by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
It's easy for any of us to be defeated by our problems. Whether they are big or small doesn't matter. They're our problems and because of that, they can seem tailor-designed to knock us down.
Someone recently asked me how to overcome their problems. Regardless of specifics, when faced with difficulty, having the attitude to work toward a solution or win victory, is the first step to creating forward momentum.
I praised this person for having the desire to find a way through their challenges.
The Buddhist philosophy I practice has taught me that struggles are actually precious treasures to appreciate. We can actually use them as stepping stones to deeper happiness, solid inner strength and an awakening to our inherent wisdom. All this personal expansion leads to experiencing a rich, more fulfilled life.
The conversation with the person who asked for my help reminded me that I need to repeatedly polish my attitude and actions toward the challenges in my life.
I've learned that developing a determined spirit to win over difficulties is powerful. No matter what the problem is, having that spirit to keep fighting is itself the key to victory. It’s when we lose hope, or stop believing in our vast potential to achieve or transform anything, that problems get the better of us.
There are many things we can do to deal with our problems. But without the mindset toward winning ultimate victory, the results may prove less than satisfactory.
In other words, we can take plenty of action, but if we still hold doubt in our hearts about ourselves or our desired positive outcome, we diminish our results.
You Get Stronger Through Challenging A Problem
If we first work on strengthening the attitude behind our actions, we stand a greater chance of overcoming the problem or reaching a goal. Actions we take are only part of the solution or winning strategy.
Equally as valuable is the inner strength we forge by enduring the problem state.
As long as we resolve never to give up on ourselves, every problem actually can serve as a springboard toward improving ourselves and our quality of life. Building a strong inner intent ultimately manifests in taking wise action. This is the basis for creating a happier environment, and advancing our personal growth.
Plus, the added perk of solving our problem.
Be Like Einstein; Stay Longer
There’s an Einstein quote I love that goes, "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."
Problems can function as beneficial to our lives because they push us into the proverbial corner until we learn to strengthen our belief in the unlimited potential within ourselves and humanity.
Problems can force us to work harder to mine that golden potential. Perhaps if we didn't experience our difficulties, we'd never make the kind of effort necessary to uncover our full abilities.
The fact is that we all have problems. Our capacity to overcome these is infinite. And by winning over them, we give others incredible hope to do the same.
Let's continue seeking ways to overcome our problems. In that sense, we are already winning.
By the way, my photo essay, How To Use Difficulties To Inspire Appreciation & Creativity, touches on this same point. I hope it encourages you and others reading this!
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by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
Being betrayed is grueling. Learning someone you trusted is not honorable can be shocking. It may be the catalyst for emotional upheaval. But, you can use this delicate predicament as a springboard toward a more fulfilling, positive direction.
What matters more in this situation is not what or who has happened to you, but how you respond. It is not an easy process. You’re human, of course. Regardless of your disposition, an emotional process is natural. The question is how to navigate your feelings to steer things in a more positive direction?
1. Don’t retaliate. Instead, clarify. If possible, aim for an objective dialogue to rule out any miscommunication. Whether the other party refuses to talk it through, or you manage to have a conversation, you will learn something. You'll discover a miscommunication and clear it up. Or, you’ll discover someone is not who you thought they were.
2. Take a beat. Being betrayed pushes your buttons. Give yourself some space and time to absorb before responding. This gives you time to reflect without making the situation worse.
3. Find a safe place where you may feel what you feel. If you’re angry, punch a pillow. Take a long bike ride, using your anger to pedal yourself further (literally and figuratively). Exercise helps lower stress. Vent. Talk to someone close to you who is completely trustworthy and supportive of you. Or write in your journal. If you’re creative, fire up a new creative project. Whatever you choose, it’s important to safely vent your feelings.
4. Break free. If possible, cut all ties completely so you are free to move forward in a different direction. Do so with the utmost professionalism and courtesy. How others behaved speaks volumes about them, not you. Always take the high road.
5. Reflect on the gain. Appreciate you are not stuck in a situation with people who create negative causes or drama, or who cannot be trusted. Appreciate that you are free of toxic people. Difficult experiences can teach you lessons about yourself. Learn what you can from the situation.
It may be a catalyst for you to rely more on and believe in yourself. It may train you to become a better judge of character. Or, it may serve as a guide for you to create a stronger, more harmonious team based on a shared vision. The outcome may free you to do more of something you’d rather do but hadn’t had the time for it.
Life is full of unexpected challenges and difficult people. Handling the situation with optimism, while squarely facing the challenging reality creates value.
Remember that other people‘s actions say more about them than you. Use everything as a learning curve to become a stronger, more compassionate, wiser you. Turn the ordeal into fuel for momentum toward a more positive direction.
“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
Feel free to leave a comment answering these questions:
Have you turned a betrayal into something positive?
What did you learn from the experience?
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