GOING THROUGH A BIG CHANGE? 5 Things To Make YOUR Hard Time Easier

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Change is hard. Transformation is hard. Hard is not relative. Hard is hard.dreamstime_xs_15847361

Chemotherapy is hard.
Getting laid off is hard.
Bankruptcy is hard.
An out-of-control teenager is hard.
The end of a relationship is hard.
Fill in your own blank ________

There are many of us who will tell you to watch your mouth; to speaking consciously and be aware of the words (and energy) you put out there. I am one of the people who reminds you to use positive, psychologically powerful words, and to avoid ones which could extend or escalate the very feelings you don’t want to have.

Ordinarily I would suggest replacing “I’m going through a hard time,” with “I’m feeling challenged right now.” After all, the words we say now create tomorrow’s experience.

Why the exception now? Because I want you to know that hard is hard, and re-framing it as ‘challenging’ or an AFGO (another fucking growth opportunity) can seem dismissive of your feelings about it; it can seem disingenuous. Sometimes lemons are lemons and no one, especially YOU at the time, wants to make lemonade.

All hard ‘knocks’ have a few things in common:

  1. Hard might have been expected, but ‘this hard’ wasn’t.
  2. Hard is disappointing.
  3. Hard dashes our hopes.
  4. Hard produces self-doubt.
  5. Hard makes us feel out of control.
  6. Hard vaporizes our courage.
  7. Hard hurts our feelings.
  8. Hard takes too long, no matter how long it takes.
  9. Hard can make us forget we’re powerful.
  10. Hard can turn us into victims.

NOTE TO SELF:

You are NOT alone. EVERY person goes through hard times.

The only person who doesn’t is the one they make up in the movies.

The GREAT NEWS:

  1. It doesn’t matter whether we are responsible for this change, or it was outside our control, it’s still hard.
  2. Most of the time we will wish that the hard situation ended yesterday.
  3. We will learn more from the hard experiences in our life than from anything ‘good’ or ‘easy’ that occurs.
  4. While good things will naturally fade into the landscape of our lives, the hard times will stay with us for many years, thereby reminding us of the lessons and gifts they brought (and making it easier for the next hard time).
  5. Once you have gone through a very hard time, you’ll quickly recognize someone else who is going through a hard time. Consider helping them, which often means ‘just’ listening.
  6. Hard experiences show us what we’re made of. They spotlight our character as well as our flaws. We get to choose which we focus on.
  7. Hard experiences help us to be more authentic, more true to ourselves, and less judgmental of others. YAY on all counts!
  8. With life’s difficulties comes greater humility and humanity; both qualities are essential to life’s success.
  9. There will always be another ‘hard time’ in our life.
  10. We will forget all of this while we’re going through a hard time.

Consider making a plan for the next time a hard experience knocks you on your tush.

  1. Keep a journal of the ‘good’ times, so you’ll have a reservoir from which to draw when you’re on empty.
  2. Record your hard time, in writing. Take good notes. Describe each situation, how you felt, and how you handled it. This will provide you with a template, a personal transition formula for the next time (and there WILL be a next time).
  3. Assign a special ‘pet’ name to your difficulty; when things look up, you’ll see the humor in the situation that once had you on your knees. (Some day I’ll tell you about me and George).
  4. Simply having made a plan, in advance, will give you a boost during that hard time.
  5. Look for the gifts, before they show up. It’s relatively easy to discover the gift or lesson once we’re back on solid ground. However, it’s quite different to discover the gift when you’re in the midst of it all. BUT– you are intuitive! You can do this!

I’d love to hear how you handled a hard time in your life. How did you feel? What did you do? How did it get resolved? What did you learn? Please leave your comments below; I look forward to reading them and responding!

