Life is full of challenges which can often lead to setbacks. Whether its in your health, your relationships, your career or finances, sooner or later you are bound to hit a pothole on the road of life. This is unavoidable and inevitable. It does not matter what obstacle you face but what matters is how you deal with it. From my own personal experience and in advising my clients here are 4 principles which can help you navigate any challenge.
1. Get grounded: Its easy to lose your bearings and get lost in your thoughts and emotions when things are not going your way. The first thing you need to do is to find your centre and become grounded. This can be in any number of ways which can include going for a walk, spending time in nature, meditating, listening to music, practicing yoga and journaling to name a few. There is no right or wrong way to become grounded and it can take any form that resonates with you. It is, however, important to find a way to get there. Finding your centre helps you see your problems from a greater perspective despite your thoughts and emotions which will give you the wisdom and strength to navigate them with greater ease.
2. Feel all of your emotions: In the midst of life’s most tumultuous storms you can experience many difficult feelings such as shame, anger, sadness and grief to name a few. The natural tendency is to suppress these emotions because of the pain they cause. What you don’t realize is that suppressing your negative emotions will only cause suffering which is pain perpetuated over time. You need to bear the pain of these emotions by feeling them fully right to their core. If you are able to do this you will find that all that is left after releasing your feelings is peace and love. If you experience this once you will never ever resist another negative feeling.
3. Find a deeper meaning to the challenge: Life does not throw obstacles your way without a higher purpose. The fact is that any challenge you face is meant to teach you something about yourself which you have not yet learned. For example, a bitter argument with your significant other could be a sign that you need to be more present and listen with your whole being when you are in her presence. A newly diagnosed disease could be a sign that you need to overhaul aspects of your lifestyle such as your nutrition. Try to find the greater reason for what you are going through and you will find a pattern and flow that you can trace throughout your entire life story.
4. Seek help: The fact is that we are not meant to live in isolation but are social creatures by nature. We cannot always get through troubled times alone. Often we need to reach out to others for advice or guidance, for support, for a listening ear or simply a shoulder to cry on. Do not isolate yourself in the midst of your greatest challenges but reach out to those who are close to you. You’ll be glad you did and they will be grateful for the opportunity to be your trusted confidantes and help you find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Your life’s greatest challenges can be opportunities for exponential personal growth only if you let them.
Nauman Naeem MD