Imagine being able to overcome anything. Any trial, hardship, or challenge life throws you. Even if you think this is nearly impossible, keep reading. All ten of these techniques have helped me overcome several attempts on my life, long-term abuse, and many other traumas I’ve experienced.
Better yet? They’re universal at helping every single one of us. Each of these techniques is empowering, life-changing, and can support you through literally anything.
I do want you to keep this in mind, though. None of these are quick overnight fixes. Especially when you are overcoming hardship, there are no fast and easy solutions. There are powerful and transformative answers, though, and these are ten of the best. If you invest real time and energy in developing these, I promise that you will really be able to overcome anything.
1. Accepting the Past
The past has happened and it has impacted us. Acceptance is about recognizing what happened, how it affected us, and what we can now do about it. It’s empowering, rather than defeating.
When we accept the past, we are honest about it’s current impact in our life. Letting go doesn’t mean neglecting this, it means embracing it as a formative experience in our lives. Acceptance comes when we honestly acknowledge what happened without being desperate to change it.
It’s okay to feel like it was unfair, unwanted, or painful. These feelings can coexist with acceptance. The important part is just to get to a place where you can say “this happened and it did impact me. Instead of trying to change the past, since I won’t be able to, I’ll focus on changing how my past impacts my future.”
Acceptance helps us overcome anything because it lessens the grip our past has on us. Instead of spending our energy trying to change it, we can take a deep breath and say “yes, this did hurt and it did impact me.” This sort of inner surrender is quite liberating. It frees up all the energy we need to overcome any future hardship.
2. Taking Responsibility for the Present
Acceptance has to come before we’re comfortable taking responsibility for how it continues to impact us. We can empower ourselves with our past even if we didn’t want it, but we have to first acknowledge what happened and how it affects us now.
After this, we can take responsibility for our present recovery, wellness, and aspirations. Instead of feeling helpless, we can feel engaged. We become a co-creator to our circumstances, even when we couldn’t control what happened to us in the past.
This is often a point of strong inner resistance. If the thought “but I didn’t ask for this!” is in your head right now, you’re not alone. I’ve heard it (a lot) too. The key is to accept that thought and validate it. Tell your mind “yes, we didn’t ask for it and it wasn’t fair. Now, instead of only thinking that, let’s also make a plan about how we can reclaim our life now.” That’s how you take responsibility for the present, without ignoring the victimization or hardship in your past.
Taking responsibility is so important to overcoming anything because it helps us balance helplessness with empowerment. Instead of life pulling us with a strong current, we choose to swim along with it and direct exactly where we’re going within the confines of our circumstances.
3. Emotional Honesty
We can tell ourselves “just accept this!” as much as we want. It won’t impact us if we aren’t vulnerable and open in the process. We can’t overcome anything if we’re not willing to face the emotions of what we need to overcome.
Your past hurt and that’s valid. There is no need to pretend that everything is fine when you feel a heavy weight, sadness, or pain weighing on you. Emotional honesty is all about saying to yourself “yes, I’m hurting” even when you want to be fine. Essentially, it’s a deep form of inner acceptance.
It can also be a little tough, but it’s an essential step to overcome anything. When we’re honest about our feelings, we don’t waste energy trying to bury or deny them. Instead we put ourselves in a more positive place where we can adequately treat the emotions, nurture ourselves, or find the support we need. Emotional honesty and vulnerability are empowering. Just like all the acceptance work mentioned above, it helps us overcome anything.
Related reading: Find Peace by Expressing Your Emotions
4. Self Love
After this emotional honesty, love becomes essential to our healing. Instead of rejecting these heavy emotions, we need to embrace them and tell ourselves we’re loved no matter what we’re feeling.
Self love is a process and it takes work, just like everything else mentioned here. You can try affirmations, correcting negative thoughts about yourself, loving kindness meditations, or any of the millions of ideas out there for learning to love yourself. The point is just to keep searching for greater self love and acceptance. This journey itself will get you to a more compassionate place.
I believe we can overcome anything with the power of love. It provides a secure base for us to rest when we’re overwhelmed. Love heals us when we don’t have a clear plan on how to heal ourselves.
Love is one of those things that, as much as I would adore being able to clearly describe it’s power, there’s no way I can accurately portray it. Individually, you have to trust this and try to find it for yourself. Self love’s power will guide the way through any hardship. It will truly help you overcome anything.
5. Continuing to Try
When we’re trying to overcome something painful, it’s natural for things to look bleak. If we didn’t trust in our body’s healing capabilities and we looked at a nasty cut we had, we’d probably feel hopeless about that too. We’d think it would stay raw and painful forever.
Yet, this wound would heal with time anyways—whether we believed it would or not. Emotional wounds are much the same. As long as we continue to tend them, even just a little bit, they will heal. This means, when times are really hard, sometimes we just have to keep trying and keep trusting. We’re healing even when we don’t realize it.
