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Last Updated on August 7, 2019

7 Things to Remember When Going Through Tough Times in Life

7 Things to Remember When Going Through Tough Times in Life

Sometimes, you will go through really tough times. It’s those times when everything you do just kind of flops, and it feels like your life is going downhill, which makes you feel very sad.

In these challenging situations, maintaining a good mindset is probably the most important thing you can do. It will allow you to stay upbeat, avoid pointless sorrow, persist through the hardship, find smart solutions and eventually turn the situation around.

I believe that there are 7 key ideas to keep in mind when the going gets tough, in order to stay positive and be resilient.

People frequently forget these ideas. Their thinking becomes overly pessimistic and gloomy. But if you bear these ideas in mind, they will do wonders for your emotional state and your capacity to overcome the challenge you’re facing.

1. Even Bad Times End

Everything ends. Whether it’s good or bad, it doesn’t last forever. When a situation is troubling for you, it may seem as if it will never end. But that’s just a subjective and distorted perception. Our minds tend to expand negative events as they happen and so it appears like they’ve been going on for a lot more than they really did, and as if they will continue to go on for a long time.

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Nevertheless, even the worst kinds of situations end at some point. Sometimes you need to do something to make them end or hurry that moment. Other times, they will simply wither and die on their own, and all you can do is have patience and wait. Either way, things will change.

2. You’ve Overcome Challenges Before

Another way to address the feeling that a bad situation will never end is by thinking about similar situations that you went through in the past and you’ve successfully overcome. You can find a precedent nearly every time if you think hard enough.

When you do this, it acts as a reminder of your ability to handle challenges and get passed them. It boosts your sense of self-confidence and it eliminates the sense of helplessness. This attitude shift is most likely to motivate you to take action and get you to successfully rise above the situation.

3. You Have Lots of Strengths as a Person

When the going gets tough, it’s common for us to stop seeing our strengths and only be aware of our flaws. Thus, we see ourselves as losers, incapable to rise above difficult situations. But this is never true. Just like any other person out there, you have a combination of strengths and weaknesses.

The key is to remind yourself that you have lots of strengths. Perhaps start thinking about some of them in particular, and do a quick mental check of some of your strengths. By doing this, your perception of yourself will shift and become more balanced. Again, this will empower you and give you confidence that you’ll handle the situation you’re in effectively.

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4. It Happens to Everybody

Frequently when facing hardship, our thinking will trick us into believing that this happens only to us. Other people don’t go through the kind of difficulties we go through. It almost seems like the universe is plotting against us and wants to hurt us.

However, with a bit of lucid reflecting, you’ll quickly realize this is not true. What’s true is that you’re hyper-aware of your troubles because they’re, you know, yours. But you’re not nearly as aware of other people’s trouble, which makes it seem like they have it much better than you. This is highly unlikely though. So remember that whatever happens to you, in the same form or a related one, happens to almost everybody.

5. It’s a Learning Experience

It is often said in the personal development world that there is no failure, only feedback. When going through tough times in life though, we tend to forget this. We see failure as an indicator that we’re not on the right path, but not as a learning experience which can put us on the right path.

Most learning in life comes from trial and error. And when things aren’t going the way you want them to go, the best thing you can do is to try to understand why this is happening, and learn from the experience. It is by learning and applying that learning that you’ll eventually turn things around.

6. You Can Always Ask for Help

When facing hard times, it’s a good idea to remember that there are people in your life that you can rely on for help. Even if you’re not the most social person in the world and you don’t have a lot of friends or a big family, there are still people in your life that you can rely on.

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These people form your social support system. Many times, just thinking about them and realizing that they are there for you in case you need them provides you a lot of emotional comfort and it gives you more courage to push forward.

You may not even need to actually ask them for help. Just knowing it’s available will embolden you and that will be sufficient.

If you don’t know how to ask for help, here’re some tips for you: How to Ask for Help When You Need It Most

7. There Are a Lot of Things to Be Grateful For

So some things aren’t going well in your life. That’s less than ideal, but if you think about it, there are still lots of things that are going well in your life and there is still a lot to be grateful for.

Maybe your romantic relationship is in trouble, but you have a great career. Maybe your career is in trouble, but you still have your health and your family. And there are so many small but significant things to be grateful for: a walk in the park, a cup of coffee, a nice sunset, a casual conversation.

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When going through tough times in life, think about this for a second and start noticing the things to be grateful for. It will completely change your perspective. You’ll realize things aren’t that bad after all, and that, troubles and all, life is worth appreciating.

Need a little reminder what to be thankful for? This article is for you: 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

The Bottom Line

Write these 7 ideas on a small piece of paper and carry it with you all the time, in a pocket or in your wallet. And whenever you’re confronted with a tough situation, take out the piece of paper and mindfully read to yourself at least once all 7 reminders on it.

You’ll notice that your mindset will begin to shift, you’ll become more positive and you’ll feel better. And once you’re in the right mindset and the right emotional state, it won’t take long before you’ll figure a way to overcome the tough situation you’re in.

It all starts with the mindset. Good luck!

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Featured photo credit: Dimitar Belchev via unsplash.com

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Eduard Ezeanu

Eduard is a confidence and communication coach with 7+ years of experience.

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Do you like making mistakes?

I certainly don’t.

Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

  • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
  • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
  • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
  • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

  1. Point us to something we did not know.
  2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
  3. Deepen our knowledge.
  4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
  5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
  6. Inform us more about our values.
  7. Teach us more about others.
  8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
  9. Show us when someone else has changed.
  10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
  11. Remind us of our humanity.
  12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
  13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
  14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
  15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
  16. Invite us to better choices.
  17. Can teach us how to experiment.
  18. Can reveal a new insight.
  19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
  20. Can serve as a warning.
  21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
  22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
  23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
  24. Remind us how we are like others.
  25. Make us more humble.
  26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
  27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
  28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
  29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
  30. Expose our true feelings.
  31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
  32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
  33. Point us in a more creative direction.
  34. Show us when we are not listening.
  35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
  36. Can create distance with someone else.
  37. Slow us down when we need to.
  38. Can hasten change.
  39. Reveal our blind spots.
  40. Are the invisible made visible.

Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

The secret to handling mistakes is to:

  • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
  • Have an experimental mindset.
  • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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