Sometimes in life we lose our way. We can fall into the trap of complacency after we have achieved what we think is a good level of success and complacency is the biggest enemy of any success we achieve. We become blase and don’t correct our course for example and lose a business.

Or we take our high-paying job for granted and fail to see the warning signs that we are about to be let go. Maybe we take our partner for granted and cannot see the unhappiness in them and who we thought was the love of our life, our true soul mate, walks out on us unexpectedly.

Alternatively, we can end up in adversity through not dealing with life’s unexpected curveballs as well as we should. Or personal tragedies engross us in emotional turmoil that leads us away from what we have and who we want to be.

It’s happened to me before. And I think through all of the above. Looking back I can see that adversity was not only good for me, it was great for me. I am happy I experienced it. It has made me a better person.

And slowly, subtly, we can fall into the adversity trap. We suddenly find that our life has crashed and tumbled all around us. If it was more drastic than subtle, if we were led away from our achievements and happiness kicking and screaming, we probably wouldn’t let it happen because we would be more aware. We would hit the breaks and take action.

We know we should have dealt with it better but now its too late.

This is not a post about how to deal with adversity. This is a post to deal with it once that you have found yourself in the trap.

So how do you start again when all seems lost or when you are in a dark place? How do you bounce back?

Here is what I recommend (Well, it worked for me).

Hope. Belief. Knowing.

A lot of people mock hope and underestimate its power. But before we look at this powerful force we need to look at its’ opposite; hopelessness. And isn’t it strange how people think that is powerful?

Hopelessness is when you are thinking there is no possible way out; no future for you, nothing to live for. Our thinking and self-talk says, “I can’t see a way out of this. There is no hope for me whatsoever”

Doubt and despair is everywhere we turn. Our whole attitude while in this state is purely and utterly, pessimistic. The light at the end of the tunnel is only the light of an oncoming train.

Eventually even the smallest desire to improve our situation or ourselves can die because we simply cannot see a ‘way’. We feel imprisoned by our own thinking.

Hope is that small voice inside whispering “Maybe, just maybe”

Telling somebody in this situation to think positively and believe in themselves can be futile, rather like asking a 4 month baby to start jogging. Even trying to pump yourself with positive self-talk, which I am an advocate of, doesn’t always work. And sometimes can have reverse effects.

When you are in what appears to be a hopeless situation jumping straight into the magic of belief can be rejected by the mind.

But hope is different. Hope is the seed to belief. And the first step out of adversity.

Simply by taking the view that there might be a way out, that there is a distinct possibility things could get better, is more readily acceptable to your mind.

Thinking and self-talk can simply move away from a sense of hopelessness to ones of, “There could be a way out of this” or, “Things might get better soon” By thinking like this, the mind is taking a step rather than a leap.

Hope is like unlocking the door to getting back to your best self

Each and every time thoughts and self-talk of hopelessness arise you can easily switch them to thoughts of hope. You can say to yourself, “I think there could be a way of out of this. There is a strong possibility I can get back to where I was before. It could happen.”

After a few weeks of this switch in thinking the mind will be ready for the next level: Belief. Because it has accepted hope, belief now becomes a step too. The mind likes order in this respect. It likes ‘steps’ to achievement, it sees order in a process.

Again we need to switch our thinking, this time from hope to belief. This is where we move to a new state of thinking. “I can see a way out. I actually believe things can and will get better” is a more powerful way of using our thoughts and self-talk.

So now, when thoughts of hope show up on our mental radar we replace these with thoughts of belief. We start believing that we will be achieving again, we will be happier again, we will attract that new relationship, that new job can be ours, we can start earning more than we have done before or what we once did.

This way of thinking creates a sense of vibrant optimism, which is far healthier than pessimism, as all studies show.

Yet belief is not enough if we want to fully experience success and happiness on a more long term, permanent basis.

Optimists and pessimists have the same susceptibility to adversity. The difference is the optimist is much more likely to try again

We must know.

Think about it for a moment.

Knowing that something will happen is a tremendous force within. When we have this inner knowing, we become unstoppable. Nothing on the planet can deter us from reaching our destination. I am sure that at some point in your life you have felt this force within you.

This knowing is in our being, at our core, in every fibre of our body and quite literally wired into our nervous system. Knowing becomes a part of us. A big part of who we are.

When in this state we don’t have to tell others what we are going to be doing or achieving. Why? Because we just KNOW.

Knowing will propel you back to winning ways and keep you there

Knowing becomes more a feeling than a conscious thought (Although this knowing is developed through conscious thinking and choosing your thoughts wisely), a feeling that pulsates through our whole being. Doubt raises its ugly voice less and less and stays in our minds for seconds, rather than minutes, hours, days or even weeks.

This knowing is the same knowing you have that night follows day and day follows night. No questioning it, no doubts, you just know better times will be yours. You take it for granted. You don’t force it or even need to think about it, you just know it. And there is detachment.

A strong sense of knowing compels the mind into making you take more action toward your outcomes. You feel driven, purposeful and unstoppable

The transitions from each step will depend on how much choice you apply to your thinking. Or how strict your thought gatekeeper is. A great coach can speed up this process for you.

So if you are currently in adversity never give up hope. Never, ever, ever. Cultivate it, water it, feed it. It might take a little time to flower but so what? At least while you do that you will start feeling better.

At one time in my life I managed to grasp a hold of the minutest particle of hope. It saved my life. And not only that, it grew into belief and back into the knowing I once had before depression struck.

And that made me bounce back bigger, better, more successful and happier than ever before.

So I want you to know this: You can not only climb out of adversity but you you can go on to greatness. You can be and have all you want in life. You deserve it just as much as the next person.

Begin your journey now by igniting your sense of hope.