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How to Turn a Crisis into a Challenge

These 5 tips help you overcome challenges and cope with crises.

When a crisis hits - the end of a marriage, the loss of a job, the death of a loved one - it can throw you into a complete tailspin. Suddenly your world is no longer safe and secure. What can you do to pick up the pieces and take the first steps toward living a full life again?

Begin by tapping into more optimistic thoughts and seeing the situation as a challenge to overcome. Create an opportunity to focus your energies and change the negatives to positives. Still, you may find it's hard to get started and even more difficult to keep the forward momentum going. If you're finding yourself stalled, try these five steps:

1. Look back over your life and review how you've dealt with other major changes. What have you learned from your life experiences? As philosopher George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Recall what worked and employ those most effective coping strategies once again. Discard what didn't.

2. Assess your strengths and how you have used them in particular situations before. Has your curiosity or love of learning encouraged you to gather information from the Internet, books or seminars in order to facilitate your decision-making? Some strengths may come naturally to you, while you may need to develop others through hard work. Evaluate how you can build on your assets now. 

3. Consider what will help you let go of negative thoughts and preconceived notions of failure. Are you holding on to unrealistic expectations, an unfounded ideal of perfection, an intolerance of anything less than total success? Allow your ideas to run wild as you open yourself up to new attitudes. Use your power to turn fears into positive "what ifs."

4. Brainstorm with a friend to clarify what kinds of resources you can call on to help you through this process. Support can come from many directions - personal relationships, coaches or therapists, financial assistance, outside validation and endorsement. Use whatever is available to aid and encourage you. 

5. Let your creativity flourish so that you see yourself from a new perspective. Uncover the courage to begin the process. Once you start, your experience will give you the incentive to continue.

When prospects seem bleak, these tips can stimulate you toward achieving your goals. Trust yourself and your own wisdom as you begin to integrate your changes and create a new and positive direction. You will find the inspiration that you need to face your challenges and make this the best time of life. 

© 2011, Her Mentor Center

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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