Going through life is like riding a roller-coaster, sometimes you experience the thrill, and sometimes you experience the twists and turns that make you feel nausea and headache. Life is not going to be a normal ride; there will be ups and downs, peaks and valleys. And in this article, I’m going to share with you the 20 suggestions you can do when life gets hard.
There are days when you feel inferior and lazy. You don’t have any motivation and all you want is to do nothing. You feel like a loser.
There are also days where you feel driven and totally motivated. You feel so pumped and you take massive actions. You feel satisfied and achievement.
No matter what you have been through or how you feel right now, do understand that it is normal for us to feel the ups and downs of life.
It is absolutely normal to have obstacles and problems in life. And it is alright to feel like a loser, but the most important thing is don’t lose faith.
Just like what Steve Jobs said in his commencement speech at Stanford, “Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”
The thing is that no matter how tough life gets or how difficult the situation seems, do not let your circumstances define you, it is how you deal with them that defines who you are.
Remember, it is your decisions and your actions that make you who you are, not your problems or circumstances.
So choose to do the right thing to live a remarkable and meaningful life. And when life gets hard, follow these 20 suggestions to bounce back higher.
1. Understand that things will change
One of the most important ideas when going through hard times in life is to understand that things will never stay the same forever. If you are facing tough times right now, don’t worry because things will never stay the same.
It can never rain forever, right?
Once the rain is over, the sun will come to shine on you. Just endure the challenges and the good times will come.
Study history and you will understand that things will change from time to time. Look at the stock market, it may be down right now, but giving it a few years, it will go up again.
The same goes for your life. Things may not stay the same for the long-term. When you are facing difficult times, understand that they are not here to stay, but to come to pass.
2. Hardships are necessary
Yes, difficult times, challenges, setbacks, failures, and defeats are a necessary step in life. Regardless of whom you are or what you want to accomplish in life, these are the common things that you need to go through. It is the norm of life.
Take it as a challenge, as a test from God, and as a stepping stone to your success. How do you think Thomas Edison was able to discover the filament to make the light bulb works? Well, it was through failures.
Without failures, there will never be successes. Failures, defeats, and challenges are what contributes to success and achievement. You learn the most when you fail.
In fact, humans have learned, achieved, and evolved much more from their failures than their successes.
Look at extraordinary people like Elon Musk, Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, etc, they were able to achieve outstanding results in life because they went through the tough times and learn from there. It is a necessary step, my friend.
3. Look from a positive point of view
This may be easier said than done. But the saying, “Every cloud has a silver lining” is true. You can’t see the positive in the situation because you haven’t found it yet.
Napoleon Hill, the best-selling author of Think and Grow Rich has a famous quote:
Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.Napoleon Hill
Richard Branson discovered the idea to start an airline because he was stranded in an airport due to his flight being canceled.
Branson was frustrated with the problem, but he chose to look from the positive side and chartered a plane. And that was how he got the idea to start an airline.
Steve Jobs said that dropping out from his college was one of the best things in his life because he got to sit into classes that interest him, which he managed to learn beautiful calligraphy that Mac uses today.
So look at the problem from a positive point of view and welcome frustrations with an open heart. You know it very well that every problem and difficulty contains an opportunity to learn and grow. Thus, just face it with courage and a smile.
4. There are no failures, only lessons
From what you have learned above, there are no failures, only lessons. Even if you can’t find the opportunity hidden within the problem, it is alright as long as you treat the failure as feedback and fail forward.
The problem is that most people choose to look at failure as a defeat rather than feedback to learn from. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall as long as you choose to get up and learn the lesson.
If you are a parent, are you going to stop your baby from trying to walk because she falls? Not at all, in fact, you will encourage her to walk and even teach her the proper way to walk carefully.
Hence, the same principle applies across every area of your life. Don’t give up and learn from your failures.
As long as you learn something, you never really fail. You only fail when you choose to accept it and call it quit.
5. Focus on what you can control
Sometimes, situations are beyond our control and no matter what we do, we cannot change anything about it. If you can change it, then just do it.
But if you can’t change the situation, then why even worry about it?
