“What to do when challenges come your way and believe me they will. Small and large, expected and unexpected challenges will come at you as they always have. Many people think that because they start focusing on the positive nothing bad will happen. They think that all they will attract are golden rays of pleasant sunshine and that they will be difficulty free forever. That is not going to happen.
Even though challenges will be there in life it is still important to become a positive, resourceful person, to maintain a positive focus because you become what you think about. When you become predominantly positive in your thinking you raise your vibratory level, you have more energy, you are able to see and take advantage of more opportunities, you have greater flexibility in behaviors and you have more resources. You are better equipped to respond to the challenges that come your way.
You do live differently. You think, feel, act, see and hear differently and since you are able to better recognize opportunity than ever before you begin to travel in new positive directions.
Still you will be challenged by situations and people. You car could break down, your bills pile up, your wife or husband, your ex, life partner, parents, children or in-laws, friends, colleagues and strangers can inflict damage all the while and, yet, you think positive. It could be easy to get discouraged at first because one expects the whole world to shift magically and that won’t happen. At least not at first.
So it is important to understand and recognize challenges for what they are. Challenges are really an opportunity to learn how to control your thinking and steer your mind. They are a signal to remind you to stay the course and hold fast to your positivity and will power.
When someone or something really becomes difficult, when you first face that big less than glorious moment, the temptation might be to give in and give up, to succumb to negative thinking, but please don’t do it. Stand fast to your commitment to find the very best thoughts to focus on.
When facing a challenge you may get caught up in, try to stop, take a breath, create a break space for yourself. Attempt to grab a moment to reflect. Sometimes this happens after that “crisis”moment. When it does, whenever it does. when you become aware that “crap” is goign on and that you don’t like it – in that instant, that moment of awareness, make it a point to look for the silver lining in the darkness. Look for the lesson, the blessing, the seed of an opportunity in whatever hardship you face. It may not be readily apparent, but it will be there. To dismiss it and say there is none, is definitely not the wise choice. You may have to seek hard to find even the smallest positive possibility but DO IT! The ultimate long term benefits will be worth it.
Pulling oneself up by one’s own boot straps in this manner may be difficult but it also may be necessary from time to time. Whenever something upsets you look to quickly discover how you can feel differently about it. This is an important choice point for us. This is a moment when we can decide and make things stay the same or make them different and better.
In awareness opportunity is born. When, in the middle of a bad situation, you become aware that you are not responding as positively, or resourcefully asa you want begin to ask yourself questions or look for alternative ways to consider the situation.
Ask yourself questions about what you need to emphasize or extinguish that will make a positive difference in the situation? What resources do you have to overcome the difficulty? What lesson in this is there for you? Once you have gone through it successfully what might you look back and appreciate about the experience? What is good in this situation? If a person challenges you, what might they need and want but don’t know how to go about getting it, that if you could provide for them would make a difference in this moment? What are their good points to focus on? How can you appreciate this or them anyway in spite of what is going on? How quickly can you learn to not resist but accept and let go of trying to make it your way?
A key is to isolate what you pay attention to that is more positive that the disruption. Think of it this way – when sailing or driving one is constantly making adjustments to the wheel in order to stay on course. We are moving back and forth to keep moving forward. In the very same way when something comes along that is upsetting or depressing the key is to adjust back onto course as soon as you realize you are off course.
What brings you greater success in the long run is developing the ability to get right back on course when you are knocked of it. It is enhancing your correction making ability so you spend less down time in pain and suffering and more time getting where you want to go.
Forget about blaming yourself or feeling bad for going off course because that keeps you off course and sucks you into the negativity. Forget about blaming the world or the person because that keeps one off course and in victim mode.
All of us have done it. Things come up, we get caught up, we get the wind knocked out of us and then have blamed ourselves or others for falling down and not getting up right away. Forget that. Just get up and go on. Acknowledge, encourage and praise yourself that you recognized you were off course and that you DID get up. When you do this it makes it more likely the in the next tough time. Punishing yourself doesn’t help you to nurture a new skill. Recognizing and celebrating your positive awarenesses doe help develop the skill more quickly.
