Everybody faces difficulties.
Difficulties are a guaranteed part of our lives and are everywhere: choices or decisions that we seemly can’t make, processes that we have difficulty understanding, subjects that we take longer to learn… A little everywhere we face moments when difficulties, bigger or smaller, appear to immobilize and prevent us from reaching our goals.
But… what if I told you that difficulties are our best ally to that feeling of accomplishment?
In difficult times we develop our imaginative capacity, we explore our mental elasticity enrolling in hypothesis, we are more open to new possibilities, to take risks. The discomfort brought by a difficulty leads us back to the pursuit for comfort and for that very reason, it leads us to the search for the solution, resolution, guiding a process of self-understanding, understanding of others and understanding of the environment.
A life without difficulties would be a boring life. A job without difficulties would not bring us any feeling of accomplishment, of victory, of success. The truth is that, if you think about it, difficulties make you more capable, stronger, more prepared, more competent and, consequently diffiwhat turns you into a winner.
So negative thoughts at aside, what can we do to make the most out of our moments of difficulty getting out of them efficiently? Here are some tips for you!
1. Deconstruct your difficulty. Grab a blank sheet and a pen and write down your problem. Write down all the possible ways to solve it, even the most unreasonable ones. Even those that your brain tells you are meaningless. Write down everything that comes to your mind. Make schemes. Draw. Sometimes we are unable to think clearly because we are paralyzed in self-doubt and anxiety, demanding so much from ourselves that we can’t even think logically. Writing our thoughts frees us from the destructive perspectives that overtake us in times of difficulty. On the other hand, viewing the problem in writing or in a scheme makes it clearer, more factual, less emotional, less intense and, consequently, more resolvable.
2. Procrastinate! No, I’m not saying to move our task/decision to the background and pretend it doesn’t exist, but sometimes, when we are facing a difficulty and can’t get out of it, we lose our focus and the ability to see the ‘bigger picture’. Go for a walk, run, play with your pet, paint, draw, surf the internet, play your favourite game, meditate or just leave the task that is distressing you and dedicate yourself to another. Leave the thoughts that are tormenting and occupy your mind with something else. Something that absorbs you. Then come back. With a fresh mind and/or a new look, we are less moved by emotion and we have a clearer vision of the solution or possible solutions.
3. Focus on the solution, not the problem. Everything is a matter of perspective. Everything that today seems like a difficulty today, you either won’t remember it tomorrow or you’ll have another story to tell. Set goals, cultivate positivity and think long term. What’s the use of focusing on what you can’t control? Concentrate on what you can do to bring you closer to your goals. If you make a mistake, try again. The ones that win the most are the ones who fail the most – because they try and try again.
4. Practice sports or physical activities that you enjoy. The best way to solve a problem is by acting in its prevention and the best way to prevent a problem is to train our brain for flexibility. Getting in and out of problems without letting it take care of us. Physical exercise is an excellent way to release stress, anxiety, worry and build a resilient attitude! Furthermore, physical activities release endorphins and dopamine that help us to face life and difficulties more positively.
Will you try out some of these tips?
Wishing you the best of luck with all your endeavours!
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Inês is Affinity's Chief Marketing Officer. She manages the company's communication and marketing strategy and only stops thinking about communications when she is travelling, practising yoga or reading. And even those moments… are great sources of inspiration!