, it may seem easier to just cope and put on a happy face, but it’s not.

The true change happens, when you fully embrace the relationships and connections around you. 

 

More by this author

Justin Harmon

Justin helps people break free from the status quo and start living a life of personal freedom, fulfillment, and purpose.

6 Reasons Why Your Comfort Zone Is Holding You Back In Life How to Stop the Cycle of Anger, Sadness, and Guilt During Hardships How to Be Awesome at Life How to Endure and Overcome the Worst of Life’s Hardships 3 Highly Effective Ways to Become Happy, Awake, Fulfilled and Free

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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