Life, they say is full of ups and downs; how we manage ourselves is what matters in the end. The phrase, “when life gives you lemon, make lemonade” has become so common that you may think it doesn’t carry much weight. However, it is a powerful proverbial phrase that inspires hope and an optimistic can-do attitude in the face of adversity.
There are a variety of reasons why Nigerians are praised for their can-do attitude, but one that comes to mind frequently is our ability to weather storms. As shown by the country’s rising suicide rate, we are steadily losing this can-do attitude. Nigeria is the leading country in the African region, according to a World Health Organization report on suicide prevalence.
We manage situations differently and sometimes the situations may be escalated by our response. It is not that easy though, but the fact remains that no one person handles challenges the same way. We are not glorified by our perfections but by understanding our imperfections; understanding that we are imperfect will keep us alert; we then understand our thought; this understanding gives us a sense of control.
If failing is out of our control, why don’t we all rise after each fall?
From a young age we are hardwired to believe that failure is indeed fatal and is often associated with punishment and disappointments. Even within your family, those that do well are always celebrated and treated differently. Those that fail are reminded scornfully that the successful ones don’t have two heads. We grow up with the mindset that success is happiness and failure is the same as pain. This is why even as adults; some individuals find it difficult to forgive themselves when they fail.
I admit it is easy to admonish people to rise each time they fall; blessed with oratory, with a learned command of English or other languages, we give powerful speeches that inspire a roar in the audience; but most times the worry in their heart seldom diminishes let alone disappear. In the rave of the moment they feel inspired but this inspiration is often short-lived.
Here are tips to help you rise when you fall;
1. Understand it’s a learning process
Failure should be viewed as a learning process rather than an end. When you fail you consider reasons you fail, you recall the steps you took; and in the end you guide yourself and others. Treat failure as lessons that guide you to where you ought to be. It is natural to feel disappointed but manage your emotions and realign your focus.
“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts”.– Winston Churchill
2. Have a Strong support system
Sometimes if not most, even the motivator needs motivation. We lean on the experiences and support of others in difficult times.
Self-motivation is usually very potent but how can a sick mind give itself health? Hence, it is crucial that you build a strong support system; you could talk to a trusted friend, family member, colleague or boss. Talking to someone about your challenges reduces the tendency to go overboard and sometimes, just a simple ‘It will pass’ could be the strongest reassurance ever.
I’ve had great help from my support system, my journey through education wasn’t a smooth one; attending 4 different higher institutions, studying 5 different courses will put an emotional strain on anyone especially those that support you financially. My journey through school was a tough one and sometimes they are people you meet that will make you feel even worse. I felt like giving up so many times but my support system won’t let me, she always reassured me of the things I could achieve and the wonderful things that lie ahead. My mums favourite reminder was “how will you know the value if it is handed to you?”
3. Believing in the supernatural
It can be highly beneficial to put your focus on the supernatural. Believing in the direction and guidance of God will help you sustain sanity in times of troubles. Having a strong faith and hope in the author of your life, bring relief because you share your challenges with him and believe he will see you through.
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