Life doesn’t always go the way you want it to. Unexpected obstacles and challenges can and do arise. They catch you unprepared and create uncertainty in your life until you resolve them. By overcoming obstacles and adversity, you can get your life back on track and gain some wonderful wisdom and insights from the tough times that are now firmly behind you.
How do you overcome obstacles and adversity? It involves a combination of mindset and behavior changes that you can learn and perfect with practice. To make this process easier and less frustrating, I will show you 10 great ways to overcome obstacles and adversity in your life.
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1. Take Responsibility
When things aren’t going the way you want them to, it’s tempting to blame someone else. But remember that when you do that, you relinquish control. You take away your power and feel helpless. It’s like saying, “I have no power to change this”. Or “I can’t make this happen unless this person changes or that situation happens”. In reality, you have more control than you think.
It’s good to look at what you can control, however small that is, and focus on it. You want to take responsibility for the situation and especially your reaction to it. We can’t always take responsibility for things that happen in our life, but we can definitely take responsibility for our reactions to them.
2. Control Negative Thoughts
To prevent this, whenever you notice a negative thought or feeling, mentally say the word “stop”. Say it out loud if you can. And then change it to the opposite, positive thought. The easiest way to do this is by asking yourself, “What do I want instead?” and then focusing on that thought.
You can also say “Thanks for sharing”. Whenever you notice a negative thought, just say “Thanks for sharing” and let your mind switch to something else.
Also look out for certain words that you say to yourself, such as “always” or “every time”. If you say something like, “I always stuffed this up”, then question that by saying “always?”, and then look for the exceptions.
3. Focus on Solutions
Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. Remind yourself of why you want this goal in the first place and concentrate on the end-result.
The reticular activating system focuses on the goals you set. When you focus on what you want, that brings people, places and situations into your life in accordance to your wishes. You can read more about this in my article about the reticular activating system.
If you want to look at this in a more spiritual way, remember that your thoughts are energy. Positive thoughts give you positive energy, and that positive energy attracts positive energy. So the more you focus on what you want, the more you’re likely to manifest that with the Law of Attraction.
4. View Obstacles or Adversity as a Test
This is a fantastic way to look at a problem or adversity from a different perspective. Think of it as a signal to learn and grow, or that there’s a fear to overcome. Once you overcome it, you’ll gain the knowledge, the skills and the experience, and you’ll be able to go onto the next step or achieve the goal completely. So think of it as a lesson, a test, a learning opportunity and a way to overcome obstacles and adversity.
5. Talk It Over with a Like-minded Person
You want to pick the right person to do this. Someone you trust and that believes in you. This could be a friend, a colleague, a therapist, or a coach.
Why is this important? Because we can become very engrossed in the problem and unable to see the wood from the trees. Another person can provide a different and more detached perspective. They can see through your blind spots and provide guidance and advice on things you hadn’t thought of.
Even if they only listen to you, you can get stuff off your chest and release emotions such as stress, frustration, or anger. So just talking with someone can help. I covered another great way to release negative emotions in my article about the Sedona method.
There are many great ways to relax. You could meditate or go for a nice quiet walk. Or you could do a progressive muscle relaxation exercise, consciously relaxing all the different muscles in your body. If pushed for time, try my rapid relaxation exercise instead.
When you’re relaxed, your mind is not thinking about anything in particular. This allows your intuition to come to the fore and speak to you. You then gain insights from your unconscious mind.
I often get my best ideas in the shower. I suspect you get them too. I wonder why that is. Maybe it’s because the hot water relaxes your body, then your mind relaxes too and you come up with ideas you just didn’t think of earlier.
7. Focus on What You Can Control
I believe there are 3 components to every upset, adversity, or disappointment. These are:
- What you can’t control.
- What you could influence.
- What you can definitely control.
Let’s say that you didn’t get a promotion.
What’s outside of your control?
The decision of the manager to give that promotion to someone else.
What could you influence?
The possibility of getting a promotion in the future. If you can impress that manager over time, then when the next opportunity comes up, you might get it. Therefore, you’ve got some influence. You can’t completely control it, but you can certainly influence it.
What can you definitely control?
You could go to that manager and ask for feedback. Ask what you need to work on, to get a promotion next time? Then you can start acting on their feedback and gain new skills, so you have what it takes to get a promotion next time.
The good thing is that you can control much more than you think you can. And when you focus on what you can control rather than what you can’t, then you will naturally feel more relaxed. You will reduce stress and anxiety and get a feeling of confidence because you’re focusing on the things that you can change.
8. Look After Yourself
When dealing with adversity, upsets or disappointments, it’s easy to forget to look after yourself. You may start eating badly or stop exercising. You may sleep less because you’re trying to work hard to improve your situation. But that usually has the opposite effect.
It’s much better to eat well, sleep well and make time for exercise because that will improve your physical and mental health. You will make better decisions. You’ll have higher levels of motivation and you’ll be more resilient and positive.
9. Visualize the Outcome
Remember that this current adversity situation is temporary and it will pass with time. Look back at previous difficult times in your life and notice how you overcame them and how things improved. Then visualize what you want. Visualize a successful outcome. If you want to learn more about visualization, read my article on how to visualize correctly and effectively.
10. Keep Going
Keep taking action, learning, moving forward, and growing. Sometimes you require a different approach, so it’s good to be flexible. As you keep focusing on what you want, the obstacles and adversity will start drifting into the past and you’ll experience the success and good times again.
These are my 10 ways to overcome any adversity and obstacles in life. I hope you will apply them in your life and find them useful and effective. Use these to get your life back on track today!
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