“OMG — could anything else go wrong?”
Know that feeling? When life keeps piling on problems one on top of another?
Maybe you’re strong enough to handle the first few. But then another gets thrown into the mix. And another. And another. Before you know it, you’re drowning in a sea of stress and overwhelm. You find yourself thinking, “Seriously!?! I can’t take much more. How the heck am I going to overcome all these challenges?!”
In the face of massive problems — or even a pileup of tiny ones — it’s natural to feel defeated. It’s important to acknowledge your feelings of disappointment and even despair.
You don’t need to know the big picture right now. You just need to get moving. Click To Tweet
But it’s even more important not to dwell there.
In today’s episode, we’ll talk about how to meet life’s challenges head on and create a healthy way forward, even if that sounds near impossible right now.
4 Mantras to Help You Overcome Life’s Tough Challenges
In this clip from a MarieTV call-in show, we talked with Beth, who faced an unexpected business tragedy and was searching for a way forward.
Beth asked, “I lost my business to a fire, and I’m having trouble figuring out who I am, because I was always ‘the bakery lady.’ I don’t know what to do, and I need your help.”
Watch the video and continue reading the post below for the four mantras that can help you find perspective and strength, especially when challenges feel insurmountable.
Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast
Next time you need to overcome challenges in life or business, experiment with one or more of these mantras. They help you lower stress, regain your personal power, and call forth the fortitude and creativity you’ll need to move forward.
1. “Everything Is Figureoutable”
This first mantra is more than just a fun phrase to say. It’s a practical, actionable discipline to help you operate at your best and overcome life’s thorniest challenges. Live it, breathe it and use it daily. I promise, adopting this as a core belief can make you virtually unstoppable.
Not unstoppable in the sense that everything will always go your way, because we know it won’t. Problems and difficulties are guaranteed in life.
But unstoppable in the sense that no matter what obstacles or problems come your way, they won’t permanently take you down. Knowing everything is figureoutable means trusting yourself enough to know that you have what it takes to find or make a way forward, no matter what.
If you want to master this philosophy, grab a copy of Everything is Figureoutable today.
2. “Life Happens FOR Me, Not TO Me”
In my life, whenever things seem to keep going wrong and I problem after problem stacks up, I repeat this mantra: “Life happens FOR me, not TO me.”
It’s a potent reminder that you and you alone are in charge of assigning a meaning to any event that occurs.
Every challenge, obstacle, and unfortunate situation contains the potential for positive growth, if we’re willing to look for it. No matter what the situation, you have the power to learn something, become stronger, gain wisdom, perspective, and understanding for your future.
For a powerful reminder of the importance of finding the hidden gift of growth in any moment, especially those which are most painful, most difficult, and most heart-breaking, watch this MarieTV with Holocaust survivor Dr. Edith Eger.
Next time you’re faced with an unexpected challenge and find yourself thinking, “Why me?” pause and say, “Okay, this happened and it’s awful. But now what? What’s the potential opportunity? How might this situation help me grow stronger or better in the long-run?”
If you’re ready to train yourself to find the gift of growth in any and every challenge, embrace this mantra — life is happening for you, not to you.
3. “Clarity Comes From Engagement, Not Thought”
Sometimes when you’re working to overcome a big challenge, you get frozen in fear. Analysis paralysis, as they say. Not wanting to make the wrong move, you make no move at all. But being indecisive and can waste tremendous time and cause more harm than good over time.
Early in my career, I spent years wondering if I had what it took to be a dancer. Could I be one? Should I be one? I even fantasized about what it might be like. But I never made a move, until I did.
My biggest mistake? Searching my head for an answer that could only be experienced through my heart.
That experience taught me this crucial lesson: Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.
When you’re trapped in the hell of indecision about the best way around an obstacle, do something about it as quickly as possible. Take some kind of real, tangible action. Make a phone call. Speak with an expert (or 3). Take a class, volunteer, test a possible solution. Doesn’t have to be a big step, just a step in any direction.
This next piece is important. You don’t need a huge master plan for solving your problem before you take action. That’s not possible or necessary. Start exactly where you are with one small step. Then take another. Then another. Stay focused on engagement, not thought. Feel you way forward. The insight and information you gain from taking action will inform your next steps, and ultimately a more comprehensive long-term plan.
4. “Everything You Dream of Exists in the Growth Zone”
99.9% of the things you need to do in order to overcome challenges and improve your life are things you haven’t done before. That means it’s natural for you to feel uncertain, insecure and uncomfortable. But as the world’s most resilient and successful people will tell you, one of the best things we can do to overcome challenges is to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
In other words, get out of your comfort zone and enter your growth zone. Your growth zone is the place just beyond what you’re familiar with. It’s the place where yes, you will be uncomfortable (because it’s unfamiliar), and, it’s the only place you can possibly learn new skills, perspectives and develop new capabilities.
Look, I get it. Life feels safe in the comfort zone, because you’re accustomed to the patterns — even if they’re stressful, dysfunctional, or painful. But dreams are only realized in the growth zone. Everything you dream of becoming, achieving, or experiencing exists in this space (a.k.a. the discomfort zone).
This uncomfortable, vulnerable, unfamiliar growth zone is the only place you acquire the skills and strengths you need to overcome this challenge. The growth zone is where you’ll cultivate a new level of inner resolve and find a way forward from this setback.
Then get ready. Because when you spend enough time in your growth zone, something marvelous happens. That previously uncomfortable growth zone becomes your new comfort zone. And you grow stronger, wiser and more capable as a result.
Bottom Line: You Have What It Takes to Overcome Challenges
Yes, what you’re facing is tough. But guess what — you’re tougher. Decide right now that nothing is beyond your reach. Success doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by choice. So make the decision right now that yes, you do have what it takes to overcome challenges.
Sure, you’ll need to learn new skills. And of course, the journey will not be easy. But the goal is not for life to get easier (that’s not going to happen). Instead, we must focus on getting stronger.
These four mantras can help you unleash your inner strength, stay determined, persevere and ultimately overcome even the most difficult challenges.
Now, let’s turn this insight into action.
Which one of these four mantras resonates most given the challenges you’re working to overcome?
What’s one small but meaningful action step can you take today?
Leave a comment below and let us know.
Most importantly, stay positive. Opportunity is often hidden in our most difficult circumstances.