I know that this is easier said than done, but it is a fact that every one of us must accept. We need to learn to focus on what we can control.
Many times, when a problem occurs, people focus on the problem and are trying to blame or find an excuse to get away from the problem. Do not do this. Instead, choose to focus on the solution and on what you can control.
When you fail to achieve your goal or your target, just learn from the situation and focus on what you can do right now.
Stop spending time thinking about the problem, the defeat, or trying to find out who to blame. Work on the solution, my friend.
6. God has a better plan for you
Sometimes when life gets hard, you have to know that perhaps, God has a better plan for you. I’m not saying that you should give up or quit, but rather, choose to believe that God has something better for you in store.
Maybe God wants you to learn something that will change your life for the better forever. Or maybe God is testing your determination to see if it is something that you truly want. Or perhaps God is trying to show you another path to achieve something with greater returns. You just need to believe that something better is coming.
Now, it doesn’t really need to be God, it can be the Universe, or any higher power that you believe in.
When you truly believe that something better is on your way, you will feel excited and thrilled rather than feeling worried and frustrated.
And when you feel good, you will often find the right path or the solution to your problems. Trust that everything happens for a reason.
7. Reignite your motivation
Another important thing you can do whenever you are facing hard times in life is to reignite your motivation. While it is true that you cannot solely depend on motivation because it comes and goes, but sometimes, you need it to go through tough times.
What you can do is revisit your purpose. Ask yourself why do you do what you do and always remind yourself of your purpose in life.
More importantly, you can practice visualization and affirmation to keep yourself driven and stay on track. Listen to motivational songs and read inspirational materials like what you’re reading now.
When your level of motivation is high, you tend to be more conscious of the situation. And when you know what you’re doing, you gain better control of your situation.
For example, when you’re down, you will ask “Why me?” But when you’re pumped and driven, you will ask “Try me!”
8. Step out and look from a bigger picture perspective
It is difficult to look for a solution when you are feeling stuck and are looking at your situation from your own point of view.
What you need to do is to step out and try to think from a third-person perspective. Look at the situation from another person’s point of view and see if you can find any angle of attack or any solution to your challenges.
When you are lost in the jungle, one of the methods to find your direction is to get to a higher ground and look at the place from a bird-eye view.
And the same can be applied to your life. When you are feeling lost or facing some hard times in life, get yourself out of the mess and step outside, and then look at the situation from a bigger perspective.
You have to free your mind and think from a different angle.
Trying to figure out a way to get out of a maze when you are in the maze can be difficult. However, when you look from the outside, things are clear.
9. Work through the worst-case scenario
Yes, ask yourself what is the worst-case scenario here. What is the worst that can happen? And you will often find that the worst is not as bad as you imagine. And usually, it is not a matter of life and death.
Once you understand that things are not as bad as you imagined, you will feel calm and be more at peace. This is when you can become creative and make better decisions.
People often feel that life is hard because they are too obsessed with the fears that they imagined in their head, which most are not going to happen.
Remember, life is hard because you are being too rigid or are trying to hold on to something too tightly. It is your attitude of how you look at the situation that determines if your life is hard or easy.
When you understand that the worst is not as bad, and you can still survive regardless of whatever happens, you will feel much better.
If you think that failing in your business is something bad, just think about those people who are broke and are homeless. There are people who have to go through even worse condition than you, but they didn’t give up. So what makes you think you should quit?
10. Express gratitude
To put it simple, being grateful means showing your appreciation for everything in your life. You appreciate whatever you have, and this act makes you feel good and is at peace with yourself.
Many studies have been conducted on this subject and found that expressing gratitude is one of the keys to living a good life.
When you appreciate what you have, you feel wealthy with what you have. When you don’t appreciate what you have in life, you feel like you are living in poverty and everything is not enough no matter how much you actually have.
When life gets hard, write down the things that you are grateful for in life. You can even express your appreciation by calling someone you are grateful for and tell them how much you appreciate them.
Learn to appreciate and be grateful for your life.
If you are grateful, you will feel wealthy even if you don’t have much in life. But if you don’t appreciate and are not grateful, you will never feel enough even if you have a million dollars in the bank.
