Meeting Life’s Challenges

How do you handle adversity and disappointment?

Adversity can take a lot of forms:  a life threatening illness; being fired; divorce; the death of a loved one; losing someone or something you cherished; an injury; a betrayal, or even just having your illusions shattered.  Recovering from such events requires great reserves of inner strength, mastery of fear—and courage.

Facing adversity with strength and courage can be very difficult.  But if you run away from adversity, or let it overwhelm and defeat you, you will not only feel demoralized, you will also lose respect for yourself—and you’ll lose trust in your ability to cope with life’s challenges. 

Such is the nature of giving in to fear.  Not that you shouldn’t feel it, but when you do feel fear, you still must rise to the occasion, respond effectively to the challenge, and do what needs to be done.  When you face adversity with heroic effort, you will feel better about your life, your self-esteem will rise, and will feel more capable of your ability to rise to meet a difficult life challenge when life demands it of you.

The following suggestions and coping strategies are for anyone who needs courage, regeneration, rebirth or resurrection in order to handle life’s adversities and disappointments:

  • Permit your sad, angry, hurt or negative feelings to be there, but also look at what gives you hope.  Regeneration begins with the vision of something you hope for.  Focus on what you’re trying to create and what you have to look forward to.
  • Stay focused on your life’s goals, missions and passions—or recreate them again.  What do you want to accomplish or experience before you die?  What part of that could you begin this year?
  • Set some new goals for yourself.  Challenge yourself to do something you thought you couldn’t do.
  • What’s fun?  Figure out how you can integrate more fun into your life.
  • Plan something special soon: a weekend trip, a vacation, a concert, a family visit.
  • Be in touch, on a daily basis, with your soul or spirit.
  • Don’t do things that harm you, dull you, or make you into a passive observer of life.
  • Tend to the health of your significant relationships with other people, including your spouse/lover, friends, parents, children, extended family and colleagues.
  • Figure out how you can find value in what you are going through, and how you can grow from the experience.
  • What are you putting off that you would feel better about if you completed?
  • Grow plants and be with animals.  Other forms of life and being in nature is healing.
  • Live more in the spirit of appreciation, gratitude and thanksgiving for what you have and for what gifts life has graced you with.
  • Don’t hang on so tightly to the way its “supposed” to be.  Author Susan Jeffers reminds us to trust that whatever happens—good or bad—will still provide you with ample opportunities to learn and grow, to better yourself, to realize your highest potential and to live a wonderful, rich, fulfilling life.  The ebb and flow of life can be faced from a place of harmony rather than from struggle.

Rising to the occasion to meet life’s challenges is about believing in yourself and the value of your life, and not letting adversity beat you.

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