Optimism is the hope and confidence that we hold for the future. Many of us have big plans and dreams that we strive towards daily. An investment here, self-help book there and a few insertions of whatever other daily deposits we put into our days that will get us one step closer to our goals. Whether that’s finding love, losing weight, saving money or starting a new career, each of us has something that we wake up for every single day. But what happens when things don’t go our way? Every person you meet brings more havoc to your life than peace, the weight just won’t fall off, you can’t get hired no matter how fancy your resume and work experience is and honestly, life just isn’t seeming to let up any time soon.

It can be incredibly frustrating to do the work every single day and feel as though you’re knocked backward ten steps for every two progressions you take. This is the part of life that doesn’t make the social media feeds – when sh*t gets real! But have no fear, I’m here to help guide you on how to stay optimistic when times get hard. 

1. Keep Calm

Difficult moments are essential for growth, not only personally but professionally as well. Instead of giving in to the noise and concerns around you, take a deep breath and focus in on what you can control and that’s your attitude and mindset.

Look for weaknesses that could potentially set you back later down the road and learn how to aid them now while the storms are still small. Are your troubles causing you to experience irritability, anxiety or depression? Are you having trouble concentrating, sleeping or eating? Make a list of every fear that you have during this time of uncertainty and do one or a few of the following: meditate, journal or pray. Whatever resonates you with, take a moment to pause and get your feelings in check

2. Look for opportunity

In every crisis, there’s an opportunity for growth. The first thing you need to ask yourself is what can this moment teach me? Everything happens for a reason and bumps along the road usually allow us time to slow down and reassess what’s actually in front of us. 

Do you need to reconsider if there’s a fault in your plan? Are you utilizing your time wisely? Is there another area of your life that could use some work now that you won’t have time to tend to later? Ex: character development before marriage. Use these lessons and losses to help elevate you to the next level and don’t even think about rushing the process. 

3. Look for Meaning

As a creator, I write as a means of expression. Not for my own consumption but for the well-being of others. My personal stories of pain bring new meaning to my own life that I share with others in hopes to empower them to self-reflect and turn their own pain into purpose as well. 

Is there anything occurring around you that could use your attention? While things might not be working out for you, do you have room on your plate to give back and help others? Take a moment to stop and appreciate the struggle and learn that these moments of weakness will only build you up later.

4. Be a wise consumer

You are a sum total of the 5 people who are closest to you. With that being said, keep an eye out for who you surround yourself with. Do these people uplift you when times are hard? Do they encourage you and build you up?

The greatest thing you can do for yourself is to filter what content and conversations enter into your mind. Choose to be around people who are optimistic and will rub that good vibe to you. And while you’re at it, limit the time you spend consuming negative images and words on social media. A best practice here is to seek out quotes and movies with powerful story lines – Million Dollar Baby anyone?

While this list isn’t exhaustive, these are a few practical things that you can do that will get you started and well on your way to keeping your head above high waters. Continue looking for the silver lining in your story and never ever give up. One more important thing, never look to someone else’s struggle to find appreciation in yours. Just because your storm isn’t a hurricane today doesn’t mean you’re excused from experiencing a tsunami tomorrow.


Audresha is a blogger who empowers women to turn their journey’s of pain into power and purpose. What started as a personal journey of grieving the murder of her sister quickly turned into an online platform that inspires hundreds of men & women to find freedom & victory in their day to day lives. You can check out her blog here.