Life can be very tough at times. This is especially true if you’re dealing with a series of relentless personal challenges, or a gnarly situation that seems insurmountable.

Sometimes when you are faced with such circumstances, the discomfort of remaining in your current situation becomes too overwhelming to sustain. Sometimes you may realise this state of being is either going to make you ill, or lead to drastic consequences in your life. The risk of doing nothing becomes just too high, and you feel you have no choice other than to implement some radical changes.

I call these situations a 4×2. Roughly translated this means being hit on the head with a solid piece of timber.

Chances are you will have had early warning signs of things going wrong before your issues escalated into such a desperate state. The problem was that you didn’t want to face the severity of the implications of your situation and either ignored it, did nothing, or just plain hoped that if you didn’t acknowledge things they would disappear over time. Don’t feel bad about this; it is common human behaviour. Most people will choose to stay with the devil they know unless they are forced to do things differently.

Being really straight here, if you still have good physical and mental health at such a critical juncture, you are extremely fortunate. It is far easier to think clearly and make sensible decisions when you’re still functioning at a reasonable capacity. So, if you have this advantage, take a breath and say a prayer of thanks – it’s one less thing to deal with!

One way to look at a crisis is to see it as an opportunity. The flipside of metaphorically being hit by a plank of wood is that you are forced to act differently in order to bring about a different outcome.

Our greatest achievement as humans is to learn and grow from the challenges that present themselves. A crisis, as horrible as it may be, produces the ideal circumstances for personal growth and expansion. I see a crisis as the catalyst to move someone to attain something special, important, and valuable.

Rising above or coming to terms with our hardest lessons and challenges can lead to many benefits: emotional resilience, self-knowledge, inner strength, compassion, empathy, clarity, mindfulness, increased self-esteem, generosity of spirit, unconditional love, tenacity, and a commitment to personal growth.

If you are in such a crisis situation I urge you to take a little time to reflect on how you might kick-start the process of change and personal growth. If you have no idea where to begin, that’s okay. Be gentle on yourself; beating yourself up will only make things worse.

However, do not ignore this desperate call from your spirit! Ask others for advice on what has worked for them, or get some professional help. The most important thing is to start the process of taking some small steps forward.

If you are deeply committed to changing your current situation I guarantee that unseen forces will come into play to assist you. The expansion of your newly focused energy allows this to happen.

Remember: forward momentum produces more forward momentum.

It’s vitally important to stop all self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviours that will divert you from attaining your goals. This may require some concentrated inner work or coaching to raise a low self-esteem. You need to truly believe you deserve the positive results that you wish to implement in your life.

Above all, drop the idea that you are beyond redemption; it is enough to resolve never to repeat past mistakes. In this scenario guilt is an entirely wasted emotion and will really hold you back from creating and attracting new and better circumstances.

Committing to changing our circumstances is a commitment to self-transformation and self-awareness. The self-transformation process creates an expanded sense of our rightful place in this world, which enables us to feel happier and attract more joy and abundance into our lives. Most importantly, feelings of wellbeing generate health and energy into our cellular structure. If we can then learn to maintain the correct balance between work, play, and self-nurturing, we will have a much greater chance of resisting disease and ailments.

The most beautiful aspect of interacting with someone with an expanded level of self-awareness is the serenity, kindness, and safety you feel in their presence. Very often such people have overcome incredibly difficult situations in their own lives. The only difference between you and someone who has the skills to face these setbacks with equanimity is that they made a conscious choice to turn their adverse situations around.

There’s a brave new world out there, for those who have the courage to make that giant leap of faith into the unknown.