How to Change Your Mindset and Attitude During Challenging Times

We all go through challenging times in our lives, but it is how we go through them that matters. Do these challenges incapacitate us? Or do they strengthen us?

Your mindset and attitude directly dictate how you manage adversity in your life.

If you have a negative mindset it will be more difficult for you to overcome problems. Your thoughts can lead you down a slippery slope of despair, feelings of hopeless and helplessness, and even depression. Simple challenges can easily grow into bigger problems.

When you have a positive mindset, you feel empowered. You are confident in your abilities to manage problems and are continually working on improving your coping mechanisms.

It’s time to re-evaluate and assess your mindset and attitude. In this article you will discover the exact areas you need to focus on to change your mindset. This will directly help to change your thoughts and attitude towards challenges.

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

Believe in Yourself

Life is full of adversity and challenges. And as tough as it is, we somehow always manage to get through.

Just think of a difficult time you had in the past. How did you handle it? Were you stronger from it?

Now more than ever it’s time to put your best foot forward. Show yourself what you are made of. Believe in yourself and what you are capable of.

You are a strong resourceful woman. Believe it. Own it. You will get through this.

It all starts with your first thought…

Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.

Roy T. Bennett

In the words of Roy T. Bennett, “Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine”. Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart1

Tell yourself these words over and over again until they become a part of who you are. This is your first step to changing your mindset and attitude.

Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude

The first time I heard the words ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ was on the Oprah Winfrey show. I’d never heard that before. It spoke to me in a huge way. It was a real ah-ha moment in my own journey.

Oprah went on in her show to talk about the importance of having a gratitude journal. Writing down what you are thankful for each day.

Oprah says, “when you think you don’t have anything I always say go back to your breath. If you just start with your breath and start being grateful for that…its thinking about what you have versus what you don’t have. Focusing on the one thing that you are grateful for increases the energy of gratitude and rises the joy inside yourself”.2

Have a listen:

When you adopt an attitude of gratitude you become thankful for everything you have in your life. If you see the world in a positive light, you will attract light into your life.

I want you to go a step further. As difficult as it might be, I want you to find light in your hardships as well.

Think of adversity as opportunity. Think of opportunity as growth. What is it in this tough situation that you can be grateful for?

You are a survivor. Be grateful for that. You will be stronger because of your challenges. Be grateful that.

Let Your Past Guide You

Your past should not dictate who you are or what your future will become, but it is important in changing your mindset and attitude.

Drawing on past experiences allows for reflection. Just as it is helpful in believing in yourself, it too speaks volumes for your abilities and strengths.

Focus on a challenge that you have overcome. Put yourself back to that time. Reflect. How did you get through it? Is there something in that experience that can help you today.

Are you able to use the same solution? Mimic it or adapt it in some way?

There’s also the other side of the coin…

Maybe the lessons from the past have taught you what not to do.

It’s not about opening up old wounds or unresolved issues, but instead finding the tools from the past and using those to push through difficult times.

Be Mindful

Mindfulness is the intentional practice of awareness. It is when you purposely tap into your thoughts, feelings, surroundings, and your body.

It can help you focus on the here and now, to decrease stress, improve your mood and ultimately to change your mindset.

When you become more aware of your thoughts and how you react to various stimuli and events in your life you can learn to make better choices. You can assess and improve your coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills. This will help you to better manage adversity and challenging times.

Mindfulness allows you to make better decisions. Rather than simply reacting you can teach yourself to step back, analyze, plan, and execute.

Rather than just seeing the negative consequences of feeling stressed, mindfulness offers you the space to think differently about the stress itself.

Shamash Alidina

Shamash Alidina says, “Rather than just seeing the negative consequences of feeling stressed, mindfulness offers you the space to think differently about the stress itself. Observing how the increased pressure helps energize you has a positive effect on your body and mind”.3

Your mindset is directly influenced by your thoughts and when going through a difficult time it is easy to get lost in helplessness and hopelessness. There is a tendency to preoccupy your thoughts with negativity.

Through mindfulness you can train your brain to be in the present. Recognize what you are feeling and thinking and use that to change your reactions.

Choose to be Positive

From the moment you open your eyes each morning your life is a series of choices throughout the entire day. Should I get up or hit the snooze button. What should I wear today? What should I eat?

Most of your choices are easy, especially if you follow a daily routine. But have you ever stopped to think about choosing your mood?