Be happy and celebrate that you recognized whenever it is you were off course. Plan to catch it sooner the next time. In this way we train ourselves to let go of the obstacle and look toward the solution, to leave behind the negative and move into the positive.
It is important that you understand what I am suggesting here. A challenge comes up – a problem, you acknowledge it and then look to the solution. You focus on what may be necessary or can be worked to bring it to resolution. Your focus is on making it better, not on the problem. If you recognize that there is a seed to discovering something wonderful in every challenge the challenge won’t be such a big deal. Good always can and does come from any situation when you seek to find it.
Keep this in mind too. It is not the act that is wonderful it may be horrible, bad things do happen. It is the learning, or meaning or understanding you derive from even the worst of situations that can be positive. It is the silver lining in the dark clouds you look to discover and focus on that.
It is the ability you develop to move away from the obstacle and toward the positive thinking and feeling that is a great benefit a great resource to have available. It is a talent anyone can develop.
Be thankful things and people come your way because these provide you with real life practice to develop your skill. This is the battle training zone and you are getting real life experience in adjusting your mind set from less than glorious to more than glorious. You are learning to make auto-corrections just as you did in your auto. (sorry about that pun). You are repeating success behaviors again and again, with the appropriate mind set for easy acquisition, so that you develop the habit of doing it. Then whenever you need the skill you can find yourself doing what you learned to do reliably.
In creating positive habits we have to form them consciously. We decide to begin and then we practice with awareness. It means we have to repeat the act again and again correctly and then through time we learn to do it. Athletes know all about this form of training and conditioning their minds and bodies. It is not different than exercising your body. You do it over and over to get the results you want, you keep doing it and you being to see the benefits.
We undertake to train ourselves to respond more positively, to look for the good, to find what is new and wonderful in situations. This may be very different from what we did growing up. It may seem foreign because it is not natural for us.
In training our mind, like our bodies, we deliberately exercise control so we learn that we have control and how to use it.
We did this when learning how to ride the bike and drive the car. As I pointed out, even when we think we are going straight down the road we are actually making micro adjustments all the time. Sometimes something happens and we have to make macro adjustments we swerve out of the way, or hit the breaks, or accelerate to navigate through a tense situation. It is the same thing with out positive thinking.
THIS is the key to understanding and doing.
I think a goal in life is to feel good as often as possible, to feel happy, joyous and free. In order to experience these things another goal is to discover you have choice. The goal is to have fun, let go, be all you can be, and learn how to better navigate the challenges in life.
When you keep your mind on the best positive thoughts about yourself and others and situations during the great times and the bad times you raise your vibratory level and you keep it high. Your life is more enjoyable when you vibrate with positivity. Hard times and people can suck that energy from us so it is important to learn how to keep it high and maintain it during all times.
In learning to maintain your thinking and energy you are able to go through trials and tribulations more resourcefully and easily. The situations may not change but you are better prepared for the challenge. Challenges are the opportunity to learn lessons from which you grow.
“The kite rises against the wind”. Without challenges we never know our strengths. The help us become wiser, better and stronger. We find out who we are when troubles exist. You may be tried by fire but when you recognize the great value of these lessons they become opportunities to enjoy and to really become free.
People may challenge you and push your buttons. Instead of hating them and sucking into resentment, revenge, negativity and anger learn to be grateful for this challenge.
When you begin to appreciate that a person or situation is a trigger for you to think, feel or act in less than glorious ways then at some point you must realize that to be completely free you need to let go. You have to stop investing in the bad situation, you need to stop paying attention to the trigger and move beyond these things. You need to try to stop making it different, you need to stop attempting to make others different. You need to let it go! (we will discuss letting go in another blog post)
Instead of doing what you always do – do something different this time. Look for what you can appreciate in the other person. WOW that may be tough but that would be really different wouldn’t it? Find what you can appreciate and enhance it. The same applies to the situation. Surprise yourself by attempting something different. You don’t have to do it out loud, you do it inside your head.
One of the best things is to look for is what opportunity is present, that may be hiding, for you put your attention on? What opportunity is there for you in this for you to discover?
