In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. – Albert Einstein
The truth is that every day won’t be a great day. And that’s ok. It’s a fact we need to learn to accept in order to be ok with and learn from not-so-great days. Unfortunately, it’s much easier for us to learn and listen when we’re knocked down than when we’re sky high, floating in the clouds… so life challenges us. It challenges us to be better. Or at least to present us with the choice to be and do better.
If you pay close attention, life’s challenges are there to remind us of the things we have forgotten. They can remind us of the kindness in others. They can also remind us of the kindness we so dearly need to be giving ourselves when life gets us down. They can keep us humble, teaching us not to get ahead of ourselves and to appreciate the journey. They can teach us about courage, which we need in order to pick ourselves up and keep going. And they can remind us of how well we know love and how badly we want to be loved – though ultimately we have to start by loving ourselves.
When times get hard, we get so caught up in negative thinking that we don’t realise what we already have and all that we have already accomplished. Don’t waste your energy on worrying – rarely do the things we worry about come to fruition, and when they do, nothing can prepare you for them. Take the time to remember all that you have or have achieved, rather than dwelling on all you haven’t. It’s easy to forget what it took to get you to where you are today. The rest will come, but don’t overwhelm yourself trying to speed up the process.
Don’t hide your pain, past or present. Accept it for what it is, but recognise as well how strong you are and how resilient life’s challenges have made you. And don’t think that the journey ends here. This is simply a bump in the road and should you so choose, this moment can help fuel the fire within you.
Negative thoughts can be all consuming and draining, making us feel even worse than we originally did. Learn to work with your frame of mind by asking yourself the right questions and taking time for introspection to better understand what life may be trying to teach you.
Next time you’re having a bad day, try asking yourself these questions:
- Is there another way to look at the situation I am in?
- Is it possible that the truth I am telling myself is not entirely true?
- Could I prove myself wrong?
- Am I holding onto expectations?
- Am I assuming?
- In what ways could I view my situation positively?
- What lessons can I learn from the day I’ve had?
Learn to embrace every experience with all that it has to offer you. That means both the good and the bad. Remind yourself that you’ve made it until this moment; through all the heartbreak, disappointments and hardships. You’re a survivor, and what’s more, I’m sure you can look back on these moments and clearly understand their importance in your journey and the hidden potential they uncovered.
Difficult days visit us all; no one gets out of this scratch free. Know that you are not alone and that this too shall pass. But in the meantime, practice positive thinking, meditate, ask yourself the right questions and be open to learning new life lessons.
The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter.