I had a conversation with my friend Theo a number of years ago about some intense challenges I was facing. I shared with him what was going on and the underlying fear that I simply couldn’t handle all of it.
Theo listened to me with compassion and then said something simple, but profound, “Mike, it’s important to remember that you have more than this requires.”
This really resonated with me.
Not only did he empathetically acknowledge what I was dealing with and feeling, but he also reminded me that I had what it took to face these challenges effectively. Like most people, I’ve got quite a bit of experience overcoming adversity. Theo helped me remember my strength and resilience, which we can sometimes forget in the face of difficult times.
Facing Challenges Helps Us Evolve and Grow
I love the saying, “circumstances don’t define you, they reveal you.” Challenges are a normal part of work and life. It's easy for us to forget that facing difficulties directly can help us grow and gain wisdom, even though it can be hard.
In most situations we face in life, we really do have more than is required to not only deal with what’s happening, but to actually thrive in the face of it. As the saying goes, “if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.”
And while I don’t believe that we have to suffer and struggle in order to evolve, one of the best things we can do when dealing with adversity is to find the gold in the situation as much as possible.
What to do when facing challenges.
Here are a few things to think about and do so that you can remember that you do, in fact, have more than any challenging circumstances require.
Remind yourself of all you’ve done, experienced, and overcome.
Take some inventory of your life from the perspective of resilience. Think about all the times you’ve dealt with change, loss, uncertainty, fear, pain, disappointment, failure, etc. and worked through it.
You’ve also probably had many experiences in life where wonderful things and exciting opportunities showed up for you and you were able to step up and take your experience of life to a whole new level.
Even though we’re all unique and our stories are different, we have all encountered numerous challenges, triumphs, and personal growth throughout our lives. By acknowledging and embracing this fact, we can create an even deeper and more authentic sense of self-confidence.
Remember that you have a great deal of support and you can reach out for it.
Facing challenges isn’t easy - and having a good support system can make all the difference when going through difficult times.
One of the things that can get in our way when life gets intense, is that we sometimes think we’re all alone. Regardless of our circumstances, relationship status, or family situation, most of us have people around us who we can lean on and who would be happy to provide support. But we must be willing to ask for and, more importantly, receive their help.
Remember: a request for help is not a sign of weakness, but a clear indication of courageous self-care and a beautiful opportunity for people to show up for us.
Focus on what you appreciate about yourself.
Self-appreciation is a cornerstone of self-confidence and authentic power. Having a fundamental belief in our own goodness is essential to overcoming adversity and living an inspired life.
While it’s not always easy to do, self-appreciation is essential when it comes to resilience.
Remembering that we are good enough just as we are and have all that we need within us to deal with life’s challenges is essential to our well-being and overall fulfillment.
Regardless of what you’re dealing with right now, you truly have what it takes to overcome adversity and face any difficulties that comes your way. The more you remember this and live from this perspective, the more freedom, power, and peace of mind you’ll experience.
What can you do to remind yourself that you can face any challenge that comes your way? Share your ideas, commitments, thoughts, dreams, and more below.
This article was published in 2011 and updated for 2023.