Challenging times, no matter how difficult, can be a portal for development. When you feel anywhere from stressed to hopeless, take some time to see, and feel, what’s happening. In the moment of experiencing where you are, you have an opportunity… an opportunity to evolve your consciousness. An opportunity to step out of the stress or suffering. An opportunity that others, in more seemingly “comfortable” situations, simply do not have.
1. Use your emotional energy to change your situation.
Step one is to observe the situation that you are in. You may feel any number of negative emotions: frustration, anger, resentment, sorrow, hatred, etc. Feel the situation fully and accept the situation for what it is. Use the emotional energy to propel you to take action. Action may be internal or external if you are capable of doing something about your situation to improve it… use the energy to push through the difficulty. If your external situation is truly beyond your control, then go deep into the emotional energy and accept it as it is. The “stress”, “pain”, or “suffering” you are going through is a result of non-acceptance of your situation. By accepting your situation you are no longer creating the internal stress, mental pain, or suffering for yourself.
2. Recognize the opportunity for growth.
On a constant basis, recognize even minor challenges and frustrating situations as a time for growth. As soon as you catch yourself feeling any negative emotion, step outside off the emotion and observe yourself. Strive to catch yourself immediately – as soon as the emotion starts. This may happen at work with your boss, at home with your spouse, with your children, with strangers, or even with yourself. Don’t fight the negativity, but don’t feed it – just observe. Become aware of it, accept it, then let it go because you know it’s not serving you. By recognizing the “challenging situations” as opportunities, you will inherently become more mentally balanced, and at peace. You will also start to notice that many of the negative situations you were experiencing simply stop happening or become much less intense.
3. See the challenge as a catalyst for something new.
Every situation that we perceive of or label as negative does have a positive side effect. For some, it takes time to develop the ability to re-frame your experiences into something positive. The positive aspect of your situation does exist – no matter how difficult it may be to recognize it in the moment. Learn to use your situation to open your mind to new possibilities. You will eventually be unable to see anything as inherently good or bad… When you catch yourself labeling or categorizing events or times of your life along the spectrum of good or bad, step back for a moment and realize that this is a chance for you to grow. These experiences are what make you whom you are…they are the catalysts for change. They are necessary to guide you and teach you. They are portals for change, providing you with the energy (motivation) to act. Focus on being open to the opportunities these moments create.