We all face difficulty in our life.
Maybe it’s a dead-end job. Maybe your decisions led to debt and you have financial woes. Maybe it’s a business partner’s bad decisions, or the roller coaster of emotions in a personal relationship.
Nothing in life needs to be fair. Life is unfair at times and tough but that actually can be a good thing for you. Tension builds, emotions are heavy, and frustration takes over, but the courage to overcome our struggles in life is the foundation of building character. It helps us mature, and it helps us grow as human beings. We can learn from our mistakes. We can learn from failure. We can pick back up, take the appropriate steps one action at a time, and turn things around.
The road to changing your life begins by changing your mindset. You can no longer lie to yourself. Once you start an honesty campaign for yourself, the rest of life that you deem “difficult” will have no choice but to take a backseat. You have the power to hurl yourself into positivity.
In the movie “The Matrix”, Morpheus says to Neo:
“You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.”
In the spirit of Free Your Mind.. Here are 4 things you can do when life is difficult:
1) Shut Your Mouth — And Listen
Have you ever heard of the term active listening?
‘Active listening’ means, as its name suggests, actively listening. That is fully concentrating on what is being said rather than just passively ‘hearing’ the message of the speaker. Active listening involves listening with all senses.
Rather than forming a response in your mind while someone is trying to communicate their ideas to you, stop what you are doing, give a genuine smile, nod and reciprocate facial expressions that allow the speaker to understand that you are receiving a message loud and clear, and you encourage dialog. Do this, versus just hoping the other person shuts their mouth long enough for you to get in your ‘two cents’.
When you aren’t engaging in active listening, it can be incredibly difficult to get to a proper understanding of perspective.
2) Focus On What You Are Learning — Find Perspective
Are you engaged in an argument? What are the actions that led to the disagreement? What actually led the other person to believe that they are right? Is it possible that they could be right, and you were the one misled?
Decide that anything is possible.
Something in that person’s past has led them to this point. If they aren’t there to personally hurt or disparage you, then what is the real reason that they need you to understand their perspective? Is it possible for you to understand where they are coming from? If so, then attempt to do so.
Take a pause, refer to Number 1, focus on their perspective, and then think about why you oppose it. Gather yourself and offer an opinion that is now based on a understanding that you are mindful of their situation. In many cases, it calms the discussion, and breaks the tension.
3) Search For Gratitude In Every Situation
There is a reason that you are now in the difficult situation that you are in. And you have to own it. But if there is a way to be thankful for the challenge then you should be grateful.
If you now know better.. If you now know that you really screwed something up.. If you are now aware that you’ve made mistakes… create a plan of change and be thankful for the lessons learned in the process!
There is a reason why you’ve come this far. Something in your past has propelled you to this difficult moment in your life, regardless of it being negative or positive. Be grateful for the challenge. Be excited about the possibility of what you’ll learn. Find a passion around discovery of yourself and the challenges that you face.
This is a strange way to look or feel about adversity. The negativity clouds your mind. Your ‘fight or flight’ response kicks in. You feel the urge to lash out. However, if there is any possible way for you to channel that frustration, analyze it for uniqueness, and put it to work for you, the lessons that you learn will be unreal.
Finding gratitude in the mist of turmoil can be a very difficult task, but it will free your mind and set you down a path of positivity.
4) Remember This:
Credited to Roman Stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca:
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
It is quite possible that you are nearing the end of a cycle. You are finding difficulty within a situation in life simply because you’ve allowed something to continue in life that has worn out its welcome.
We all have a tendency to find a ‘comfort zone’. When we begin a task we lack confidence, but we build in strength and stature over time. At some point, we’ve done all that we were meant to do, and it’s time to pick up and move on.
It’s natural to become complacent. Creating change in your life in an effort to tackle complacency is uncomfortable. It can be difficult and hard to cope with if you let it. However, a fresh start, a new beginning, could possibly be exactly what you need! And the sooner that you celebrate the difficulty in your life as a sign of needed change, the sooner that you embrace the positivity within the situation, and best of all.. Free Your Mind!
I’m personally working on all 4 heavily in my life right now. I write these things as a reminder to myself and I hope that I can inspire others to slow down, find calm, and seek the positive side of the difficulty in life.
Thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you on ways that you handle your frustration, or the lessons that you learn when you tackle difficult situations head on.