We all have moments in our life when we don’t feel like we have the energy to get back up. What gives you the strength to get back up?
What would your answer be?
Over a day and a half I was surprised by the number of responses I received. Not because I thought there would be a lack of interest but because people they might be more focused on the practicalities of life. The responses came from places like the UK, India, Romania, Viet Nam, The Netherlands, Canada and the USA.
I broke the responses down into four categories:
- Beliefs i.e. what gave them strength to deal with challenges
- Relationship to the challenges of life i.e. how individuals viewed them
- Focus of attention i.e. what they focused on in times of challenge and what got them through
- Actions they took concerning those challenges
Here are some of the main responses:
Faith in something bigger than oneself
12% of the responses said that a belief and faith in something bigger than themselves gave them strength when ‘getting out of bed’ was a struggle. They called it different things God,, the Universe, or the Infinite but having faith was a big part of what did it for them.
Belief in self
“I certainly don’t regret my experiences because without them, I couldn’t imagine who or where I would be today. Life is an amazing gift to those who have overcome great obstacles, and attitude is everything!” Sasha Azevedo
Another 7% of the responses talked about having a strong belief in self, who they were and what they were doing, even if there was little evidence of reward and a whole lot of evidence of challenge.
Relationship to the challenges of life
Hope (7%) was a key ingredient to giving some of the contributors strength during times of challenge. As one individual said they were always “hopeful not hopeless, even during some of the very bad times I have seen”.
Nuggets of learning
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened”. Dr Seuss
Another 5% of the responses stated that just by knowing that the challenges that they were encountering had the potential for offering them what I call ‘nuggets of learning’ gave them strength.
As one person said, “in hindsight everything happens for a reason, there is always a point where I can look back and see exactly why I had to go through that particular thing and the lesson I was supposed to learn”.
Knowing the challenge will pass and each day brings new opportunities
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” Mary Anne Radmacher
Another 10% of the responses stated that just knowing that the challenges of life would pass and that each day brought the promise of new opportunities gave them the strength to carry one when life was less than promising. As one person said, “to bear in mind that ‘every day is a new day’… this is what will keep you going”.
Focus of attention
Focus on Others
23% of the responses said that in times of challenges they focused not only on the individuals that relied on them but also on the people that lifted them up. These ‘others’ ranged from children, to spouses, to parents living or not who needed them to be all that they could be. It was also about being with individuals who saw and celebrated they brilliance that they were. These individuals not only challenged them to rise to the occasion they also gave them respite and comfort. As one respondent said, “It is very important to me that my daughter realizes people do struggle, but they also do get back up”.
Others suggested that being grateful for what we have rather than what we don’t was another way to face the challenges of life. While another said that taking time to get a different perspective on what was going on assisted them in moving beyond life’s adversity. Yet another simply said to focus on what makes you happy.
Do something to lift your spirits
Following on from focusing on what makes you happy 8% of the responses said that doing the things that lifted their spirits gave them strength to face life’s challenges. This ranged from listening to music, to spending time with favourite nieces and nephews to learning something new, to doing something you were good at or following your passions.
Why not take time out of focusing on the challenges of life by doing something that lifts you higher. You never know from that elevated height you may see the challenge in a new light and ways of moving forward may become more creative and expansive.
What gives you the strength to get back up?