We’ve all had those days where we feel like giving up. Where it feels like the entire universe is against us. A lot of us feel that our situation is just too hopeless to get out of. However, you shouldn’t succumb to despair and defeat! As cliché as it sounds, there really is a reason why we go through these challenges. You might not see the point of them now, but you will when the time comes.
Right now, you might be too frustrated to even think about what the meaning of life’s challenges are, but we’re here to help put things into perspective.
Every person faces a different set of problems, did you know that you can actually narrow down all your problems into two categories? Naturally, how you deal with challenges of each category will also different.
These are the kinds of problems that are thrown at us without our consent. Imagine when you were a kid, and all the adults gave you stuff like homework or chores that you had to do (even if you didn’t want to). It’s basically like that.
Now, you must be thinking, ‘I didn’t choose to have these problems.’ What we mean by this one is that these are the challenges that are a consequence of your actions. These also includes challenges that you’ve accepted to handle because it’s necessary to achieving your goals. For instance, working out because you want to lose weight is a challenge by choice.
Right now, you might be thinking that those problems are there just to make life difficult. They aren’t. Every challenge in your life has something to give and offer you. There’s a reason why you have to deal with them in the first place. It’s important for us to take a step back, evaluate, and see the value in these problems.
Everyone, at some point in time, has to face challenges in their lives. Problems are actually there to push us beyond our limits. You don’t get to be good by staying the same. For this reason, we are tested to see how far we can handle these situations.
Unfortunately, like all things, we can’t always win or succeed in every trial. Know that there’s nothing wrong with failing. The thing is, we often put too much focus on the idea of not failing that we fail to see the opportunities they give. Actually, you can avoid a lot of problems by just not dealing with them, but then you’ll never be able to truly know yourself, your powers, and what you’re truly capable of.
Related those challenges we choose, some challenges are required in order to achieve certain goals. Stagnation makes people feel frustrated and unmotivated. Because of this, we all have an innate desire to reach for something more. By pushing ourselves, we discover skills and abilities we never would have.
Every situation you encounter prepares you for something bigger. There are challenges that give you strength to face the world ahead of you. If you simply let things slide, you might not have the experience to handle the others that will be thrown your way. Once we’ve passed these challenges, we are more confident in ourselves and our abilities.
Stop for a moment and ponder on this.
Many extremely successful people in history, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Oprah Winfrey to name a few, did not start out with a silver spoon or were told they wouldn’t amount to much in life. Yet, they managed to achieve so much more, leaps and bounds above their peers who were given better circumstances. This proves my point regarding the above statement. Successful people get to this point because they learned from past failures and challenges. They let that be their teacher and their fuel to become stronger and better each time. They are fearless and see each failure as a lesson in their journey to greatness.
Another reason why we experience challenges in life is to learn humility. Going through difficult times can give us a better appreciation for the things around us. A lot of times, we can’t see the blessings around us until it’s already taken away from us. To avoid this from happening, we need to have the right mindset.
Now, it’s time for the question you’ve all been waiting for: how do you face the challenges in your life? Well, you first have to realize that there’s no quick fix to them. Second, know that you must approach your problems with a certain mindset before they can get better. It’s definitely not going to be easy, but there are steps you can do to get there.
We often find ourselves disappointed because we give ourselves unrealistic expectations. Did you expect to become some billionaire in your 20s? Or are you holding yourself to a dream as a kid? While there’s nothing wrong with aiming high, it’s also important to have a bit more perspective. When you detach yourself from reality, you’ll miss out on the amazing things that are in front of you. Once you see reality, you’ll be able to deal with problems more effectively.
Take a step back and assess your problems. How did you get in this situation? Often, we’re clouded by our emotions, so you can get an outsider’s perspective to help you with this one. One of the hardest things about life challenges is accepting responsibility.
With modern society the way it is, doesn't it often (if not always) feel like you're always running behind and your to-do's just keep piling up? It's hard to take it easy and not be hard on ourselves when we log into Facebook or Instagram and see pictures of our friends living the perfect lives. Remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint. Handle your problems at your own pace, not one that’s been imposed by someone else. There are a lot of great people whose biggest accomplishments happened in their late 30s and 40s and beyond. The truth is, there’s no minimum requirement that you have to achieve at a certain age.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, most people focus too much on the idea of failing that they refuse to even try. If there’s one thing that everyone has to learn, it’s that failure is a step towards success. There’s always a lesson or experience gained when we fail. When we avoid or do nothing, we get nothing. Failure is also there to teach us humility. It teaches us that we, like everyone else, are flawed. The moment you realize that it’s okay not to be great at something, the easier it is to approach problems in life.
One of the biggest hindrances to our success is ourselves. Though it’s good to be realistic, you shouldn’t limit yourself before you even try. A lot of us face challenges in our life that we think is impossible, and one of the reasons why it seems that way is because we think too little of ourselves. Get rid of those self-imposed limitations and be kinder to yourself. What you can do is take small steps into changing the way you think about yourself.
Often, we’re so concerned about our own problems that we neglect to see the good things that we have. These things may be very small and negligible, but it’s still worth taking note. Once you become more grateful of the small blessings in your life, your mental health can greatly improve. It’s a proven fact putting too much focus on all the bad stuff in your life can make you severely depressed.
If you find yourself not smiling everyday, then find something to be happy about. And there is always something to be grateful and happy about, even in the depths of despair. Take 5 minutes in the morning or before bed and adopt the habit of journaling 3 things you are grateful for. It doesn’t have to be anything big.
I did this several years ago when I felt my life was just stagnant and I was slipping into depression. I started a gratitude journal because my husband kept pushing me to do it. I didn't have much expectation that anything would change; the idea just seemed silly.
But, lo and behold, about 3 months in, I started to realized that the things I was worried about didn't scare me as much. I had more faith in the universe, and that seemed to work. Challenges would come up, but it felt like in the end they all were taken care of and nothing truly detrimental happened. It was like my brain was re-wired to handle challenges differently. I have since been obsessed with journaling every chance I get.
Journaling is one of my tools for manifesting with the Law of Attraction. I will talk more on this topic in a separate blog. It is too much to cover here.
To keep you inspired in your day-to-day life, you can repeat a mantra when times are tough. Here are some quotes and phrases that can help you. Of course, you can always come up with something on your own if you want:
"Many things cause pain which would cause pleasure if you regarded their advantages" -Baltasar Gracian
"People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quit." -George Allen
"A true warrior knows that when he loses a battle he is improving the skill with which he wields a sword." -Paulo Ceolho
“Be the person your dog thinks you are.”
“I’m the most important person in my life”
“Nothing good comes easy.”
“The broken heart. You think you will die, but you keep living, day after day.” - Charles Dickens
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” - Oprah Winfrey
“Life’s a bitch, but mine’s a movie” - Jennie Kim, BLACKPINK
“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” - Bernice Johnson Reagon
“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.” - Seth Godin
“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” - Marcus Aurelius
These are just a few quotes to get you started. Sometimes the best mantras are the ones you come up with yourself. It’s important to have a mantra or quote that really resonates with you on a spiritual level.
After all this, look at your life right now. You can try to compartmentalize all the problems you have right now. Are you prioritizing on the more serious problems? Or are you getting hung up about the smaller problems without addressing the bigger issue? That’s something you need to think about as well.
Now that you got that out of the way. Look at how you’re handling the challenges presented to you. Are you approaching them with the right mindset? Are you handling the problems or are the problems handling you? Maybe it’s time to look at these problems from a different angle. If you’re having a hard time with this, you can draw inspiration from the tips I mentioned above.
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