There’s going to be times when things look bleak. Maybe you lose your job, you get in a car accident, or your partner files for divorce. No matter what happens in your life, there are ways to make the best out of any bad situation.
Time and time again people make it through life’s disasters with a renewed and refreshed spirit to grow and flourish. Just like a brush fires, problems combust in our lives causing extensive damage, but these fires also have beneficial effects. Just as many plant species rely on the effects of the fire for growth and reproduction, we too can adapt to life’s circumstances and become more resilient and proactive.
Every situation offers a learning opportunity and an outlet to become better in the long-run. There are many examples of people making it through dark times and coming out lighter and more complete than they ever were before.
The difference between those who crumble under the weight of the world and those who persevere, is an enduring hope, faith, and resilience to make the most out of the worst of situations.
Sometimes we must pay a price to reach a greater point, so make the most out of the tuition you pay to life.
Face the brutal truth and then get creative
When things aren’t going well you may have to face the brutal truth. Don’t ignore the facts just because something doesn’t fit your vision. One of the most counterproductive things to do is pretend nothing is wrong. This is called denial!
If things aren’t going well don’t neglect and avoid the problem, decide how to deal with it most effectively and take action. Denying that something is wrong may be a defense mechanism to feel better emotionally, but there will be no resolution from this approach.
Instead, recognize the problem and begin to uncover how best to deal with it. This may take some critical thinking and creative problem solving, but there is always a solution amidst the confusion.
Creative problem solving involves thinking outside the box and breaking away from fixed mental sets. For instance, how many ways can a concrete brick be used? What comes to mind? Maybe using it to build something, break a window, or line your garden are a few options. But there are actually unlimited uses if we think creatively. What about using it to work out, as a paper weight, or painting it for home decor?
If there is a problem, accept it, get creative, and work to find a solution.
The power of pain
When we’ve hit rock bottom, it can seem that all is lost, but there is nothing more motivating than relieving emotional pain. People will do whatever it takes to change their situation and avoid pain. Think about it, this is why so many people are addicts. It much easier to use drugs as a coping method, instead of actually dealing with the problem.
Though, instead of masking the pain, why not be proactive and do something about it?
Learn to recognize pain as a signal that can trigger needed change in your life. If I’m emotionally distraught at my job, this can be an important signal to start problem solving and uncovering what can be done to change my situation.
What can you learn from your pain?
When has your pain shown up at the perfect time, providing the exact catalyst you needed to move toward better things?
Remember that pain has something to offer. Don’t spend your life afraid of pain, but instead use it as motivation to make a change and alter the course of your life.
Avoid toxic guilt and shame
I’ve had my moments when I was disappointed with myself and didn’t feel proud of something I did. If you’re like most people, these memories probably stick out quite vividly. Though, we can’t let these moments define who we are as people.
There is going to be times when we feel bad about something we’ve done. We may have caused others pain, lost a valuable opportunity, or are being dishonest and living an unauthentic life. Regardless of what may be causing us to feel guilty we have to learn to channel this emotion in a productive and empowering way.
Guilt and shame can be healthy emotions if they teach us about our limitations and lead us to accept that there is a better way to live. Unhealthy guilt and shame says, “I am a mistake.” Healthy guilt and shame says, “I made a mistake.” We all make mistakes, so work toward a perspective where you can:
- Understand that mistakes are okay
- Laugh, be spontaneous, and have fun
- Be authentic and accept yourself
- Be vulnerable and communicate with other
Find the value hidden beneath the suffering
“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” “Find the silver lining.” “Look at the glass as half full.” No matter what cliché axiom is used to describe the importance of a positive and optimistic outlook, the message is clear. You can find value in any situation. There is something to be gained and learned from every encounter, interaction, and circumstance we are a part of. It takes a serious shift in focus to begin looking for opportunity within tragedy, though this is exactly what can save someone’s livelihood and hope for the future.
All in all, resilience is something that can be learned and developed as we learn more about our natural capacity to overcome life’s hurdles. It takes self-confidence to know we can weather the storm, self-discipline to make the needed change, and wisdom to find value and learn from the experience.
Remember, the world will never give up on you, so don’t give up on yourself.
Please leave your thoughts below! How do you make the best out of bad situations? What helps you see opportunities where others see a problem? What blessings in disguise have you experienced?