Tough times don’t break strong people. Strong people are MADE by tough times.
The big secret to getting through hard times in one piece is to remain optimistic about the future. Setting your mind to a frame where there is no room for fear, doubt, or anxiety will enable you to think positively and brainstorm efficiently, rather than worrying away valuable time. Wallowing in self-pity isn’t going to make anything better. It’s more beneficial to tread the path of self-encouragement, letting your mind roam beyond your usual horizons, getting out of your comfort zone, and when you’re ready, molting off the pain-scratched layer to wear a brand-new, better form of yourself.

Tough times are inevitable, but resilience is key. Everyone at some point in their lives must go through a certain form of hardship and mental strain, no matter how wealthy, healthy, brilliant or perfect they are. It’s part of the growing process. Below are 7 powerful mindset shifts to set your mind to when things seem as they’ll never stop plunging downhill [1]:

It’s part of self-development
Every setback we experience shouldn’t be regarded as a failure. It’s more effective to think of it as the return of assessment papers with corrections made. You have to compare your original work with the corrections, take note of what you didn’t do right, and avoid making the same mistakes when a make-up test comes along. Tough times are part of the lifelong learning process, and the moment a person stops learning, they stop living. You begin to merely exist.

We weigh ourselves down by carrying our failures as burdens and marking them off in our minds as points to be ashamed of. Failure is not exactly detrimental to success. Depending on the mindset of a person, failure can be essential to getting on the right track. Failing and not taking note of your mistakes will only lead to more failure, but pinpointing what you’ve been doing wrong will enable you to break free from the cycle.

You’ve jumped hurdles before
From something as minor as experiencing a car breakdown right in the middle of the road to getting fired from work when you’ve just had a new baby, remind yourself of all the times you put challenges in their place and forged ahead without looking back. Wearing an attitude of optimism usually opens your mind to new ideas and sets your sights upon valuable opportunities.

Recalling all the obstacles you’ve cleared out of your path is a one-up boost for self-confidence which will enable you to trust in your abilities to clear this one out as well. Use your past experiences as a source of motivation against fear or self-doubt.

Everyone goes through tough times, too
The moment you start playing the “why-is-it-always-me” tape in your mind, you’ll fall into a well of self-pity and anguish, demoralizing what is left of your courage. The universe doesn’t hate you. Fate isn’t out to destroy you. Your destiny isn’t marred by failures. It’s just a growth process that everyone has to pass through. Don’t convince that your situation is the worst because there’s definitely someone out there who’s living through worse.

Don’t compare yourself to other people. Everyone is on a different time frame. Your pain will make you believe their lives are so perfect in comparison to yours. Going down this path will lead to you to depression, self-hatred, anxiety, and the worst of all, giving up. Remind yourself that everyone experiences tough times as well, and only the strongest will get through these times with more emotional strength that they previously had.

Tough times don’t last forever…
…but tough people do. Don’t let these challenges wipe you from the surface of the earth. You are a force of nature and you have the power to work through this and break out of it. Tough times breed negative emotions and self-doubt. You’ll subconsciously immerse yourself into a frame of mind punctuated by negative attitude shifts and convictions of never-ending hardship.

Hey, it’s not going to last forever. Whatever you’re going through right now, you’ll get through it and become a better version of yourself. You may have to step up to the game and do something out of the ordinary to make it clear out faster, or you could just wait it out while maintaining a mindset of positivity and expecting the best.

Count your strengths and wear them like a shield
Constantly counting your failures and reminding yourself of your weak points will most likely cloak your mind to your abilities. You won’t be able to identify with your strengths anymore. They begin to seem as though they were all in your head from the beginning, and that you were never any of those things.

Think of a sportswoman who’s been having a hard time winning any race. She’s a long-distance runner, and despite not having long legs like her opponents, she possesses an endurance beyond anyone’s imaginations. She’s been losing her races recently, and she’s beginning to think she’s not cut out for this. Her ability to endure begins to seem like a façade. Her mind will take over her matter, and when she tries to run again, even the endurance will fail her.

Only if she had worn that strength with pride and determination. Count your strengths and let them be your superpower.

Count your blessings
You’re not all misery and no joy. There are so many things to be grateful for in your life. You know this, and you know what they are. Negative experiences make us lose sights of the wonderful things that have happened to us. We drench ourselves in worry and despair, forgetting that there are things to be happy about and thankful for.

You may have lost your job, but you have a family that supports you and encourages you, never making you feel as though you’ve failed. You just suffered a bitter break-up, but you’ve been doing excellently well with your college studies, and job offers are already coming.

Count your blessings and relegate your sorrows to the back of mind. They’ll eventually fall off from back there.

It’s OKAY to ask for help
There are people around you who love you to bits and would go to the ends of the world to see you smile. People who would sacrifice anything to make you happy. It may be one person, two people, a hoard of family and friends, but there’s definitely someone out there who loves you with all their heart, despite your inadequacies and shortcomings.

Don’t push them away or put a wall between you and them. They may not be aware of what you’re going through. Reach out to them and let them form a support system around you. Let them hold your hand and assist in any way they can. There’s no shame in letting love prevail. It’s okay to bare your heart out and ask for advice, counseling, or motivation.

No matter what you’re going through, assuming positive mindset shifts will constantly remind you that you ARE strong, you CAN do this, and you WILL get through this.

References:

  1. 7 Things to Remember When You’re Going Through Tough Times in Life“, Lifehack. May, 2019.
  2. Seven ways to boost your self-esteem“, The Guardian. January 2019.
  3. 13 Things to Do Instead of Comparing Yourself to Others“, Tiny Buddha.
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