For many people, unexpected life changes are the source of their biggest fears.

What if their jobs get outsourced? What if their spouse leaves them? What if their town’s main source of employment dries up? What if the future they always imagined for themselves turns out to be a pipe dream?

The possibilities can be scary to contemplate.

But for some people, unexpected life changes can be a source of amazing opportunity. If you have an opportunity-seeking mindset, you will respond to any new situation in a way that allows you to create abundance and thrive.

For example, I know of a woman who lost her job in a town hit hard by an economic downturn. Businesses were closing up shop and many people were losing their homes. As she noticed the foreclosures happening in her own neighborhood, she realized that the angry people being forced out of their homes were leaving the houses in a complete mess.

So this enterprising woman called the local banks and offered to clean them for a fee so that they would be presentable when the banks tried to rent or sell them. Her little venture was so successful that she had to hire several other people to help – and she now has a successful house cleaning business.

I know of another jobless woman who had the brilliant idea to start buying and selling used furniture from people who were forced to downsize their living accommodations – either through foreclosure or job loss. She opened a store that sold the furniture locally as well as online – and she was able to make a good living!

Then there was my friend who has a Lexus dealership in Southern California. When the economy took a sharp downturn, people stopped coming into his dealership to buy cars. In order to stay afloat, he knew he had to change his business approach. So instead of waiting for people to come to the showroom, he drove his cars out to country clubs, marinas, and private golf courses and invited people there to take a test drive. Once people got behind the wheel, they were sold – and his dealership ended up selling more cars than ever.

You have to have faith in the Universe and yourself

The problem with turbulence is that it involves a lot of abrupt and dramatic ups and downs – and you can’t always see the blue skies beyond the storm.

But you mustn’t let your worries and fears keep you stuck. You need to have faith that you will navigate your way through the storm and end up in a better place than you were before. And you need to have the motivation to keep going no matter how hard the wind blows – and the confidence to take risks and act on opportunities that have no guaranteed outcome.

Here are some tips on how to cultivate trust and take action that will catapult you closer to your dream life – even when it feels like your world is falling apart.

1. Hold fast to your dreams

When most people are going through a period of upheaval, their response is to give up on heir goals and dreams and go into pure survival mode. But if you don’t have a target to aim for, you will never hit the mark.

That’s why it’s more important than ever for you to have a clear vision for your life – and make it more of a priority than ever.

The good news is, when you’ve been set loose from your moorings, it can be far easier to go after opportunities you’ve never had the time or courage to pursue.

2. Visualize your dreams with feeling twice a day

Your dreams should be your lighthouse: a beacon that cuts through the darkness and shows you the direction you need to go. You should consciously keep them at the forefront of your mind so they play a key role in influencing every decision you make.

That’s how you ensure your decisions point you in the direction that will make those dreams come true.

3. Keep your self-talk positive

You must have faith in yourself and trust that you are capable of doing what it takes to achieve your dreams and overcome any obstacle that life throws at you.

The best way to avoid succumbing to self-doubt is to consciously focus on practising positive self-talk. The moment you sense yourself falling into negativity and thinking something like, “I could never do that,” replace the negative thought with a more positive one, such as: “I absolutely CAN do that – I just need to figure out how.”

4. Surround yourself with positive people

As my friend Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If you’re surrounded with negative, fear-based people who are always criticizing you or imagining the worst possible outcome to every situation, their dark outlooks will dull your spark. Don’t let that happen!

Instead, seek out positive, uplifting people who are actively creating their dreams. They will encourage you to keep going after your own dreams and help you see the way forward.

5. Read uplifting books

When you read inspires stories of people who have made their dreams come true and created amazing lives for themselves, it reassures you that such a future is not only possible, it’s entirely within your reach – and it motivates you to keep taking positive action toward that goal.

On top of that, reading is a powerful way to reduce stress – a natural by-product of going through turbulence. Studies show that reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce your stress level by more than two thirds.

6. Trust your intuition

Before you make a decision, bring your mind to stillness and listen to the quiet voice in your heart that delivers the wisdom you need to make the right choice.

If you have difficulty hearing that quiet voice inside you, here’s an article I recently wrote that shows you how to cultivate your intuition and take soul-inspired action.

7. Take continuous action

No matter how much you faith you have, no matter how deeply you trust and believe, you won’t achieve your dreams overnight. As my friend Robert J. Collier says, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

If you take one step after another, adjusting your route as necessary to ensure you stay moving in the right direction, you WILL reach your destination.

8. Expect the best

The Universe doesn’t give you what you deserve. It gives you what you expect. @JackCanfield (Click to Tweet!)

As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

So if you want to make your dreams come true, you have to expect that it will happen. There may be some bumps along the way, but they shouldn’t deter you from following your dreams.

9. Use feedback to make the necessary course corrections

The Universe is giving you feedback all the time. If you apply for a job and the HR person says you don’t have the right level of experience, that’s feedback. If you tell your friends you’re thinking of going freelance and several people say, “I know someone who is in desperate need of your services!” That’s feedback too. If someone tells you, “I recommended you to a bunch of friends but they didn’t hire you because you don’t have a website” – you guessed it: feedback.

Use this feedback to determine what your next steps will be.

10. Persevere until you get the result you want

Don’t give up! It’s that simple. The Universe WANTS you to realize your greatest potential and create your ideal life. But it doesn’t always make it easy! It presents you with challenges that make you stretch beyond your current capabilities and become the kind of person who is capable of creating the life you desire.

And remember – the bigger the challenge, the more you’ll learn and the more you’ll grow as you face it head on and figure out how to overcome it.

If you follow these ten tips, I guarantee that you will be able to successfully navigate your way through any unexpected upheaval – and stay on target to achieving your goals and making your dreams come true.

As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at and sign up for his free resources today!

Image courtesy of Kalen Emsley.