Maya Angelou writes, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

Life is a winding road and it takes us places we do not plan or want to go. While on it, we will find ourselves faced with challenges that test our endurance and belief systems. We will have our ups and our downs. The good news is that troubles can encourage or prompt us to discover some of the greatest successes of our lives.

Before exploring ways of getting through the struggle, I will start with the end in mind and some possible outcomes. Trailblazers often emerge as the result of a crisis they have successfully navigated. Troubles teach us things we did not know and help develop new levels of awareness. As the metamorphosis occurs, you achieve what did not seem possible. And on the other side of the experience, you may be transformed and better able to meet new challenges. Pioneers have found in themselves what I hope you will discover – the new you. The new you will be changed, able to make it through the difficult times while having some unexpected successes.

As we look at getting to the other side of trouble, there are some stages. Initially, we ask ourselves, “How am I going to get through this?” or, “Why am I going through this?” There is of course, the give-up, “I refuse to do this – I can’t.” The breakthrough comes when you trust that difficult times are the backdrop for “growth spurts.” Growth spurts happen without warning and are for an undesignated period. Like troubles, they disappear as quickly and unannounced as they arrived. Your goal is to figure out how to get through the tough times. Critical to your success is keeping a winning attitude.

Believe that you will get to the finish line. Hard times do not last forever. If you think, “this will take forever,” you can be certain that it will. When you recognize the crisis has a stop sign and it will eventually end, you have taken an important step. Remember, you are greater than your circumstances and the greatest power is within you.

Avoid focusing on the problem. Do a rollback and reflect on blessings or successes from your past that you are thankful for. As you recall them, write each one, remember how you felt and what got you through it. During the day and the last thing at night, focus on victories. Plan to open your eyes each day in the manner you ended the night before, with positive thoughts that remind you of the best from your past.

Initially, starting each day with only positive feelings may be difficult. If so, write them out and read them as soon as you rise in morning. The goal is to flood the mind with hopeful messages and totally replace any self-defeating thoughts.

Now you are on the path to peacefully overcoming troubles and despite new challenges, you will make it to the finish line.

Author's Bio: 

O. Raye Adkins, Ed.D, is a former school principal turned nonprofit executive, expert on caring for children facing loss and poverty, and author of the new book Letters To My Father: The Gifts. Dr. Adkins' father, Raphel Orval Beason, died four months before her birth on July 17, 1944. He was among 320 men killed, 275 of them African-Americans, in the Port Chicago Naval Munitions base explosion, the largest stateside military disaster of World War II. In her book, Dr. Adkins chronicles, through letters to her father, her journey from pain and grief to miraculous gifts and blessings. Learn more about Dr. Adkins and her work to care for children facing loss and poverty at and Contact Dr. Adkins at