I’ve faced my fair share of adversities in life, from a near-death experience at eight years-old to losing my job during the global financial crisis in 2010. The first three decades of my life were filled with obstacles at every level.
Somewhere along these years, I became accustomed to being on my knees and thinking that I had reached the end. It was impossible to figure out how to make a comeback after being hit badly. Nonetheless, I’ve always recovered—broken and scarred but strong enough to keep pushing forward.
Life is filled with ups and downs and no matter how many times I’ve been hit; it always hurts like the first time. Fortunately, I’ve learned instrumental life lessons on my healing journey to overcome the challenging experiences of my past. Some of these lessons have played a critical role in keeping me grounded and focused in times of crisis. I would like to share with you the ones that serve as my anchor.
1. Nothing in life is permanent
It’s hard to stay objective in a crisis. Our fears and insecurities get the best of us. We feel powerless and lost with tons of unanswered questions. Any rational thoughts get out of the way. We lose hope and start believing that this is how our lives are meant to be, but it’s not true.
While it may be hard to see beyond our current challenges, I’ve learned that nothing in life is permanent. Our circumstances will change. What seems like a big deal today will only be a distant memory in the future. Life goes on, and we must choose to move on as well. We must be willing to grow and experience the good, bad, expected, and unexpected in order to thrive.
2. A shift in perception and perspective is critical
While it’s easy to wallow in negative emotions, it will not lead us to the future we desire. Instead of settling into a victim mindset, we must ask ourselves what can we learn from this crisis. How can we use it to become a better person and advance in life?
Adversities are opportunities in disguise. We must train yourself to take advantage of every situation in our lives, good and bad, to ask ourselves the tough questions and go deep: figuring out who we are and what we want and acknowledging our strength and determination. Most importantly, we must push forward and not let the distractions around us stop us on our track. By doing so, we will understand that there are no good or bad circumstances. They are up to our interpretation.
3. Everything happens as it should
The first time someone told me that “everything happens as it should”, I was not impressed by this response. It sounded like the best answer to give when we don’t know what to say. However, it started making sense the more I thought about it.
What can we truly do when we are facing a crisis that is beyond our control, if not believing that it will eventually make sense one day and that everything is happening for our greater good?
Some of our best aha moments occur when we recognize how well these difficult times have served us. How victorious we feel when we finally see the silver linings and realize that these obstacles on our path were an important part of our journey!
Reminding ourselves that everything happens as it should brings a sense of calmness in the middle of a crisis.
We all have our own struggles to overcome in life. No matter where we are in our journey, we must remember that it is up to us to decide how we want to emerge from a crisis.
Haifa Blanchard is an award-winning author in the personal and spiritual growth field. She wrote her memoir and self-help book, Aim Higher: Turning the Storms of My Past into My Biggest Accomplishments. She has been featured in media such as The Eden Magazine, Thrive Global, and Elephant Journal. To learn more, visit her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Image courtesy of Alex Green.