Handling the challenges of life and everyday living is possible with the right mindset and attitude. It’s a known fact that life is not easy; it consists of mental, physical, emotional, financial, and many other challenges. In most cases, you cannot stop these problems from coming your way but you can improve your response to them. That is why I initially said handling the challenges of life is possible with the right mindset and attitude.
What Are Some Challenges In Life?
Life is full of challenges and they manifest in different ways, some of which are mentioned below:
- Having to face a job interview panel for the first time
- Having to take a tough professional exams after failing three times
- Having to speak in front of a group for the first time
- Having to cope with a health problem
- Having to cope with grief after the death of a loved one
- Having to lose your job and the financial security attached
There are many others, but let me stop and talk about how to deal with the challenges of life:
Tip No 1: Cultivate a Positive Attitude
Having a positive attitude will make you believe you can overcome your challenges. Without a positive attitude, you’d feel defeated anytime you have problems. No wonder Pat Riley said: “if you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.” Towing the same line, Norman Vincent Peale said: “believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So believe the answer will come. It will.”
Tip No 2: Don’t Run Away from Your Problems
Some people have a penchant for this but, it’s not ideal. Never run away from your challenges, face and overcome them. The problems you’re seeing are not supposed to kill you; they’d rather help you to grow. Bernice Johnson Reagon supports this. According to her, “life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” In a poem titled: Life, Mother Teresa advises that we face the challenges of life. According to her, “life is a challenge, meet it.”
Tip No 3: Take Full Responsibility, Don’t Blame Others
If you’re in the habit of blaming other people for your woes in life, you won’t be able to overcome life’s challenges. Success coaches say taking 100% responsibility for our lives is the way to go if we want to succeed in life. So, when misfortune strikes, don’t point accusing fingers at anyone. Take responsibility for it and look for a way out of the quagmire. You’d be more in control of the situation this way than if you blame others.
Tip No 4: Don’t Fight Change, Accept It Wholeheartedly
Change, they say, is the only constant in life. Whether you like it or not, change will come and you have to be smart by accepting it. Many people hate change and try to resist it because it gets them out of their comfort zone. But a smarter way is anticipating change and initiating it ahead of time. No wonder Bette Davis said: “the key to life is accepting challenges. Once someone stops doing this, he’s dead.”
Tip No 5: Control Your Emotions
Challenges can affect your emotions. You may feel happy at times and unhappy at another time but you have to realize that those two states are temporary. You have to train your mind to be at peace at all times regardless of the challenges you’re facing. “In adversity, remember to keep an even mind,” so says Horace (Ancient Roman Poet. 65 BC-8 BC). Your ability to keep a calm and even mind during the time of trouble would help you think through and be able to take action to rectify the problem.
Tip No 6: Detach Yourself from the Outcome
Detaching yourself from any given result is vital to solving problems. Detachment means that you are not attached to any given outcome in life. You don’t really worry about what happens as a result of your actions. In the last few years when I started public speaking and got really nervous and full of fright, it was because I was afraid of what the audience was thinking of me. I was afraid of thinking on my feet, I was afraid of speaking before a group of people but the truth still remains that some people will not like you, no matter what you say or do. While others will like you even if you slip or make a mistake; your job therefore, is to accept the way people are and not get worked up emotionally and mentally over someone not liking you. When you start practicing detachment, many of your fears and insecurities will fly away.
Tip No 7: Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
You’re a special breed, so comparing yourself to others is not ideal. It would frustrate you emotionally and mentally because they’d always be people who would be happy when you’re mourning; there would always be people who’d have more than enough when you can barely afford three square meals a day; there would always be people who would have good and lucrative jobs while you struggle to even get a job with a measly pay check, so, don’t compare yourself with others. Rather, determine to make a success of your life, despite your limitations.
Tip No 8: Above All, Look Upto God
In the Bible, John 16:33 to be precise, Jesus told his disciples that "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Let the truth be told, there’s a lot of trouble in the world. It may vary from individual to individual, from country to country, from tribe to tribe, but we all go through some troubles in this life but God can help us overcome them, if we look upto Him for help.
In the Bible, many Bible characters went through one form of persecution to the other but the experience drew them closer to God (like Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Joseph in the Prisonyard, the Three Hebrew men in the burning furnace, etc). God could have saved them from those situations but He allowed them go through it, so, they could grow.
Benefits of Having Problems in Life
A huge benefit of the challenges we face in life is that we grow each time we accept them (with all serenity), learn (how to solve them), change (our ways) and face them (challenges and problems) headlong. We become better people as a result of the problems we face. Most times when challenges surface in our lives, it’s a wake-up call to change and once we heed the call, we see growth. For instance, a man experiencing financial challenges may have to change his spending habits and become more frugal; a woman facing a marital crisis may have to change how she relates with her partner to get his attention again; ditto for a company facing a boardroom crisis (it may have to change the board structure or something to survive). But all in all, we grow each time we face challenges in the face and conquer them, instead of running away.