Life can bring us many ups and downs. Sometimes these new challenges aren’t pleasant: overflowing water from the tub upstairs, ants in the kitchen, or the computer breaking down and the cost to replace it. All of these things will challenge you to find a way to work through them. When they happen all at once you may feel somewhat overwhelmed.

In situations like these, it’s important to have a good mindset. Studies of successful people show they have a certain way they face challenges that is different from others. The people who are successful are resilient: they are able to ride challenges and bounce back. They don’t allow setbacks (like when the computer fails, or the car breaks down) to keep them out of the game for long. They find a way to fix the problem and continue to move forward. People who are not successful panic at setbacks, and become paralyzed into inaction. They may work through the obstacle, but then become too afraid to move forward.

Challenges Ahead

But setbacks and challenges are a natural part of life. They shouldn’t be an unexpected event. People who are afraid of setbacks think that if they hide or don’t take action that nothing bad will happen to them. Unfortunately, this is not true. In fact, by hiding and not taking action they miss out on getting their goals and desires. They live their life in limbo or stagnate.

Challenges are as natural as gravity. Gravity is a force we must overcome to stand up and move around. It challenges us, but it also strengthens our muscles and bones. Without gravity, our muscles and bones would weaken and we would die. Setbacks strengthen our resolve and commitment to our goals, our problem-solving skills and our positive mindset.

Here is a strategy for working with set-backs:

  1. Remember it is only temporary
  2. While the setback is real (the computer is broken) any meaning about it is not real (for example, it means “life is difficult,” or it means “we can never get ahead,” etc.)
  3. Look for the gift in the setback (the computer will be expensive to replace, but then we will finally have a beautiful, new computer that really works that we’ve wanted for so long!)

What are your tips for handling challenges? Put your ideas in the comment box to help others who are feeling overwhelmed.