11. Realize that you are not alone
Realize that you are not alone in this world. If you are having tough times financially right now, notice that there are other people who are battling even tougher situations than you.
No matter what you go through in life, there is always someone going through the same thing or even worse than what you’re facing right now. So you are not alone.
So, don’t treat it like the end of the world. When you feel like a failure, think of someone who has gone through even more difficult situations than you and who are able to bounce back stronger.
A great example is none other than Les Brown. He has been labeled as “education mentally retarded” since young and has gone through many tough times on his journey to success.
When he first started his business, Brown was forced to sleep and bath in his office due to the lack of money. He was rejected and failed many times. But he doesn’t give up.
Remember, you’re not the only one that is going through a hard life. There are more people who are going through worse than you.
So, it doesn’t give you the privilege to whine, to complain, or to blame. Thus, you are not alone my friend.
Learn and get inspired by these extraordinary people. Read Les Brown’s book, Live Your Dreams and learn to say “Yes” to life.
12. Share your story with someone else
Whenever life gets hard, find someone and share your story with. However, be selective and share your story with someone who will support you and not someone who tries to bring you down.
Everyone needs someone by their side from time to time. Nobody can survive alone in this world. This is especially true when you are facing some challenging times and you needed encouragement from others.
You can choose to share your stories with people you know like your friends and family, and also with strangers in forums or groups.
One very important key to remember is that not everyone will understand your situation and you should not listen to what everyone has to say, especially advice from strangers.
Hence, only choose to listen to positive and constructive advice. Otherwise, just ignore this method and choose to do something else.
13. Change your focus and thoughts
Whenever you feel like everything is coming down at you, choose to change your focus and thoughts. There is no point to keep staying at the same lousy state that causes you to feel stress and worry.
The key is to choose to do something else that will change your focus and thoughts.
For example, you can play games, go for sports, do something that you like, follow your hobby, jog, swim, read a book in Starbucks, go shopping, watch a movie, and so on and so forth.
Whatever you do, you want to switch your focus and take your thoughts away from the situation so that your mind can have time to relax and think it through subconsciously.
And after you return to the problem, your mind will be clearer and usually, the solution will come to you automatically.
14. Stop and reflect
Getting yourself out of a slump is a conscious effort, and this is why you need to stop and reflect on what has happened to you so far. If you continue to live life as it is, you will continue to stay at the same point and it is hard to go further.
When you stop, reflect, and make changes, you will be able to make sure you are traveling in the right direction and are heading to your desired destination.
Most people allow life to happen to them as it is. They never question and never reflect. As a result, they feel powerless and have no control over what is happening to them.
Don’t live a responsive life. Take time to pause and reflect on your life. What has happened? What have you learned? Where do you want to go? The more you reflect, the better you can perform in life.
Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.Lao Tzu
If you are serious about getting to higher ground and improve your life, you must take time to reflect.
It is your previous action and decision that get you where you are today. So if you reflect, review and make better choices, you will eventually end up getting to a better place.
When life gets hard, it is a signal telling you that something is not right. And hence, you must reflect on what went wrong and what you can do to course-correct.
15. Get active
Do you know that exercise can relax your muscles and help release your stress? The University of Florida states that exercise can improve your body image.
Living an active lifestyle can make you feel more confident because you feel like you have accomplished something. Not only that, exercise stimulates energy production in your body cell, which makes you energetic and allows your brain to function better.
According to Laura Vanderkam, the best-selling author of What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, she discovered that most highly successful people spend the time to exercise.
Do you think it is a coincidence that successful people make it a habit to exercise? I don’t think so. Make exercise part of your life right now.
By the way, if you haven’t read the book yet, go do so right now. Whenever life gets hard, go active!
16. Write it down
Another thing you can do is to write it down. Yes, you can write down your frustration, worries, anxiety, and stress.
A psychologist from UCLA has proven that an individual may feel less angry or less sad if he or she put the feelings into words.
When you write down your feelings and put them into words, you are activating the prefrontal region of your brain and seeing a reduced response in the amygdala. And the amygdala is the vital part of your brain that processes your emotions.
