For many years of my life, I allowed my surroundings to affect me mentally. When challenges would arise, I felt like a failure. I worried about what others thought. I obsessed about what they said. I didn’t feel that I was good enough. My thoughts would spiral into negative patterns that would make me sad, paranoid and desire no contact with others. I was mentally weak.

Challenging circumstances pop up even now, but I have learned to take control of them to remain mentally strong.

Failure happens. People are hurtful. We make bad choices. We don’t always succeed in our endeavors especially when we choose to take risks. Failing at something does not mean you will never succeed or others may not change. It means you need to show yourself and others grace. Once grace is applied, we can maintain a positive attitude and dive back into a new venture. Being resilient makes for a successful journey no matter the circumstances.

When I found myself worried about what others thought or said, I began to analyze the facts. Did I know what others thought? No. Were their words able to alter who I am at the core of my soul? No. Sometimes our thoughts lie to us. The assumption of what others are thinking sends us into a mental anguish that should never occur. Just because we think it doesn’t mean it is real. Having a healthy strategy in place before we have those thoughts, allows us to be prepared to stop them before they fester into a mental torture.

Once I accepted the fact that failure happens but it doesn’t define me as being a failure and implementing a strategy to stop my thoughts from festering into a tortuous tantrum I saw the need to surround myself with supportive people. Don’t underestimate the need and power of a support system. Friends and family can be life’s greatest joy. Take advantage of the opportunity to be surrounded by them. Positive and encouraging people can be a lifesaver when you cannot find the way on your own.

The circumstances and chaos around us may never change, tragedy may strike, hurtful words may be thrown at us. With a plan to stop the thoughts, see failure as an opportunity, and lean on the people who will encourage and support us we can keep the mental anguish at bay and live with joy!