One thing that is common amongst all of us is that we will all experience difficult times in our lives. The degree of difficulty will vary, however each experience will challenge us in some way.
Difficult times can come as:
- Losing a job.
- A business failure.
- A health issue.
- The death of a loved one.
- Financial challenges.
- A relationship breakdown.
No matter how difficult things get, we can use those experiences to learn something and grow stronger.
One of the most challenging period of my life was during the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and 2009. During that period, there was a lot of negativity and fear publicised, which affected the masses in a major way. Trying to grow a business at that time was extremely challenging because everyone was extremely cautious with what and how they spent their hard-earned money. So many people just spent money on the essentials in life therefore offering training and coaching services were deemed unnecessary at that time.
That period forced me to assess what I was doing well and not well in my business. It required me to make some difficult choices including letting go of offering one-on-one coaching services and focusing more on doing training and consulting work. While initially it made life even more difficult, I knew I had to change my product and service offers in order to have a sustainable long-term business.
Making those tough decisions ended being extremely valuable because not only did it require me to improve my training and speaking skills, I also got the opportunity to improve my content development skills via a consulting contract. That has led to me offering consistent new content on my website and creating new products that I may not have considered previously. A key lesson for me was even though things appeared to be difficult, it was only going to be a matter of time before they started to improve, provided I consistently took the right actions to improve my situation.
Here are seven truths or reminders that will help us get through difficult times so that we can become stronger, more resilient and better able to deal with the challenges we will face in the future.
- You are not alone. No matter what challenge we face, which in the moment may seem insurmountable, we should always remember that someone has been through it or is also going through something similar. Rather than try and go through it ourselves, we have the option of asking for help. If we do ask for help, most times we will get new insights or ideas that we may not have considered or been aware of.
- This experience is what you require at this point in your life. Everything we experience in life is necessary to make us the person we are and the person we want to become. We learn most from our setbacks and failures as they require us to go to a new level of awareness. With this new awareness, we will realise we have more choices, which in turn, will help us make better decisions.
- You are being given feedback that something is not working well. Rather than avoid facing the reality of a certain situation, we should take it as feedback that a new approach is required. A difficult time usually tells us that things are not right and we must change something within ourselves in order to improve the situation.
- Every problem is an invitation to broaden your perspective. It is often said that hindsight is one of our best teachers. That’s because when we reflect back on events we’ve experienced, we will always come up with ways we could have done things differently or better. This is all part of us gaining new perspectives and looking at things differently. The more we’re able to view things from different perspectives, the more options or solutions we will realise we have.
- No matter how bad things get, there is a silver lining at the end of it. According to the law of polarity, also known as the law of opposites, we cannot have a problem without having a solution to it as well. Whenever we experience difficult times, we should always remember that there is a way out. It is our job to focus on the solution and take the necessary steps to get to it.
- Pain is temporary, suffering is optional. We will all experience pain in life, whether it is emotional, physical or mental. But pain comes and goes. Where we tend to get into trouble is when we’re unwilling to let go of our pain or are constantly reliving failures, setbacks or difficult times over and over again. This is what causes suffering and can lead to other more serious consequences. Our job should be to acknowledge that we’re experiencing pain but not to dwell on it and let it fester. The sooner we can let our pain go, the less likely we will experience any form of suffering.
- Everything you experience in life is your responsibility. If we take the approach that we’re responsible for everything that happens to us, then we’re empowering ourselves to change the results we don’t like. If we believe that things “happen” to us and other factors determine whether we can or cannot accomplish something, then we’re disempowering ourselves. Changing any difficult situation starts with being aware something needs to change then taking responsibility for changing it.
It’s a matter of perspective whether life is meant to be difficult or easy. There is one thing for certain and that is, we will experience our fair share of difficult times in our lives. If we’re able to remind ourselves of some truths during those difficult times, we will better deal with those experiences. If we’re unable to recall these truths, chances are we will experience unnecessary stress and suffering. We should not wish things get easier; we should wish that we are stronger.
Action Step: If you’re going through a difficult situation right now, remember the first truth or reminder — you are not alone. Reach out to someone this week and share what you are going through. Ask for support in order to get through your situation a lot quicker.
Question: What is another truth or reminder that will make us stronger during difficult times?
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