How many times have you heard the sayings; “stay positive, things will work out”, “everything happens for a reason”, or “be thankful for what you have”. These words are meant to comfort, although they usually just stir up more negative emotions about the situation you’re in.
It is easy to focus on the negative, just turn on the Evening News; the train wreck is easy to spot when you only have a few hours to find show filling material.
So how do we stay focused on the positive? What if you’re just too tired of climbing hill after hill, when can you throw in the towel? Don’t throw in the towel until you’ve worked through the next two steps.
First, reach out to those you trust. You should always surround yourself with a support network in order to assure you don’t let down your guard in times of need. If you hit an obstacle, when you encounter a wall, reach out to that support network and use them as a sounding board for your frustration. Get past the negative and start to figure out the roots of your dilemma, recall the reasons you’re in this situation and recall your roots, your values, your goals. Get past the “stay positive” phrases with some hard soul searching; dig to find the driving factors of your frustration.
Finally, examine these driving factors and explore the potential solutions. Often these struggles provide you with an avenue for self-awareness and growth, unexpected growth. We all think we know how to train our muscles, but no muscle can outsmart your mind. The unexpected hill is what truly pushes our will to its limits, allowing us to grow past the mental barrier that we built for ourselves. Every struggle provides an opportunity. These opportunities may align with your values and goals, they may not, however you must provide a fair evaluation in order to determine the best path forward.
Next time you feel down about your situation, go find a trusting college that will allow you to vent in a safe place, and then reassess the situation. Determine the next step of the challenge ahead; you may actually be standing at the base of your next great feat, that boulder of an obstacle may just be masking a diamond in the rough, the opportunity that will define your legacy.