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If there is one thing you can bank on in your life’s journey, it’s encountering obstacles. Overcoming challenges doesn’t have to be just “hard” though. There are no lessons learned without snags, and what would success really be if there were no setbacks? Even in cases of pure “challenge” (like grief), personal growth can come out of it. With the right approach, overcoming life’s challenges can even become a whole lot easier than staying the same.

All you need to do (to be one of the lucky ones who doesn’t seize up and hide under the covers after a failure) is to adopt the right strategy. I’ve put together a list of the best (free) resources I can find to overcome obstacles, failure, setbacks and even grief so you too can grow through what you go through.

words of encouragement for overcoming challenges
words of encouragement for overcoming challenges

1. Choosing the “right” goals to begin with.

There are so many of us out there right now chasing down dreams that don’t even belong to us. This article outlines, in detail, how to start your journey to worthwhile challenges by choosing your goals wisely: based on your deepest desires and purpose! It covers 3 major scientifically studied factors in big goal achievement as well as the major constituents of what is going to make you happy.

If you failed at something that wasn’t truly right for you, consider it a bullet dodged and start formulating what you do want with this resource!

maslow's hierarchy of needs

The “human needs” hierarchy (from the article):

1. Physical needs: like food and water
     I add: exercise & good nutrition

2. Safety: being secure from harm
     I add: mental & emotional safety — acceptance

3. Love & belonging: relationships
     I add: freedom to be yourself & be loved for your own choices

4. Self-esteem: ie. feeling important
     I add: being useful, finding meaning in your activities

5. Self-Actualization: the pinnacle, achieving one’s full potential
     I add: discovering your purpose & making it your livelihood

Read now: Key to Success in Life: How to Find Your Purpose, Set Goals and Achieve Them

words of encouragement for overcoming challenges

2. Stop the negative thinking spiral in it’s tracks

Instead of just demanding we all think positively, this article explores a compassionate approach to giving your mind credence for being smart enough to have learned something when it witnessed challenging obstacles (ie. thinking negative stuff happens unexpectedly, it’s part of reality, and therefore being afraid). The reader can work through this fear with proactive steps to overcome incessant negative fixating using reason and self-care.

Why it’s so hard to believe positive thoughts in the midst of grave challenges, from the article:

It’s incredibly difficult to believe positive thinking, and change your life for the better, when you’re experiencing the reality of negative things happening.

This is where my research completely veers away from the herd. The status quo says to, perhaps, ‘feel through your emotions’ as they arise and, maybe, make some positive choices to adjust a negative situation. Instead, I say grab the bull by both horns, accept your challenges, and heal what is truly bothering you.”

Read now: How to Stop Negative Thinking: 3 Positive Thinking Exercises

words of encouragement for overcoming challenges

3. For goodness sake, do not let other people drag you down.

There’s nothing worse than when people you care about don’t support your personal growth and development. Heck, from my experience, it hurts like a b*sh when even a stranger puts you down or wants you back in a box! This particular challenge is perhaps the hardest (at least for me) to overcome. This article shares personal experiences with this kind of trauma and how to spot a bad friend for what they are (and some support in getting rid of their a**).

On having the strength to move on, from the article:

If they aren’t fighting for you, they’re fighting against you because relationships are too intertwined to be neutral. If they’re not on your side, whose bloody side are they on? Not yours, so move on.

Read now: Success & Friendship: When You’ve Changed, but Your Friends Haven’t

words of encouragement for overcoming challenges
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4. Give your holistic environment a “detox”

I really had no idea how much my environment impacted me until I really took the time to fully experiment with it. Hands down, the easiest way to make my life stress-less is by cleaning the eff up! This article explores 4 areas of life we can do a “detox” on to feel happier, healthier and more whole (whether we are overcoming challenges or not)!

You are living proof of how much your environment affects you, from the article:

“You already know how much your environment affects your mind and life. From the uplifting friend who can bring you out of a funk straight up into a more productive mindset, to the eerie feeling hanging in the air when someone’s been talking badly about someone and they walk in, to the extra encouragement you get when you’ve laid out your workout clothes the night before and you hop right out of bed to a clean zone — you already know how much mental, emotional, even energetic surroundings impact you.”

Read now: How to Detox your Mind by Detoxing your Life

words of encouragement for overcoming challenges

5. Develop a proactive mindset.

This ground-breaking information not only shows you why a proactive mindset is necessary for success (in a realistic and grounded way) it also dives into how to actually change an “inner culture” that prevents so many of us from adapting in challenging circumstances. This article puts the reader in the power seat by giving us tools to understand how our minds work and where a destructive mindset (ie. negative thinking) comes from.

If this is you reading this, Negative Nancy, you can stop blaming yourself for your headspace now and start taking control.

The source of all doom and gloom thinking, from the article:

“RIQ-d is the reason you feel bad. RIQ-d is the culprit behind your dreams diminishing into dust when you had your hopes all up. Your “Inner Culture” dictates what grows in your world… and what doesn’t.

Read now: The ONE Rule to Happiness & 4 Step Path to your Dreams

words of encouragement for overcoming challenges
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6. Put your needs first (it’s the only way to give, anyhow)

If you are feeling selfish for needing yourself a whole lot in the midst of a crisis (or any other time), read this article to better understand how “doing you” isn’t just the best way to overcome a challenge, but also the best way to live. Period.

A personal note about self-serving tactics, from the article:

“When I put myself first, I learned exactly how I could uniquely help others. It felt completely self-absorbed, but… What I was doing wasn’t selfish. When people would jeer, I’d tell them “I’m only doing one thing here, and it’s the only thing I’m concerned with doing”. You are only doing one thing here: you’re here to do you.”

Read now: Why I Put Myself First: You Do You & Get to Give the Most Back

words of encouragement for overcoming challenges

7. Get productive about making yourself happy again

Did you know happiness is as much (or more) a skill as it is a bi-product of your circumstances? Truth! No one in the world could expect to be master of a skill they never trained in. So when the challenges are nigh, and the need to overcome them is near, reach for these 4 scientific tips on how to improve your overall happiness to get you moving onto the next big thing you’re meant to be working on (in your own time)!

Speaking about the science of happiness, from the article:

“Although external factors can be a wonderful benefit to your life or a great tragedy, their effects are temporary and other findings show dramatic, causal connections to the patterns in your life that you have complete control over.

What we’re going to talk about is how to affect your happiness levels permanently.

Read now: What is Happiness to You? 4 Keys from Scientific Happiness Articles

words of encouragement for overcoming challenges
confidence quote

8. Strategically re-build confidence

If happiness being partially a skill was a surprise (#7), hold your seat for this one. It turns out confidence is totally something we can learn! It’s quite natural, really. All babies are born without any qualms about crying out, wherever and whenever, to get their needs met. They are totally and completely confident in themselves. And it’s also a learned skill. We can therefore develop our own confidence twofold: First by undoing what lowered our self-esteem to begin with. Second, by choosing to practice confidence activities like the one in this article!

On why we feel gross about ourselves, from the article:

Neuroscientists explains that in our monkey mind, shame triggers our reward system. Feeling shame actually fires all of the different places in our brain that are associated with rewards and releases dopamine and serotonin — the cuddle hormone and the happy hormone. As much as we want to feel confident, sometimes the safer bet, to our minds at least, seems so be shame.

Read now: The Importance of Self Confidence & Building Self Esteem: Activities

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