Hardship happens to us all. Sometimes it’s predictable, sometimes it’s unexpected. That tends to be the most painful—when tough times catch us off guard.
Why can’t things just be easy for once? After all you’ve been through, you deserve peace, not more struggle.
You’ll learn how to ease your way through unexpected challenges much better. This makes life easier, even though tough stuff will still happen from time to time.
Instead of being stressed for weeks, you may only feel tension for a few days. Lowering the intensity of tough times is enough to make your life far more joyous.
This is what we really need. Us survivors struggle with the pains of our past on top of everyday normal human crises.
Anything that makes it easier is worth trying, right?
That’s what this blog will teach you, so read on.
Step 1: Accept the Situation and How You Feel About It
Acceptance will instantly lower the burden of tough times—no matter how difficult the situation is. That’s why it’s the very first thing you’ll want to focus on.
Acceptance allows you to reclaim a sense of control, by helping you identify the things you can and cannot change. It also saves you from wasting energy trying to alter the things you can’t control—no matter how hard to you try.
Note this, though. Acceptance does not mean giving up. It doesn’t mean being okay with someone’s actions that cause harm.
You’re not accepting the situation to give up your power. You’re accepting it to reclaim your power.
Acceptance is simply acknowledging the reality of what happened and how it affects us today. It’s recognizing that we can’t change these tough times exist.
When something bad happens, our instant reaction is to wish the conflict had never happened. This is our minds trying to protect us, but it also causes us long term harm. It prevents us from finding some healing acceptance.
Instead, we spend our energy resisting a reality we can’t change. This only fatigues us—it doesn’t solve anything.
With acceptance, we reclaim that energy, which increases the strength we have to handle tough times in a loving way.
(This 1st step mirrors The Prosperity Path—a comprehensive program to help you find peace, joy, and prosperity after abuse. Check it out here!)
Step 2: Reclaim Control Through Your Choices
It’s only after we step into a mindset of acceptance (“I can’t change the fact this happened”), we can find empowerment. Basically, that’s “I can’t change the fact this happened, but I can make choices about what I do with it now.”
If we don’t accept the fact we’re going through something, we remain in a mindset of “I wish this had never happened.” Rather than a future focused mindset to realize what we have the power to do now.
That’s what this second step helps you do during tough times. It empowers you.
To do this, ask yourself these two questions:
What am I going to choose to do about this situation and it’s impact on me and my life?
What can I actually do to affect this situation?
That last question is super important. We can’t always change every aspect of the tough times we face—some things, just by their nature, are out of our control. That’s okay.
Empower yourself around these. Find ways you can recreate something from the pieces you’re left with. Figure out what you can affect in your your future and stop focusing on the bits you can’t change.
You get to make choices about how you handle this now. Acknowledging this is how you’ll reclaim your power.
Step 3: Envision the Best Possible Outcome
This third step to easing yourself through tough times is deciding what you ideally want to make out of the situation.
What would be the best outcome?
Is there something you want to make out of what just happened?
I don’t personally believe there is a lesson in every hardship. Instead—I believe we all have the potential to create or design a meaning from what we go through.
We, from our own power, can create something beautiful from hardship. You might find this healing to contemplate.
This third step is about deciding what it is we want to make from what just happened. Because of the two previous steps you know what you can and can’t affect about the situation and that you can make empowered choices about what you do from this moment onward.
So, this third stage is just getting clear about what choices you want to make.
What would you ideally like to happen as a result of the tough time you’re going through? What’s the best outcome?
Let yourself dream a little here. You’d be surprised at how many beautiful things you can make from tough times.
Step 4: Identify Obstacles in Your Way
This is the part where you finally get acquainted with the obstacles in your way. Get to know exactly what went wrong and what challenges are lying in your way. Learn the shape of all the broken pieces you’re about to start picking up and reshaping.
There’s a reason this is the 4th step. We often want to jump ahead to identifying and solving things. But, without acceptance, we push ourselves to fix the impossible. Without empowerment, we feel too run down to make healing choices.
So, in this step, look for anything in between where you are now and your ideal outcome.
Don’t think about how you’re going to solve things yet. This part is only about getting to know the obstacles.
We far too often jump right into solutions before becoming acquainted with the challenges in our way.
Think of it like an obstacle course. You wouldn’t just rush through each new challenge. You’d get to know it, looking it over before even thinking about how you’d conquer it.
Maybe you’d think quickly, but you’d still think it through first.
This same philosophy is what you want to apply to the tough times you’re facing. All you need to do here is list what each obstacle in your way is. This includes internal ones (mindsets and beliefs) and external things (like money troubles, conflicts with people, symptoms of illnesses—the stuff that happens to you).
Step 5: Strategize solutions to each challenge you face
Now that you’re familiar with each obstacle in your way, you can design a list of solutions that will actually work for them.
It’s time to dig into your subconscious, dump all your ideas onto a paper, and ask for advice. Collect as much information (from yourself, others, or Google) about how you might go about fixing the obstacles in your way.
I’d recommend creating a list of at least three realistic things you could do to solve each individual challenge you face. (Every one you listed in the previous step.)
Zoom in, if you will.
If you get stuck thinking of solutions, you can do one of two things. Ask for advice. Even if you’re not sure about someone’s advice, they might still have an idea that will spark something in you). Or, you can write down every idea you have—rational or irrational.
Like, if I had an issue with an ex harassing me, my ideas could range from buying a rocket and shooting them into space (totally implausible) to getting a restraining order (much more realistic and reasonable).
This opens the creative side of your brain and allows the wealth of information in your subconscious to come forward.
P.S. Want a supportive community to help you brainstorm solutions? Join the Uncover Your Joy Facebook group here!
The Final Step: Taking Action
At this point, you should have a detailed plan of how you’ll get through the tough times you’re facing.
You know what you can and can’t change about the situation.
You recognize you have the power to choose what you do from here and what you make of the situation that happened.
You’ve also created an idea of what you ideally want to happen.
Then you’ve identified a list of obstacles in the way.
Finally, you brainstormed 3 or more possible solutions that are very likely to work to solve those obstacles.
So now all you have to do is take action. Pick one obstacle—any one you feel drawn to—and start there. Just begin fixing things, one little bit at a time.
If that’s too intimidating, break each solution down into smaller pieces. Set little goals, things that will chip away at the obstacles in tiny but meaningful ways.
And be sure to celebrate the progress you make along the way!
The journey’s clear now, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. You still have to put in some effort to change the impact of these tough times.
But, you have everything you need to push forward now. And I know you have the strength to get through this too.
How Long Does the Journey through Tough Times Take?
This path can be done over a few months, a few weeks, days, or even in one sitting overnight. It all depends on how impactful the situation is.
For instance, a single argument with a friend may be solved in one night. But, the loss of a loved one may take months or longer to heal with this path.
The beauty of this, though, is that it will move things along the fastest. It’s a direct way to get through any conflict in life—and it inspires hope every step of the way.
This blog is essentially a mini version of The Prosperity Path—a 6-week eCourse that will show you how to find joy, peace, and personal prosperity after abuse. It follows the same structure as this blog, but in a larger life-changing way.
You’ll learn the essential skills you need to build a life you love.
The program launches in January 2020, so be sure to keep an eye out for it! Take The Prosperity Path quiz here to get a jumpstart on your healing journey (and to make sure you don’t miss out on the launch).
What’s the first step you’ll take, along this path, to move closer to joy? Go ahead and comment below!