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How to Overcome Harrowing Adversity and Successfully Rebuild Your Life

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Does the following sound familiar to you? You feel trapped in your life. You try so hard to keep it all together, but nothing seems to go your way, and no matter what you do, those dreadful events keep on coming. Because of this, you have no motivation left to get up in the morning. You isolate yourself and don’t want to see friends or family because you just don’t want to endure this life any longer. If this describes you, I know exactly how you feel!

As Abraham Hicks would say, “For good or bad – when it rains, it pours,” and for many years, my life was a never-ending tropical storm. I lost both of my parents within one year of each other and had no family left. A few years later, I lost my business and all financial assets during a nasty divorce. Two years later, my 10-year-old daughter disappeared. 

I immigrated to Canada in 2004 to start all over, and due to fraud, I found myself with no income, effectively homeless, and potentially $150,000 in debt. I literally drove myself insane looking for the “good” in all of this because like everyone says, it all happens for a reason and always for the better.

It was more than I could endure or so I thought. People often feel defenseless against adversity — they suffer in silence, live hopelessly, and lose the ability to control their own lives.

Adversity is one of the leading causes of homelessness, depression, drug addictions, and suicide; it ends someone’s life every day! I knew my life was spinning downwards fast. It was time for a change and probably my last chance to take action. It is always so much easier to tell others what to do, but the time had come when I had to accept the challenge and get back on track by practicing what I preached. 

I recreated a happy, successful, and fulfilling life for myself again —while knowing that whenever the next hit came, I could manage it. It was not easy since I was only accountable to myself, and yet I saved my life. I proved that it can be done and the strategies I’ve learned and passed on to others do work.

Here are four strategies that I used to overcome adversity and rebuild my life that can help you too:

1. Work with your feelings

Don’t take adversity personally and see yourself as the victim. You may think that life has conspired to hurt you, but the truth is that it’s never about you! You are not a failure. 

Everyone experiences adversity, and you’re part of the majority, which makes you a regular person. And when “it” happens, accept it and stop looking for the good in the bad; there is none. Searching and not finding it will just worsen how you feel, trust me…I have been there!

Remember, whatever happens is not the problem because your emotions are. If you are the person who makes a tiger out of a cat, then you will have to deal with that tiger. Feeling pain is a normal part of dealing with adversity, yet suffering is optional.

It is useless, unhealthy, and destructive in itself. Just feel the pain the moment it happens, and then allow it to pass. Most importantly, realize that you’re going through a tough time, not toward it.

“Never give up, and be confident in what you do. There may be tough times, but the difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds.” – Marta

2. Don’t isolate yourself

Realize that you’re not alone, so let friends and family help you. Sometimes people around you don’t know what is going on in your life and how they can support you. Don’t be shy, and ask for help.

Talk about your situation with people who care and hear their opinions; sometimes we just can’t see the obvious. Also, stay away from toxic people. Instead, add positivity in your life through optimistic people, events, and places. It’s important to understand that people are happy to help you. Don’t forget that!

3. Take action toward a better life

Now that you have your feelings under control, acknowledge your situation. What is really happening, and what is the worst case scenario? Write down what has happened to you and what you want to happen; put it on paper, and make a plan.

Acknowledge your strengths. Look back on things you have accomplished. Do you see all the fantastic stuff you are capable of? Thoroughly check your resources and what is available to help you reach the next step. Address your needs and take care of yourself. Do something good for you and your soul.

Now is the time to set goals and be the creator of your new life. Be prepared for the next attack, which will come without fail, and brave it with determination. Most importantly, realize that change for the better will come one step at a time. Just keep on walking, and keep your target in sight!

 “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” – Robert Frost

4. Maintain a can-do attitude 

Stop being a victim, and take control of your life. Remember, it is not the event that counts, it is how you deal with it.

There are two elements of utmost importance when fighting adversity:

  • The love for yourself – If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect that someone else does? Not loving yourself has its roots in the past, but whatever it was is gone and will not come back. Instead, every new day is a unique chance for you to create something beautiful in your life. 
  • Your attitude – Your thoughts will eventually create words. Your words will create deeds. Your deeds will soon become your habit. Your habit will eventually form your character. With the right character in place, you can face anything. And that is important because the next hardship will come.

Are you ready to take control and create a life you love? Aren’t you tired of regularly cleaning up the broken dishes of your life? Isn’t it exhausting to feel defenseless, hopeless, and afraid? Don’t give up control of your life by feeling sorry for yourself and risk depression, homelessness, drug addiction, and even suicide.

Start taking control of your life today. Set big goals, chase your dream, and rebuild your life to experience happiness again. Go out and create your own success story, so you can achieve anything you desire.  

Have you ever hit rock bottom and had to rebuild your life? How did it go? What did you do? Share your ideas and stories with us below!

Wilfried Lehmkuhler is passionate about helping people achieve their dreams; create financial Freedom and a Life they love by applying proven success strategies. Wilfried is a blogger, speaker, consultant, and accomplished author who has worked with professional athletes and businesses in Europe and North America. You can find him at FinancialFreedomAndALifeYouLove.com or @WLehmkuhler

Life

How to Protect Yourself From Other People’s Negativity

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When I was a kid, it seemed like I felt pain more than anyone else around me. Not just physical pain, but emotional pain. I cried easily, over many things. I had an especially hard time when people were fighting around me, and I didn’t even have to be involved. I could feel the negative energy and felt upset and overwhelmed. I didn’t have a constructive way of handling it. (more…)

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Life

How to Write a Personal Destiny Statement in 3 Steps

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We all have a God-given destiny to fulfill that we were each born with. I personally believe it is buried deep down within us. The number one secret to success is to let it emerge out of you and release it to the world. What is my destiny you may ask? It is the thing you would regret not doing before leaving Planet Earth. (more…)

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Life

Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Life

Why You Never Have Enough Time and What You Need to Do About It

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Has this ever happened to you? You had an assignment, and the deadline was far away. You didn’t work on it much, but in the back of your mind, that insistent little voice was always whispering, “I gotta get this assignment done.” (more…)

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