Overcoming any hardship isn’t done overnight. Like any journey, it’s walked one step at a time. When we’re in a tough place, it might seem like we’re not going anywhere. But, we still are. We’re still traveling, even when things are bleak. For this reason, keep trying.
6. Fostering Resilience
This is a continuation on the importance of trying even when times are tough. When we try, time after time, and realize that we were actually able to overcome, we’ll begin to feel more resilient. We will trust in ourselves more, feel more capable, and be ready to try again and again.
Resilience is a product of persevering when times are really tough. Even when we don’t think we can make it through, but we keep trying anyways, we’re becoming more resilient. Even if it was intense and difficult, we learn to trust in our innate ability to survive and get through hardship. With this inner faith, we can overcome anything.
So how do we foster resilience? Honestly, it’s by holding on even when we don’t want to. It’s by pushing through something we don’t think we can handle. Of course, this doesn’t mean straining ourselves when we have the option to rest (like, for instance, walking a long distance in chronic pain just because we think we should). It means pushing ourselves when we have no other option. In the above example, this would be like walking a long distance if we were lost in the woods and had to find shelter, even if we had chronic pain.
Keep going and you’ll overcome. I promise.
7. Embrace Being Lost
Last week I talked about the importance of clarity. It’s extremely helpful to have an idea of where we want to end up, like a destination on a map. Of course, even with a clear destination, we’re bound to get lost on our way there. Especially in the tangled game of life itself.
For this reason, it’s vital to embrace feeling lost when it happens. Instead of seeing this as a failure, proof you can’t overcome this challenge, or a message to give up, see it for what it really is—infinite opportunities to explore. Being lost means we can open any door we want to and travel down any path we wish. It’s a time to trust in our inner guidance and explore without fear of taking a detour off our path. We’re already feeling lost, what matters if we take this road or that other one!
There are two options when we’re lost on a road trip (or in life). We can either panic and stress out, desperately driving in circles to try to find our way back. Or, we can keep going and follow some interesting roads, using this as an opportunity to stumble upon unexpected sights. The latter has peace, strength, and a desire to take an opportunity when you see one hidden in it. Fostering this perspective about feeling lost in life will help you overcome any detour along your journey towards your goals.
8. Change Your Perspective About Loneliness
At some point on our journey, we’re going to feel lonely. It’s an uncomfortable, melancholy, and isolating state and these things are pretty universal for all of us to experience. Changing our perspective about loneliness doesn’t erase these. Instead, it adds a new self-empowering feeling to the mix.
Making new friends or finding connections with others takes time. As we’re working on this, it’s important to find a way to cope with the loneliness we feel. Instead of seeing it as something that proves we’re unworthy of love or connection, see it as an opportunity to more deeply explore yourself. When we’re alone (whether literally or we feel alone), we can really dive into our own healing. It means, on the road trip of life, we can take every detour we want without a passenger telling us they want to go the other way.
Loneliness is an opportunity to figure out how we want to transform our lives for ourselves. We don’t have to live for anyone else.
When we decide to live for ourselves, we empower ourselves to overcome anything. This self-loving focus changes our whole idea of our journey, gives us more strength, and helps us see new potential rather than lost opportunity.
9. Rest, Don’t Quit
When you’re tired, don’t give up. Instead, rest.
Many of us think there are only two options when times get tough. We can either push through (and continue exhausting ourselves) or we can give up completely. Depending on the situation, these might be valid options, but there’s a third one we are overlooking. We can also slow down and rest.
Part of the journey of learning how to overcome hardship is about mastering the ability to rest. When you feel like you can’t keep pushing through hardship—don’t. There’s no need to exhaust yourself more. Take a break and rest. That might mean even taking a break from some difficult inner work too. If self love has been tough to master, take a break from it and just bask in what you’ve learned. Rest for a day, a week, a month.
The key is to rest, but not forever. We do need to take action to overcome everything we want to, but we also need to feel ready to take that action. The balance of resting and action is struck when we feel capable, but a little uncomfortable. We’ll be pushing our limits, but in a way that feels good, not completely overwhelming.
10. Change Your Overall Perspective
When we try to overcome hardship, we too often look at only the hard things we need to tackle. Yes, things are tough and we do need to overcome those, but we also have amazing skills and talents that have awoken because of the hardship.
Instead of only asking “what did I lose and what work do I need to do because of this hardship?” also ask yourself “what did I gain from this experience?” It might take some deep self-reflection to discover the latter, but don’t ignore the question. Both of these are necessary for empowering and accepting everything we’ve faced.
When we unlock these hidden skills, we can feel more empowered. Through this we’ll recognize that hardship isn’t all about loss. We can make it about our growth, expansion, and infinite ability to overcome anything.
Take the First Step and Start to Overcome Anything
Out of these ten ideas, which one do you struggle with the most?
When you were reading, which brought up the most resistance or discomfort? That’s the one your heart wants to start with.
In the comments, write down what one you’re going to focus on and what action you’re going to begin with. This will help you know exactly how to start. Since you’re writing it down, you’ll feel more capable of beginning.