Sometimes things have to go wrong in order to go right. – Sherrilyn Kenyon
It is absolutely fascinating how life can be incredible at one time and unbearable the next. It seems as though everything will always be great in the good times, and then when life gets hard, it is difficult to see how things could ever be better.
Thankfully, though, things do get better. No matter how hard it is to believe at the time, things do get better.
This leads to an important question, too. How do we keep moving when everything appears dark? How does one find strength when everything around seems to drain us of our energy? Is it possible to find hope when life gets hard at every turn?
The answer to all of these is yes. Yes, it is possible to keep going and find hope even in the darkest places. It is possible to find strength even at our weakest.
What’s more? At times we have to be broken down before we can get back up. Sometimes the greatest strength can only be achieved when we’re at our weakest.
We only have to understand how to deal with setbacks and challenges during tough times. To that end, we have provided below 15 ways to help you find strength and hope when life gets hard.
15 Ways to Find Strength and Hope When Life Gets hard
Finding a reason to keep going during hard times requires understanding, acceptance, and recognition, among others.
Below is a detailed guide on the most crucial steps to finding hope and strength when life gets hard.
1. Analyze Your Why
The first step to building a sustainable resistance towards life’s challenges is to have a “WHY “- our reason and purpose in life.
Assuming we already have a WHY there is no doubt that adversities and hard times in life will test this WHY to the fullest. This is why proper analysis of our WHYs is always a crucial step to dealing with the worst of life’s challenges.
○ Build a Solid WHY
The goal of the analysis, of course, is to build a WHY that is solid and so profound that not even the most violent of winds can stop it. How does one do this? Well, to pull this off, we must understand that just having a WHY is not enough.
We must consolidate it through constant dedication and analysis.
Based on his struggles during World War II, author Viktor Frankl has emphasized finding our WHY in his book “Man’s Searching for Meaning“. Once we understand our WHY, identify the critical parts, and dedicate our time, energy, and ability to it, it becomes harder to let go of it.
When the storm comes and life gets too challenging, and we find ourselves questioning and analyzing our reasons again, we’re able to hold on.
2. It’s Okay to Break Down
Most of us like to believe that there is no room for showing emotions even when life gets hard. This is a wrong and damaging belief.
Even the strongest men break down, and what is more, breaking down can be our most potent avenue towards coming back up and being even stronger again.
○ Challenges as an Avenue to Rebuild
Life works on basic principles, and one of the most fundamental of these principles is that to build things up, we sometimes have to tear them down.
Sometimes we go through hard times so that we can rebuild ourselves and come out even stronger. Of course, when it’s happening, we don’t feel this way.
Everything appears so bleak and damaging that we feel that there is no hope.
Well, there is hope. Depending on how we face the challenges, we can always come out stronger from any of life’s adversities.
3. Mindset is Crucial
If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit. – Bill Clinton
It is true that no matter how bleak the situation appears on the surface, we can always come out of it even stronger. So why is it that some manage to do this while others falter and become worse when life gets hard?
The fundamental difference between these two sets of people? Mindset.
○ Mindset Sets You Apart
Our minds are powerful, and our brains are coded with some incredible life survival traits. We are wired to overcome adversities, adapt, and come out stronger. It’s in our DNAs.
Some people, however, have chosen to repress this capability. These are people who believe that adversities are the end and they can never recover.
Successful people embrace this recovery DNA due to their growth mindset mentality. This makes them understand that every challenge is an avenue to learn, get tested, and come back even stronger than before.
○ Mindset is the Foundation
Having the right mindset towards hard life challenges and adversities doesn’t start when we face tough times in everyday life. It is something we instill in ourselves and cultivate before trials and tribulations come our way.
Once we start to lay the foundation now, building an abundance mindset, and understanding the powers of our brain, we put ourselves in the best place to thrive and triumph when adversity inevitably comes.
4. Remember that Your Feelings are Valid
It is also highly imperative, when life gets hard, to have in mind that our feelings are valid. Most people tend to self-deprecate during tough times in life.
The events around us are so painful and profound that we feel as though we were nothing compared to it. Maybe those around us don’t even believe we’re going through anything.
So they, too, dismiss our feelings. They tell us to suck it up and move on as though it were an easy life for us always.
Well, moving forward in the face of hard times is not an easy feat, but thankfully it is possible and achievable, and one of the most important things to do is tune out the noise.
