“If you’re going through hell, don’t stop”. I’ve heard this quote, attributed to Winston Churchill, probably a million times, and I believe it’s excellent advice. I’ve used this advice through a few difficult circumstances in my life, some of them worse than others.
I bet you have too.
From losing my dad to Alzheimer’s, to the money fights Angie and I used to have, to having
two heart attacks in 4 months 3 heart attacks in 22 months, 4 heart attacks in 5 years, I’ve had my share of adversity over the years, but I’ve been able to come through them relatively unscathed.
Of course we all have tough times at some point in our lives, it’s just part of living life on this good Earth. It’s part of our human condition.
Today I’d like to give you a few tips that I and others I know have used to overcome some pretty difficult circumstances. I’ve even thrown in a couple of good resources that you can check out that will help you dive into the subject of overcoming adversity even further.
Sometimes Life Sucks
Many times we have to suffer because we made a dumb decision or acted in some impulsive way, and sometimes we go through hell in our lives for no apparent reason other than what most people just call “bad luck”.
You know the things I’m talking about- Natural disasters, plane crashes, a terminal disease, etc. Sometimes there is just no good explanation for the suffering that we can find ourselves in at any given time.
Let’s face it, sometimes life can suck.
Attitude and Action Are Everything
Now I’m not talking about all these terrible things to be a buzzkiller. Quite the opposite, I want to show you that when life hands you a carton of rotten eggs, you can still make a tasty omelette.
In fact, it’s how you handle those tough times in life that actually determine your present and future happiness. One thing that I’ve found in dealing with my own tough times and listening to other people I know who have dealt with theirs, is that attitude and action are everything.
So for today’s article I thought I would give you a rundown of some of the things that you can do to overcome your circumstances when you’re going through hell in your life, and come out on the other side much better than you ever thought you could.
Purposefully Cultivate Gratitude
No matter what you’re dealing with, somebody has it worse than you do. Be thankful for what you have, even if it’s very little. Whether it’s a few morsels of food, or just the simple fact that you’re alive and in your right mind, be thankful for it. Being grateful for even a little will always lift your mood.
Live in the Present
The past is over. Let go of any regrets that haunt your past and set your mind on building your future. Worrying yourself sick about past problems or how the past may hurt your future is seriously unproductive. All that worry only makes you sick and drives you crazy. Deal with the present as it comes, and then keep moving on, one day at a time.
Declare Your Future
Instead of worrying about your future, declare what your future will be after you get through your trials. If you have an illness, proclaim your healing. Going through divorce? Declare peace and love over your life. Debt Problems? Declare your eventual debt freedom. Results are usually not immediate, they take time and patience to work through. But when you declare where you are headed and take steps to get there, your future will be as great as you imagine.
Read about some of the declarations I made as I was on the table being treated for a heart attack.
Once you make declarations about how your difficult situation will eventually work out, now it’s time to do something about it. In some cases you may not be able to do much, but do whatever you can to effect change in your life and let God do the rest. Take at least one small step every day in the right direction.
Read this woman’s amazing story about pain and healing in “To Hell and Back” by Yolanda Morgan
Keep a Positive Attitude
When you are going through hell, it’s easy to get down on yourself and/or your situation. When you find yourself doing that, it’s time to stop the negativity in its tracks and replace it with positive thoughts. Thinking positively helps you keep moving forward even in the most difficult situations. Plus, it just makes you feel better.
I’ve found that when I start thinking negative thoughts, I can actively catch myself in the act and immediately replace them with positive, uplifting thoughts that are productive to my attitude and my situation.
Positive thinking is a habit that you can develop. It doesn’t always come naturally, but it can work wonders when you do it.
You can learn how to win the battle over negative thoughts by reading the awesome book, “Battlefield of the Mind- Winning the Battle in Your Mind” by Joyce Meyer
There is also a “Battlefield of the Mind Study Guide” available, as well as “Battlefield of the Mind For Teens”
Get In Prayer And Trust God
Trusting God with your situation makes a huge difference in how you deal with it. When you stay in constant communication with Him and completely give your situation over to His power, your stress will ease, your attitude will change, and He will act on your behalf in huge ways. Seriously, I know this from personal experience.
Focus on others, and not your own situation. There is nothing like giving of yourself. When you take action to help others in some way, your focus shifts from one of inward turmoil to outward action. Making someone else’s load a little lighter, their day a little better, or their smile a little wider actually does the same for you. Get your focus on giving to others, and you will find that your attitude, and your situation, are easier to deal with.
Get Around The Right People
Don’t share your situation with just anybody. Some people are happy to wallow around in negativity with you. I guess you could call that some form of empathy, but if you are constantly around people that are negative and do little to bring a positive vibe to your life, you should limit your time with them. Spend time with people who have overcome the situation you’re dealing with now. Seek out wise counsel and learn from those people that are willing to bring positivity and healing to your situation.
“For through wise counsel you will wage your war, and victory lies in an abundance of advisors.” Proverbs 24:6
If You’re Going Through Hell, Don’t Stop
When life gets tough, whether it’s through your own bad decisions or due to something totally beyond your control, you have to make a choice about how you’re going to handle the problem.
Wallowing in negativity and self pity only keep you trapped. Failing to make decisions to move yourself forward because you might experience short term pain will keep you going around the same mountain over and over, until you decide you are going to do what it takes to overcome your trials.
But when you decide to be an overcomer no matter what you are going through, you WILL come out victorious on the other side, and much better for the struggle. So if you’re going through hell, don’t stop. Use the tips above and make your trip much shorter and easier to deal with!
Question: Have you been through any tough times in your life? Leave a comment and tell me some of the things you did to overcome those difficult circumstances?