A brief example, I have had a person in my life who I really used to get bent out of shape with. It seemed their whole intent was to bring me down and aggravate me as often as they could. It seemed as if that was their purpose, at least I certainly felt it was. I would get so annoyed, even angry. I began to actually fear having any interactions because I knew how they would go and they would only be bad and I would end upset. This went on for more than a decade. I regretted knowing them and having any involvement with this person.
Then one day I made a decision to forgive them, accept them and love them for who they are. WOW, this seemed impossible at first and they kept their usual ways up. I had to remind myself again and again that this is just how they were and this is how it would always be so get used to it.
You see, I didn’t really accept the situation or the person, nor did I actually forgive the person yet, I just sort of had part way. At least, I made an attempt in the right direction. Things were somewhat better in me but still I was plagued with these annoying interactions.
Later, rather than sooner, but soon enough, it became clear to me that I was learning some important things about me by going through these numerous interactions. I learned I had these hot buttons, these areas that needed to be examined, if I wanted to be free. It became evident eventually that I was the one swallowing the bait and getting hooked into arguments no one was capturing me in a net. If I wanted to be free I had to change something. WOW, what an insight! “If it was to be it was up to me”. I was delighted I finally realized that in that moment.
In that instant, I realized the person was a mirror for me, a godsend, a provocateur, a blessing in my life and I began to celebrate and become thankful for the presence of this person. I had be presented over and over and over again the opportunity to be free from my getting hooked behavior, I just had not recognized it until this moment. I began to literally express gratitude for this person in my life and the lessons I was learning. Everything changed almost instantly.
I know what you are thinking did the other person change? NOPE absolutely not.
I changed. My response to the situations and interactions changed. I was free. No matter what the person did or didn’t do I was free, happy and positive. I continued and continue to celebrate and enjoy.
Then guess what. Because I no longer got hooked, because I was free the other person began to respond differently. Our interactions have been so much better. I no longer feel provoked or any of the feelings I used to feel and as a result I behave differently.
When the person bothered me I was bothered and I am certain I bothered the other person.What we put out comes back. I put out celebration and thankfulness and our communication has become much more easy and pleasant. I experience many more wonderful moments in life.
My point is don’t expect others or the situation to alter for you, alter yourself to find the best you have. Learn to love that these people or situations are in your life affording you the opportunity to learn something wonderful. They represent a big hurdle for you to get over. When you get over the big hurdle all the other ones are much more easy.
Stop negative thinking. The way you find something better is to scan you body, your mind, your environment for something better to put your attention on. Scan and look for positive reasons and motivations when bad things happen. Scan for choices other than the obvious one you would have normally first picked. Dig deeper to find the gold.
Find in yourself the ability to shift your attention from the wound to the healing. Shift your attention to all the positive reasons. Imagine that this situation or this person is there for you to learn how to control your thinking and feeling so that you ultimately become free. Consider, the situation or the person a blessing, someone helping you to awaken and change for the better.
Then no matter what the world offers you you can be free! No matter how people may challenge you or try to anger you or let you down you are no longer invested in feeling that. You are free! Whatever the other person does is not your concern. You let them be free to be whomever they are.You no longer get hooked. You call the shots in your life because you live and let live. Now you are no longer a victim but a victor.
No one has ever said it would be easy to change your thinking and feeling but it gets easier through practice in the same way your muscles grow through exercise. You get better and better at it. If you stay positive and practice positivity ultimately you become more positive. You get what you think about! The more positive you become the more positive you can become!
It is a conditioning process not a one time event. You will discover in making this practice yours that you will never have to let anything or anyone, small or large, including yourself, prevent you from becoming the person you are and can be.
This is great news because it means you are learning to control your own mind and your own life.You are creating a positive, powerful new habit through exercising and conditioning your mind to be positive. When you get off course you adjust back onto the course without criticizing yourself. This becomes a wonderful way to live!
You create a powerful new positive habit by recognizing the positive aspects in the challenges you face AND in yourself. Then instead of getting caught in the problem and the sucky feelings you have a way out. Above and beyond you travel finding resources, solutions and positive experience even in the tough times.
Keep on keeping on. Never let up and never give up, never. The prize is ultimately yours and there are wonderful changes and delights in store along the way.
You are becoming the captain of your soul and the master of your fate.” Rex Sikes