“In order to succeed, people need a sense of self-efficacy, struggle together with resilience to meet the inevitable obstacles and inequities of life.” – Albert Bandura
When challenges arise are you going to cope or mope? I don’t mean for this to be a harsh question, it’s just that dealing with adversity and change is a part of life. No one welcomes adversity and it’s not always easy to bounce back from set-backs. However we do have a choice in the way we deal with these trials and tribulations. Next time you’re faced with a challenge, consider if you’re going to grow and develop from the experience, or if you’re going to wither away and become a victim of the circumstances. We go through different seasons in life, and we all respond in different ways. During cold, dark seasons we may falter and lose our luster, though remember there is always a fertile season to come that will help us flourish and bloom. It’s important to remember that in order for a tree to thrive it needs both rain and sunshine. We need to be nurtured and go through some storms to become stronger and more robust. Just as tree’s are resilient through different seasons, so too can you remain strong and steadfast through turmoil in any area of life. There are many ways to develop the ability to bounce back. It takes changing how we view things, growing our connections with other, and developing into a more whole and hardy person.
Accepting that change is a part of living
It has been quoted that “The only thing constant in life is change.” Everyday offers new possibilities. These can be opportunities or challenges, and being prepared to adapt and respond to changing circumstances is a major factor in bounding back.
Making connections with other
When you have hit rock bottom in life, I imagine you were grateful and appreciative for your relationships. Having people who can support and encourage us as we face a dilemma can make all the difference. Going through difficulty alone can leave us disheartened and hopeless. It’s important we learn to communicate our needs and connect with people who can help us through difficult transitions. Maybe someone who has been there or who has the sound mind to help us make decisions.
Goal-setting and taking decisive actions
A powerful way to cope is to recognize we have the ability to solve many of our problems. When faced with a set-back many people lose confidence and feel inadequate. Sometimes we have no control over a situation but when there’s a solution be willing ask yourself, “What can I do about this?“ Don’t get stuck and become helpless. Shake off the negative attitude, and set specific goals to get yourself motivated and back on an empowered path.
Do you believe things happen for a reason? Often even the most troubling of circumstances have a purposeful and divine message to send. Consider the value that can be gained from your current problem, and find meaning by putting the situation in perspective. Ask yourself: Is there something I can be learning from the experience? Is the situation helping me gain greater wisdom and self-awareness? How has it equipped me to move forward toward my future aspirations?
Finding opportunities for self-discovery
Similar to the idea of making meaning is recognizing that transformation occurs when we are faced with hardship. Transformation and growth comes at those uncomfortable crossroads in life. It doesn’t come when things are going well and we have no desire to change. Transformation brings the possibility of finding your purpose and realizing how you can improve your life. Look for these opportunities in any circumstance.
Nurturing a positive view of self
To cope with life’s unexpected challenges we need strong character and integrity. Developing greater self-confidence and a more positive self-concept comes from successfully working through obstacles presented to us. We can use challenges as situations that help us understand our true capability to handle and manage anything life presents to us. Be aware of your self-talk as you face adversity. Problems can tend to damage our attitude and outlook. Utilize positive affirmations and visualizations to gain a sense of personal power.
Cultivate positive emotions
Positive psychology research reveals that cultivating positive emotions can enhance our resiliency. Specifically, according to research by Barbara Fredrickson, positive emotions broaden and build our resources and outlook, while negative emotions, like fear and anger narrow our focus and behavioral repertoire. When we experience emotions such as joy, gratitude, optimism, amusement, hope, and compassion, it broadens our perspective to solve problems and be more creative. It also helps to build our social, psychological, and physical resources, making it easier to cope with stress. If you’re interested in cultivating more positivity I encourage you to explore Ken Wert’s upcoming ebook Perspectives on Happiness. I am participating in this book and offer numerous strategies to enhance well-being. Keep in touch with Ken for updates about the books release. It is unlikely that all of these behaviors and areas will be found in our life, but we can begin to recognize where our strengths and weaknesses lie. Fall back on your strengths in times of need and continue growing and developing in the other areas to bolster your resiliency.
This is where I provide my personal connection to the ideas in the post. I hope you will join the conversation by leaving a comment, and offering your personal connection to these ideas as well. This post stemmed from the health problems with my 11 month old puppy (yes only 11 month). He is suffering from kidney failure and the prognosis is not good. For some people, dogs are just animals, though in my experience dogs have always been a part of the family. It’s a sad situation to see such a loving and joyful creature out of their natural state. Despite the difficulty of the situation, we are coping, and learning a lot from him about how to live a better life. The puppy never complains about his circumstances, he stays present and joyful in the moment, and simply wants to be loved and give love. These are all valuable lessons I feel are important to learn from this sad situation. Hopefully things turn out well. Please pray for him. I will keep you posted on his status going forward. Photo by: thephotographymuse