Your feelings ARE valid. You ARE going through a tough time. But you WILL triumph. You WILL come out victorious, and everything you went through will make you stronger and better for it.
5. Change Your Perspective of the Situation
A quick hack to apply when dealing with troubles and hard times in life is switching our views of the tough situations and considering it from another perspective. This serves two purposes.
○ Better Chance of Problem Solving
First, seeing the tough situation from another perspective gives us a better chance of solving whatever problem we go through when life gets hard.
We get to see things we may have missed and adjust accordingly.
Making these adjustments makes the problem easier to solve, and we move on as though nothing had happened.
○ Seeing Challenges as a Stepping Stone
Secondly, looking at a problem from another perspective sometimes tends to help us see that it such a huge deal as we made it to be.
What seems dire and insurmountable from one angle can be seen as just a test from another angle.
For instance, someone who lost a job may choose to see it as the end of the road, while a different person may see it as a blessing in disguise to move on and get an even better job.
There is a well-known saying that a problem shared is a problem solved. Well, this isn’t true. A problem shared is not a problem solved.
A problem shared, however, is a problem HALF solved, and this is remarkable progress.
When we tell our problems to others, we actively spark a few reactions in us that make the tough times a lot easier to solve.
○ Lifting a Heaviness on Our Hearts
Human beings are wired to be communal. This is why whenever we have a problem heavy on our hearts, sharing with someone else usually brings about a relief that is so profound it is almost like the problem has disappeared.
The simple fact of knowing that someone out there knows about our challenges and cares for us, that we don’t have to be the only ones carrying the burden of knowledge around, can help a long way in solving the problem itself.
○ Valuable Insights
Another reason it is always advisable to share whatever we’re going through with the right people is that they tend to offer invaluable insights into coping methods that have worked for them in the past and help us move in the right direction.
Sometimes the solution to our big problems is so simple, and we don’t know it.
All it takes is to share with someone who has gone through the same things before, and we’d be surprised just how easy it is to fix whatever is wrong and move on with our lives.
7. Express Gratitude for the Things You Have
Having problems in life tends to make us forget everything great in our lives. That’s one of the most sinister effects of going through a struggle.
When life gets hard, everything seems so dark that it’s hard to believe that there is anything worth appreciating in life. But there always is.
All we have to do is close our eyes, quiet the storm for a few seconds, and try to think of things we have to be thankful for.
Create a list of the good things, focus on them, and in a moment, the light starts to creep in and overshadow the darkness in some places.
Sometimes all we need to triumph is a little ray of light. Focusing on the things we have and showing gratitude for them can provide this much-needed light that gets us through.
8. Be Kind & Helpful to Others
If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way. – Terry Goodkind
This may sound absurd to most people, but it is not. We may be thinking, how are we supposed to help others when we’re going through the most challenging times of our own.
Well, it is, in fact, possible to help others when we’re down, and what’s more, this can be the starting point for our own recovery.
It takes a strong heart to show kindness and compassion at our lowest periods, but kindness has such an extensive array of benefits in life that it is never a wrong decision to choose to be kind in the end.
No matter how frail or poorly we have it, we should always think of kindness as a cheat code to help us escape our hard times and become better for them.
9. Listen to Motivational Podcasts
Sometimes problems and challenges in life can make us feel alone. Sometimes they are so strong that we can’t handle them alone.
Thankfully, there is a weapon available against them that many people fail to make use of – podcasts.
There are numerous podcasts out there about people who have gone through what we are passing through that seem impossible.
Many successful people have even gone through worse challenges than us. These podcasts inspire us and give us hope for our future. Examples of these are:
- Dear Sugar Radio, hosted by authors Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond
- Laura Yate’s podcast Let’s Talk Heartbreak
- Chris Gethard’s Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People
- Just One More Podcast, hosted by Joanna Shaw Flamm
All we have to do is find what works for us and who knows, what we’re going through may turn out to not be as hopeless as we think.
10. This Too Shall Pass
Another sinister effect of going through challenges in everyday life is that we usually tend to feel as though what we’re going through is permanent when they are not.
When life gets hard, we think it’s the end of the world, and we will never get through them.
This is just the darkness working in our brains to make us weak and yield to its sinister effects.
Instead, we should always have it in mind that any challenge we’re going through is nothing but a phase. It is there to test us and rile us up to see if we’re strong enough to make it.