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6 thoughts on “GOING THROUGH A BIG CHANGE? 5 Things To Make YOUR Hard Time Easier

  1. Wow Nancy do you have webcam to my life. I just logged onto my emails and have just read this article. Im going through a tough time and just reading your words made me sit up and take notice. With all the afformations that I like to do and trying to put a positive spin on negativity I am human and your email was written in such a loving way. Its hard to see the good when you feel so down and your email really hit home to me. It was as if you could understand the situation. Not everything in life can be good all of the time no matter how we try and stay upbeat. I have now referred to my situation as Albert and that has just made me laugh out loud. When Albert starts to behave I will fill you in one day. Humour is the best medicine as they say. Thanks so much for posting this. I hope that you are well after injuring your ankle and I hope that things are ok with you. Have a great day ;o)

  2. Wow! yes, who has not had hard times? More than a few years back I had a spat of hard times. Within a 6 month period I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, had my house burn down (not right down but when the stuff is standing there and ruined its actually more work – who knew?) The Insurance company representative was horrendous – the bulk of the work fell on my shoulders and I spent a few sleepless weeks trying to get a grip on all that I had to do and look after my child. Once the rebuild began on the house, I found that one of the carpenters had council training – I spent days curled up on the wood floor, smoking his cigarettes and telling him what was going on – in hind sight he never really said very much but he saved me – he really did. Which was good because once we were back in the house, with in one week, I lost a good friend to AIDS and my sweet Mother-in-law dropped dead of a heart attack. Looking back at it I wonder how the hell I survived it all.

    I did. But by the end of it I had rethought my entire life. I was in a marriage that was particularly one sided – that ended. I began to follow my heart (I live on the most beautiful farm and how I ended up here is an incredible story in and of itself) and I put my daughter first and foremost. I was determined to raise her in a way that she understood that her life was a series of choices for HER to make. I wanted her to be ready to lead a fulfilling and independent life. I decided I wanted her to go out into the world and have awesome adventures and then come back and tell me all about it.

    I did all that by being a good example to her. I have a small business now that increases in size as my daughters dependence on me decreases (she is off to University next year). I travel to the places I want to see and have the adventures I want to have. I spend my days doing things that are meaningful to me and connect to people on a level that fills me up.

    Life is good. And I am pretty sure that I would have not have got here, if I had not gone there. Yup hard times happen and they have occurred since then – I lost my partner to cancer since then. But through it all the message is always the same – you will survive, it will get better and things will blossom in ways you can’t even imagine in the moments of distress.

    Life is good.

  3. Fran, Wow! That’s quite a number of experiences that I, for one, would consider hard. Yet your energy about it is just delicious! All that loss and, out of the ashes (literally), you and your daughter emerged whole, adventuresome and fulfilled. Thank you so much for sharing your life with with me and my readers. Your story and comment touched my heart. I wish you every great thing in life. Nancy

  4. Melanie, The webcam is universal, isn’t it! First of all, thank you so much for your gracious comments about the blog. I’m really touched that you so willingly shared your thoughts. Being positive is great and wonderful and necessary for a successful life. Being honest is too! Affirmations are a great tool to help re-frame any situation; but they shouldn’t preclude owning your true feelings. Adding affirmations to your life before you’ve recognized, acknowledged and owned your authentic feelings is akin to making a dinner with the finest ingredients using a pot from lunch that had never been cleaned out. In my experience the most effective way to use affirmations is to first give voice to the anger, frustration, sadness, grief or whatever else is lurking beneath the surface. Only then will the affirmations be able to work their magic with you as a partner in your healing. I’ve included a link to an article you may find very useful: SCRAM: How to Move Through and Beyond Your Stuck State (http://www.nancydsolomon.com/articles/scram-how-to-move-through-beyond-your-stuck-state/). In joy! Nancy

  5. Hi Nancy – thanks so much for getting back to me. I can honestly say that you have given me a whole new way of thinking and I like it. I do feel stuck and its annoying me but to actually just stop and allow my feelings to come through and acknowledge them is far more beneficial than feeling like a mard child who feels like nothing is going their way. You are right sometimes life throws things at us that we have no control over and I have always been a problem fixer so it annoys me that the problem isn’t going away but after reflection I can see that the problem isn’t with me its to do with things that are beyond my control. So now I am going to stop stressing out and just realise that all of this is for my benefit and that I can learn from this and come out the other side a better person. Thanks for giving me the tips to even think like this in the first place but also how to deal with these feelings while I feel stuck and frustrated. Plus I like how you said affirmations as good as they are if we are not of the right mind set and acknowledging our feelings are of no use. I have not been allowing myself to embrace my feelings and deal with them I just kept saying the affirmations hoping things would work out. Big big thank you for helping me see this its definitely been a lightbulb moment. Have a great day ;o)

  6. Melanie- WOW! You got a lot out of this, didn’t you?! I’m thrilled to have been able to assist you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do most. Best! Nancy

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