Tragedies, setbacks, obstacles, calamities, or hardships, none of us will escape them. It’s a given that they will appear in the worst of times. We all dread them. We hope to succeed and advance without encountering adversities, but the fact of the matter is that suffering is an opportunity to build strength.
But how do we face these difficulties without succumbing to them?
Adopt realistic thinking and avoid reacting spontaneously
Let's start by putting things into context by scaling them to their right size. You might be blowing the issue out of proportion! A setback can usually be a minor delay or an annoying problem that can be solved, such as irritating your boss by making a mistake or failing to submit a report on time. Calamities, on the other hand, have a greater impact that is harder and takes longer to solve, such as getting fired or your startup going bankrupt. A tragedy is the loss of a family member or terminal illness, requiring patience and contentment.
Our spontaneous and usual reaction to such situations is not always helpful. We often hold others responsible, for example, my boss does not understand, and we then justify that the circumstances were adverse or that the opponent was unfair. This is followed by anger and fear of consequences like getting fired, which could lead to despair and hopelessness. Needless to say, such spontaneous reactions are rarely useful while facing difficulty, as they lead us into a vicious cycle of self-deception, negative effort, and frustration.
This will pass.
The truth is that any difficult situation we find ourselves in will inevitably pass and we will overcome it. An Indian King asked his minister to engrave a phrase on his ring that has the power to make a sad man happy and a happy man sad. The minister engraved "this too shall pass." A setback is temporary and we will overcome it with time. Remember that your greatest joys and deepest sorrows have passed already.
The road to success is not straight
Our life is a journey we spend striving to climb to the top. The journeys of our ancestors are proof that there is no straight line leading to the top. Examples from history and from contemporary business environments are numerous, including the story of Steve Jobs who was fired from Apple; the company he founded, before returning and leading it to success. Setbacks must be overcome to reach the top in an ongoing battle of ups and downs. The aim is for you to have more ups than downs. Ups remind you of your destination, while downs produce the power needed to change direction. With time, you will leap even higher and the lows will become fewer, so do not despair.
How do you overcome the difficulty you are facing?
To organize your thoughts and help you face difficult situations in a timely manner, avoid these five things:
- Do not rush - take your time to understand what's happening to you . Do not react, plan, or fight now. Simply understand the situation and your emotions.
- Do not panic - control your emotions. Do not panic because panicking leads to making bigger mistakes that may complicate the situation further.
- Do not be afraid to fail - accept what you are facing just as you accepted your failed attempts to stand on your feet as a child but never gave up.
- Do not be hard on yourself - you can't change what happened but you can choose how you deal with it.
- Do not lose control - gain control over the situation when you are ready to think objectively about the problem. Then choose your options. For example, do you apologize for making a mistake or ask for another opportunity, or do you take a different path to the top?
When you are ready to pull yourself out of the difficult situation you're in, follow these five actions: (Practical Abstracts for the Book: Turning Problems into Opportunities)
1- Change your perspective by quickly finding one advantage in this challenging situation. Once you find it, utilize it to turn the crisis into an opportunity.
2- Apply the rule, "the wrong answer is the right answer to a different question!" Your situation is difficult, but it is just the right situation for you to change your behavior and invest differently. Many have succeeded in turning a difficultly into a great triumph.
3- After 1 and 2, The third step that follows is turning your fear into excitement.
4- You can also do a reverse maneuver that contradicts what we are accustomed to in difficult situations of excessive seriousness, tension, and an atmosphere of regret and sadness: “How wonderful it is to smile when people expect you to cry.” You are the hero of your story, and patience is here to smile with tears in your eyes!
5- Finally, expect and familiarize yourself with the worst-case scenario for this might reduce all these fears and concerns. You might even find a gap or opportunity in this "worst-case" scenario as it may limit your stress significantly.
It's been said, that which does not kill us makes us stronger. Life is not only shaped by short moments of success, but rather by our attitude when things do not go our way.
This article was republished from Dr. Badr Al Badr's personal blog