Once we identify it as what it is – nothing but a temporary discomfort – we have a better fighting chance to defeat it once and for all and move on to better things.
11. Focus on Your Strengths
Just like with gratitude, challenges in real life have a way of making it seem like we have no strengths. They make us feel weak and worthless.
This is how they do their worst damage. By focusing on our weaknesses, we will never recover. By choosing instead to focus on our strengths, we give ourselves a much better fighting chance.
To put it simply, there is always strength buried deep within us, no matter what we’re going through. Focus on them, and we’ll be fine. The focus on strengths mantra encourages you to take a step back and assess what you’re best at. It also helps you know what skills you need to develop.
12. Get Physically Active
If a man achieves victory over this body, who in the world can exercise power over him? He who rules himself rules over the whole world. – Vinoba Bhave
Physical activity increases the heart rate, which helps clear toxins from the body and can improve mood. It also releases endorphins, which provide a natural high.
Many people find it difficult to exercise when life gets hard. However, a little bit of physical activity can actually make everyday life more manageable. When you’re feeling down, some quick workout can put a smile on your face and help you feel better about yourself.
Furthermore, getting physically active can also get our minds running. It can get our brains firing on all cylinders, which in turn puts us in a better position to come up with workable solutions to whatever we happen to be going through.
13. There is No Harm in Dreaming
Dreams play a vital role in our lives, making them the perfect tool to deal with present challenges and adversities.
They are capable of taking us away from our problems, if only for brief moments. This is especially important because sometimes, these brief moments of escape are all we need to get back on track.
With dreams, we’re not just able to leave our problems behind and go to a pleasant place in our heads; we are also able to turn these made-up scenarios into possible solutions.
By dreaming of a time when things are better, we restructure our minds to a positive one capable of problem-solving. If you are thinking about better times, you use the law of attraction. This is the idea that by thinking about something with enough focus or emotion, it can come true.
14. Importance of Discipline over Motivation
When life gets hard, we’re faced with seemingly unsolvable challenges; we’re also faced with two options to consider in order to go on.
We either draw on our inner discipline to keep moving forward or draw on an external motivating factor.
○ Discipline beats Motivation
Among both of these options, being disciplined is much more advisable than being motivated.
Now don’t get it wrong; Motivation has greater benefit at certain situations. It is capable of propelling us like no other.
The problem, though, is that motivation is fickle. It has a way of leaving just as quickly as it comes. When this happens, many of us falter and fall back into our lazy selves.
This is where discipline comes in.
Discipline is superior to motivation because discipline, once cultivated, never leaves us. Discipline keeps us going even when motivation fails.
This is why, when faced with adversity and things seem hopeless, discipline is a much better option to draw upon than motivation.
15. Don’t Be Scared to Ask for Help
Lastly, it is always important to know that there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Many people fail to ask for help for several reasons.
Many are scared, many feel embarrassed, many don’t know how to.
In the end, however, it is always worth noting that taking that vital step of asking for help tends to yield a much more significant advantage than any of our inhibitions are worth.
○ Everyone Needs Help
The tendency to be scared to ask for help out of embarrassment is a popular one.
Yet, it is also entirely unnecessary, seeing as most of us, at one point or another in our lives, will need help from another person.
No one is an island. We all depend on each other, and that is life. In our darkest moments, more than any other thing, we should never be afraid to ask others for help when needed. This could be our last chance for survival.
Adversities are one of the significant inevitabilities of life.
No matter how perfect we think, our lives are, no matter how good life is, there is still an overwhelming possibility that we will find ourselves facing incredible challenges when the time comes.
These challenges test our resolve. They push us to the limit, and right at our darkest moments, things tend to seem hopeless, with all roads ahead seemingly blocked to us forever.
Thankfully, this does not have to be the end. It is at this time when life gets hard that we should tap into our inner beings and find the strength needed to move on.
To do this successfully, we must build those traits needed to triumph even before the adversities set in.
Analyzing and consolidating our WHYs in life, cultivating a positive mindset, considering a switch in perspective, asking for help, connecting with others, and showing kindness – all of these can be the critical factors to making a difference in those hard times.
We should also keep in mind that no situation is permanent. As long as we recognize that the world is constantly changing, and there is more than enough strength within us to get through it, we will always be fine and come out stronger for every challenge we face.