Does the following sound familiar to you? You feel trapped in your life. You try so hard to keep it all together, but nothing seems to go your way, and no matter what you do, those dreadful events keep on coming. Because of this, you have no motivation left to get up in the morning. You isolate yourself and don’t want to see friends or family because you just don’t want to endure this life any longer. If this describes you, I know exactly how you feel!
As Abraham Hicks would say, “For good or bad – when it rains, it pours,” and for many years, my life was a never-ending tropical storm. I lost both of my parents within one year of each other and had no family left. A few years later, I lost my business and all financial assets during a nasty divorce. Two years later, my 10-year-old daughter disappeared.
I immigrated to Canada in 2004 to start all over, and due to fraud, I found myself with no income, effectively homeless, and potentially $150,000 in debt. I literally drove myself insane looking for the “good” in all of this because like everyone says, it all happens for a reason and always for the better.
It was more than I could endure or so I thought. People often feel defenseless against adversity — they suffer in silence, live hopelessly, and lose the ability to control their own lives.
Adversity is one of the leading causes of homelessness, depression, drug addictions, and suicide; it ends someone’s life every day! I knew my life was spinning downwards fast. It was time for a change and probably my last chance to take action. It is always so much easier to tell others what to do, but the time had come when I had to accept the challenge and get back on track by practicing what I preached.
I recreated a happy, successful, and fulfilling life for myself again —while knowing that whenever the next hit came, I could manage it. It was not easy since I was only accountable to myself, and yet I saved my life. I proved that it can be done and the strategies I’ve learned and passed on to others do work.
Here are four strategies that I used to overcome adversity and rebuild my life that can help you too:
1. Work with your feelings
Don’t take adversity personally and see yourself as the victim. You may think that life has conspired to hurt you, but the truth is that it’s never about you! You are not a failure.
Everyone experiences adversity, and you’re part of the majority, which makes you a regular person. And when “it” happens, accept it and stop looking for the good in the bad; there is none. Searching and not finding it will just worsen how you feel, trust me…I have been there!
Remember, whatever happens is not the problem because your emotions are. If you are the person who makes a tiger out of a cat, then you will have to deal with that tiger. Feeling pain is a normal part of dealing with adversity, yet suffering is optional.
It is useless, unhealthy, and destructive in itself. Just feel the pain the moment it happens, and then allow it to pass. Most importantly, realize that you’re going through a tough time, not toward it.
“Never give up, and be confident in what you do. There may be tough times, but the difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds.” – Marta
2. Don’t isolate yourself
Realize that you’re not alone, so let friends and family help you. Sometimes people around you don’t know what is going on in your life and how they can support you. Don’t be shy, and ask for help.
Talk about your situation with people who care and hear their opinions; sometimes we just can’t see the obvious. Also, stay away from toxic people. Instead, add positivity in your life through optimistic people, events, and places. It’s important to understand that people are happy to help you. Don’t forget that!
3. Take action toward a better life
Now that you have your feelings under control, acknowledge your situation. What is really happening, and what is the worst case scenario? Write down what has happened to you and what you want to happen; put it on paper, and make a plan.
Acknowledge your strengths. Look back on things you have accomplished. Do you see all the fantastic stuff you are capable of? Thoroughly check your resources and what is available to help you reach the next step. Address your needs and take care of yourself. Do something good for you and your soul.
Now is the time to set goals and be the creator of your new life. Be prepared for the next attack, which will come without fail, and brave it with determination. Most importantly, realize that change for the better will come one step at a time. Just keep on walking, and keep your target in sight!
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” – Robert Frost
4. Maintain a can-do attitude
Stop being a victim, and take control of your life. Remember, it is not the event that counts, it is how you deal with it.
There are two elements of utmost importance when fighting adversity:
- The love for yourself – If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect that someone else does? Not loving yourself has its roots in the past, but whatever it was is gone and will not come back. Instead, every new day is a unique chance for you to create something beautiful in your life.
- Your attitude – Your thoughts will eventually create words. Your words will create deeds. Your deeds will soon become your habit. Your habit will eventually form your character. With the right character in place, you can face anything. And that is important because the next hardship will come.
Are you ready to take control and create a life you love? Aren’t you tired of regularly cleaning up the broken dishes of your life? Isn’t it exhausting to feel defenseless, hopeless, and afraid? Don’t give up control of your life by feeling sorry for yourself and risk depression, homelessness, drug addiction, and even suicide.
Start taking control of your life today. Set big goals, chase your dream, and rebuild your life to experience happiness again. Go out and create your own success story, so you can achieve anything you desire.