Ways to stay positive even when it’s hard

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Photo by Katrina Wright on Unsplash

Have your felt like giving up lately? Have you been feeling unappreciated and uncared for? Have you been feeling like someone has taken advantage of you? Have you been feeling like you deserved to be treated better and loved better?

Have you reached a point in your life, where nothing you do seems good enough? Have you ever felt like just stepping out of this world and looking at it from the outside?

Well, the good news is that you aren’t alone. Everyone has it very rough out here. By that I mean even those we personally regard as role models. The very people you wish your life would imitate, if you knew what they know, you’d see that it’s a war out here. Life for all of us is a fierce competition. One way or the other, we’re on the same path. The path to finding true peace.

Just so you know, the Hollywood version of life events turns out to be a scam. Nothing is real. Nothing.  Looking at it from the screen, marriages seem to just workout. Tensions both in marriages and workplace relationships seem to just dissolve. After one messed up relationship people seem to just ‘move on.’

Yet, the danger with that sort of content is that it gives a false worldview. In the real world, to truly have peace, it takes a lot of effort and consistency. Many times these efforts themselves fail. A lot.

Just talk to an utter stranger. Ask them about life. Guess what, they’re no strangers to the fact that sometimes life and circumstances can seem to be onto your case. Things go wrong. Many times not because of you. And many people believe life happened when somebody’s comfort is rattled.

Life is full of surprises. Some, of course, are wonderful. But some are just joy-killers. Whether in the workplace or in relationships, no one can know what to expect. No one wakes up to have a disastrous marriage.

In fact, many of what we experience in life are the things we wouldn’t have dreamed of putting our lives in. Bad things happen. In our world, it is very common to hear people say, “life sucks.” Many have a lot of regrets about a lot of things. Sometimes we, often feel like much of the failure we go through is somebody’s fault.

Life is hard. There’s no denying that. Sometimes, we often feel like no one can understand our pain. We feel separated from the rest of the human experiences. The road gets rocky and bumpy. And many times, we have to pick ourselves up and start all over again. Everyone has it very tough out here. To avoid reaching the point of mental ill-health and/or suicidal thoughts there are ways we can deal with bitter experiences and regain our positive outlook on life. You can try the following:

According to Brandon Burchard in HIGH PERFOMANCE HABITS: how extraordinary people become that way, about the phrase ‘people just don’t get it’

…People say it because they think others can’t possibly comprehend their lives. The problem is, this thought is inaccurate and obscenely destructive. If you ever feel as if the world can’t understand you, then—and I won’t bother looking for a gentler way to say this—it’s time to pop the bubble you’ve been hanging out in. We have thousands of years of recorded human history, and over seven billion people walk this earth today. The odds are pretty good that someone, somewhere, has gone through what you’re going through, and can easily understand your situation and advise you through it.

You see humans haven’t evolved. We’re very much the same as those who lived thousands of years ago. Experiencing the same things. As it is, nothing is new under the sun. Nothing really. Unpleasant experiences happen because selfishness is bound-up in everyone’s heart.

We judge people and things based on what we consider fair and loving. The problem is that your standard differs greatly with the next person’s standard. So life becomes hard, when what you consider evil is somebody’s good.

But Brandon suggests the following ways to dealing with feelings of separateness from the human family and experiences.

  • When we’re facing any of these difficulties, it’s easy to feel that we’re the only one going through the struggle. But that feeling is pure illusion. There is no human emotion or situation you are contending with that someone, somewhere, cannot understand if you are vulnerable and real and open enough to share your thoughts, feelings, and challenges. Yes, you can keep telling yourself that your spouse can’t possibly understand, and if you never try, that will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • People can understand your struggle. They can understand your wins. And they can understand tough choices even if they themselves have never had to make them. If you don’t believe it, then you are telling yourself a story that is not natural—that is disconnected from the reality of seven billion people who all have hearts and hurts and dreams.
  • If you find that your thinking is not being challenged enough or your growth has topped out, hire a coach, trainer, or therapist. Yes, hire someone. Sometimes, your immediate peer group can’t see beyond their knowledge of you. Sometimes, they’re not qualified or available to help you through a specific challenge or period of life. Professionals can help you explore issues, find clarity, and leverage proven tools for growth. If you’d like a listing of certified professionals in this topic, visit HighPerformanceInstitute .com. If you can’t hire someone, find a mentor and call or meet with them at least twice each month. Consistency in receiving feedback is the hallmark of consistent growth.
  • Instead of believing that people don’t understand you and that they are to blame for the fights and failures in your life, take ownership of your actions by reflecting on your role. After a conflict, ask yourself, “Am I distorting this situation in any way to make myself feel like the misunderstood hero? Am I spinning a story to make myself feel better? Am I trying to make excuses or play the victim to protect my ego? What were my actions that contributed to the issues at hand? What might I not know about this person or their situation?”

What we all need is a change of perspective. Seeing ourselves in light of all others. Then we can know with certainty that we’re not the only ones having it very tough. Once that is sorted, you’re well on your way to recovery and growth.

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Teboho Polanka
Teboho is a Social Worker, Writer and Inspirational Speaker. He is in pursuit of MSc. in Managerial Psychology. Graduates are able to apply psychological principles and methods to tackle challenges in the work environment and provide effective practical solutions. Acting as industrial-organizational psychologists.