So the next time when you are feeling stress, or when life is not proceeding according to your plan, or you’re feeling that the world is coming down to you, choose to put your feelings into words. You may feel less emotional.
17. Ask for help
Rather than sharing your story with someone else, seek help from someone else. When life gets hard, get help. You’ll be amazed that people are more than willing to help you.
Of course, getting help from someone is one of the most powerful ways to turn your life around, but how should you do it?
The best way is to get the right help from the right people.
For instance, you can seek out the experts in your industry and try to ask for their help. You will never know who will come to the rescue.
Do take note that if you get help from the wrong person, it will just make the situation worse. And you don’t want that to happen.
Therefore, the best is to seek help from someone who has successfully overcome your problems before. After all, they’ve been there, they’ve done it, and they know it is possible to get out of whatever problems you’re in now.
18. Hustle through it
When life gets hard, hustle through it. Put in more action, work harder, pour in more effort, and work your way to get out of the seemingly impossible situation.
When you think about it, it is what all the successful people do to achieve extraordinary results in life. No matter what situation or what kind of difficulties they face in their journey, they choose to hustle through it.
When SpaceX launched their first 3 test rockets, they all blew up. And this put Elon Musk and his company in big trouble. They almost had to file for bankruptcy.
Although the company was in financial crisis, Elon pressed on. He mustered all his strengths and got the entire SpaceX team to do it again. And the fourth rocket launch was a success.
Yes, things can be hard and difficult. But you only have 2 choices:
- Complain, blame, and choose to be miserable, or
- Motivate yourself and do it one more time.
Whatever you do, it is always your choice. Remember that.
19. Accept that the time may not be right
What if you have tried everything and nothing seems to work? Perhaps, you should accept that it may not be the best time for things to work, yet.
Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, started his internet career in 1995.
He built the “China Yellow Pages”, but somehow, the people in China were not ready for the internet and Jack has to delay his dream to a later date. He started once again in 1999 and founded Alibaba, the e-commerce giant that dominates the world today.
As you can see, sometimes, the time may not be right. Yes, life can be hard when you are trying to go against the wave or when things are not ready. No matter how tough you hustle, if the market is not ready, there is no way you can create the breakthrough.
Therefore, sometimes you have to accept that the time is not ripe and you may have to come back at a later time. Remember, delaying your dream does not mean giving up.
When Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, the company he started, he was devastated, but he accepted the fate that he was not good enough.
Jobs took 3 months off for holidays and discovered that he still loved what he does. And thus, he went on to found NeXT computer and bought Pixar. Jobs then learned and improved his leadership skills during those years.
And when he returned to Apple, he became a great visionary leader that brought Apple to stardom.
As you can see, sometimes you just need to let go for a moment. But that doesn’t mean you should give up. Like Jack Ma and Steve Jobs, they didn’t give up, they just take time off and come back later.
20. Pray and have faith
One of the simplest things you can do when life gets hard is to pray and have faith that it will turn out alright.
Do not underestimate the power of prayer and faith. When you truly believe in a higher power and pray sincerely, something in you will change. You may feel more relaxed and less stressful because you are letting go and allow the higher power to take care of the situation for you.
You may start to see miracles and opportunities because you believe that God has created a path for you.
So pray and have faith that things will become better no matter how dire the situation.
Life Is Hard Because of Your Perception
No matter what happens to you and what you are experiencing in your current situation, you have to understand that you are the one that gives meaning to the situation.
Meaning to say, if you think that life is hard, it is because your thinking makes it so.
Think about it, a similar situation can happen to two persons, but both can have a totally different view of the situation. One person can look at the situation as something bad, but the other can think that it is a blessing in disguise.
Your perception matters. If you think that something is difficult, then yes, it will be difficult for you. But if you think that something is easy and life is joyful, then it will be so to you.
Here’s an interesting saying from Albert Einstein:
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.Albert Einstein
How you look at things matter.
You are the one who is in control of your responses in life. And thus, you are the one who can choose what kind of life you want to go through. When life gets hard, just increase your level and get stronger.
Just like how Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson puts it, “When life puts you in tough situations, don’t say “Why me”, just say “Try me!“”