There are times when dealing with challenges feels like an endurance test. You become tired, worn out, frustrated, irritable, and your outlook turns negative. Everyone goes through these periods. You can’t avoid them but you can learn to hang in there until you get out.
When in this mode, your perception becomes clouded. Your judgment is compromised. Ironically, when you feel as if you are hanging on by your fingernails and can’t do so much longer, is often the stage where a turning point is just around the corner. It’s especially at these times when you must hang in there a little longer.
Here are some practical strategies to help you hang in there. You are not unique in having to deal with challenges. Everyone goes through this process. Successful people utilize these strategies to hang in there as long as necessary.
Don’t foster a victim mentality. You are not helpless. There are situations outside your control but your response is up to you. Wallowing in a “woe is me” attitude only exacerbates your level of frustration.
Don’t waste time and energy worrying. It will drain you. Put your effort into being proactive. People with a victim mentality are passive. Remember that worry is like being in a rocking chair; it’s a lot of activity that doesn’t get you anywhere.
Don’t become paralyzed by fear. Trepidation of the unknown is normal. Consider the worst case scenario. Most of the time, it is not as bad as you think. Progress is possible only when you venture into the unknown.
Keep things in perspective. As your endurance wanes, situations become magnified out of proportion. Take a step back in order to look at things more objectively. How would you be viewing the same situation if it were affecting someone else? What advice would you offer them? Give yourself a mental break by not thinking about your situation for a while. When you go back to it, you will have a fresh, more realistic outlook.
Learn from your past. You don’t have to relive it. We all have had bad experiences. Don’t become jaded. The only direction in life is forward. Don’t waste time lamenting the past.
Focus on what you have, not what you are lacking. A common syndrome is people ignoring their assets while fretting over perceived liabilities. An appreciation for the good things in your life helps you maintain a positive attitude. A positive outlook helps you hang in there.
There are situations where you have to cut lose and move on. This strategy is not the same as giving up. Rather, it’s recognizing there is nothing more you can do. Instead of becoming mired in a no win situation, you choose to move forward with your life.
Don’t let others make decisions for you. When frazzled, you become more desperate for solutions. As a result, there is a tendency to take suggestions from people who, although well meaning, don’t have the needed expertise or insight you require. Any decisions you make must be your own. You are the only one responsible for your actions. Blaming others for bad advice gets you nowhere.
Anything worthwhile takes effort. The loftier your goals, the bigger the challenges you will have to deal with. It’s essential for you to be able to hang in there until you discover appropriate solutions. Since you never know how close you are to success, giving up is not an option. The strategies listed here will all help you hang in there when applied. The next column will offer some more suggestions for hanging in there.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2012 Bryan Golden