How To Keep Going Even When You Don’t Think You Can

5 Actions You Can Take to Turn Things Around During Difficult Times

We’ve all been through challenging periods in our lives where our problems appeared insurmountable and scary.

Not matter what we tried, things just got worse and worse, and it would have been so easy to say, “This is too much!” and give up.

As a result of what we were going through, we may have experienced:

  • A physical, emotional and mental break down.
  • High levels of stress and pain.
  • Loss of sleep at night.
  • Reduced levels of concentration.
  • Conflict in our personal and professional relationships.

Can you remember such a time in your life?

While problems are a part of life, if we don’t address them quickly or if we ignore them, we will make things worse for ourselves.

How to overcome problems in life

The good news is no matter how difficult our problems may appear to be, there is always a solution that can turn things around for us.

Many years ago, when I was dealing with serious financial challenges, it appeared I had dug a really big hole for myself. Reflecting back on that time now, a few months does not seem like a long time, however, while I was going that period, each day extremely stressful.

Thankfully I had developed new skills and had created a network of colleagues and acquaintances who were able to guide me through that difficult period. Had I tried to do it on my own, chances are I would made things worse, which created even more problems.

The question I would ask myself daily was, “What is something I can do today that will help my situation now?” Some days I would do some research online while on other days, I would try to connect with people and ask for their advice. Each small action added up over time and helped me turn my situation around.

Here are five things we can do to turn things around whenever we’re going through difficult times so that we don’t carry our problems any longer than necessary.

  1. Look for any excuses you are making. We can start by listing down all the excuses we are making for continuing to have the problem we have. Excuses may sound like, “It’s too hard” or “I don’t know what to do” or “I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted.” We have to know what we are telling ourselves first before we can start thinking of making a change.
  2. Question your excuses. Now that we have our list of excuses, we want to question each one of them. One technique I recommend using is called “The Work,” created by Byron Katie. It involves answering four questions:
    ⁃ Is it true?
    ⁃ Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
    ⁃ How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
    ⁃ Who would you be without the thought?
    Then you create a turnaround, which is a way to experience the opposite of your excuses.
  3. Start focusing on what you want. As a continuation of the turnaround from the previous point, we want to get into the habit of focusing on solutions rather than continuing to focus on our problems. Whatever we give energy and attention to will expand, so the more energy we give to solutions, the more options we will become aware of.
  4. Ask for help. It’s very difficult to overcome a major life problem on our own — we all need help. When people are going through difficult times, it’s not uncommon for them to feel alone. This is why reaching out to people we are close to, whether they’re family members, friends, or professionals, can make a big difference.
  5. Get into action. The previous steps were all the planning steps. Our reality will only change when we take new actions. It could be a small first step but the key is to start getting into motion because momentum can only be generated if we’re moving. Every action we take will reveal the next action and soon enough, we will start creating solutions to our problems.

We are never given a problem in life that we do not have the ability to overcome. Problems can be a gift only if we’re willing to extract and learn lessons from them. If we’re willing to apply these steps, we will be able to move forward and overcome any problem even if we don’t think we can.

Action Step: For a problem you are currently facing, start apply the steps above. Start off by listing down the excuses you are making for why you continue to have that problem.

Question: What is another thing we can do to keep moving forward even if we don’t think we can?

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