Our mood is based on things that happen in our lives. We can be positive one minute and negative the next. These fluctuations are based on triggered experiences or events that we go through.

Your moods are useful to you. And they are a big part of how you choose to behave and think.

Shamash Alidina

“You probably know that you feel good when you are in a positive mood (such as when you feel content, loving or excited). And you probably know you feel much worse when you are in a negative mood (such as when you feel anxious, disgusted or annoyed) …Your moods are useful to you. And they are a big part of how you choose to behave and think.”4

Practicing mindfulness is important as it will help you quickly tap into your moods. A negative mood should always be examined. Why am I feeling this way? Is it warranted? Is there something bigger going on?

In most cases your negative mood is pointing you to fix something in your life. Pay attention to that. Identify the problem and work though it.

However, while doing this you can choose to be positive. Does it sound like an oxymoron or being counter productive? Maybe.

But here’s the thing…

Awareness allows you to identify the mood. A negative mood is a sign that a problem may exist. Take action to rectify the problem. Now you can choose to do all of this under a cloud of doom and gloom or would you rather consciously choose to be positive.

A positive mood will tap into your happy hormones, which in turn will affect your attitude and mindset. Plus, it will energetically attract good things to your life.

Take Action

When things get tough, I normally want to hide under my blanket and not get out of bed. When we are confronted with any obstacle that brings pain our instincts kick in telling us to retreat to our personal cocoon. It’s a natural reaction.

But we need to teach ourselves to do the opposite. Deal with adversity head on.

Our challenges should not intimidate us, but rather turn on our strengths and coping skills.

Our challenges should not intimidate us, but rather turn on our strengths and coping skills. We need to act immediately. The longer you wait the bigger the situation becomes. Debt is a great example of this.

Be proactive. Plan. Have an emergency fund.

Even though it is impossible to predict the challenges that may come your way you can still put in place measures that help to deal with urgent situations. Quite often money is key so having that emergency fund in place is a priority.

When confronted with a difficult situation. Think it through. Weigh the pros and cons of different options. Only you know the right solution. You are the one in charge of your life.

And once you have made your decision stand behind it. Feel proud. Your life is your own. Your decisions are your own.

Care for Yourself

Taking care of your mind, body and spirit will directly affect your mindset and attitude. The healthier you are the easier it is to deal with challenges.

Make self care an important part of your day-to-day life. It’s the small things that matter. Those quiet moments that are just for you.

Create healthy habits. Eat well. Exercise. Journal. Mediate. Love yourself.

If you are going through a difficult time write down your feelings. Get your thoughts out on paper. Just releasing and letting go will often help you to find the answers.

If you find yourself slipping into self doubt or feeling helpless read something that is uplifting, listen to music, or pray. Find what works for you. What makes you feel good.

What is that one thing that can put a smile on your face even when times are tough. For me it is my dog. If I am sad or crying, she will bring a toy to me. She’s always there giving me kisses and wanting belly rubs. I just love her so much. Sometimes I just hold her in my arms and she makes me feel like everything will be o.k.

Final Thoughts

Everyone goes through difficult times. We all get our fair share of challenges in our lives. It’s inevitable. But how we handle our hardships, how we get to the other side, is wholly dependent on our mindset and attitude.

It all starts with believing in yourself. When you do that you can conquer anything. Tap into your past experiences and let them guide you.

Be mindful and grateful for your journey (even the parts that are hard). Learn to make better decisions. Remember, to step back, analyze, plan, and execute.

Make a conscious choice to be positive. Be aware when you are slipping into a negative mood. Know that this is a sign that there may be a problem. Teach yourself to deal with adversity head on. Take action and rectify it.

And to close off…

In the words of Mark Victor Hansen, “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful”. 5

Embrace your journey. Trudge forward.


  1. Believe In Yourself Quotes (602 quotes), Believe In Yourself Quotes,
  2. What Oprah Knows About the Power of Gratitude | Oprah’s Lifeclass | Oprah Winfrey Network – YouTube, What Oprah Knows About the Power of Gratitude | Oprah’s Lifeclass | Oprah Winfrey Network,
  3. Nine Ways Mindfulness Reduces Stress – Mindful, Nine Ways Mindfulness Reduces Stress,
  4. Monitoring your mood – Better Health Channel, Monitoring your mood,
  5. 55 Motivational Quotes That Will Inspire You to Believe in Yourself |, 55 Motivational Quotes That Will Inspire You to Believe in Yourself |,