Dealing with Difficulties // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

Difficulties are a part of life. We all consider them a “pain in the neck”, but they are necessary for our growth and progress.

Consider the apple seed, which has to push through a ton of dirt before it sees light. If it stops pushing, it becomes worm food rather than a tree.

Here are seven steps to take when faced with challenging difficulties:

1. Face the problem head on. Don’t try to run and hide from it — that will only confuse you and make things worse. Even if it’s bad news, it’s better to know what you’re dealing with, than to stick your head in the sand and pretend that the problem doesn’t exist.

2. Search your soul. The hard times can be our very best opportunities for personal growth. If we look deeply within our hearts, we will find the areas we need to develop and strengthen. Often, our various problems are linked by a few themes — these are allowed into our lives to rub off our rough edges.

3. Pray Hard. If it is big enough to worry about, it’s big enough to pray about. Our obstacles are really calls to prayer. It’s amazing what prayer can accomplish. When you are struggling with the circumstances surrounding you — look up! Your answer may simply be a prayer away.

4. Search for Solutions. I say “solutions” rather than “the solution” because there are probably several different options. If we get stuck with “either/or” thinking, we may miss the very best alternative. Be creative! How many possible solutions are there to this problem?

5. Get into Gear. Over-analysis causes paralysis. Sometimes, it’s better to get up, get into gear and get going — even if you’re not 100% sure you’re making the best decision. You will never hit homeruns if you’re afraid to swing to bat.

6. Ask for Help. A wise friend can give you tremendous insight into yourself and your problem.

7. Rise Above it. If you allow it, your problem can push you down into the swamp of discouragement and despair. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, change the channel and look for what’s right! Even in the worst of situations, there’s something good you can find. Yes, we must address the hard stuff — but yet, it is important to maintain a positive, God centered, faith-inspired focus.

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Hayward, WI 54843

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