Developing a growth mindset

How To Cultivate An Adaptive And Optimistic Mindset During Challenging Times?

Do you ever feel puzzled when life surprises you with unexpected things? Do you lose your confidence when challenges arise?  Have you ever had your plans messed up by unexpected problems? If you agree with any of these, you probably understand how life can be full of unexpected changes. 

Life has both good times and bad times. Sometimes, everything seems great, and suddenly, unexpected challenges shake up your world. Staying positive in difficult times is crucial because the way you deal with it matters a lot. But how? By developing a growth mindset to be flexible and optimistic. This can help you face these challenges and grow stronger than before.

 “So verily, with the hardship, there is relief. Verily, with the hardship, there is relief”. (Quran 94:5-6)

Accept that change is inevitable:

The first step to cultivate an optimistic mindset is to accept the inevitability of change. As expressed in the Qur’an (9:51), ‘The pen has dried, the pages have been lifted: all events that shall come to pass have already been written.’ This acceptance allows for embracing change, understanding that it is an integral part of life’s journey. Things don’t always go according to plan. Priorities change, people come and leave your life, and financial hardship might hit. 

Instead of resisting or feeling victimized by change, you can adapt by accepting that it is just a natural part of life. When big changes happen, you often wish things could go back to how they were. But change can be a chance to get better. Open yourself up to fresh possibilities rather than holding on the past. Changing your environment and routines can make way for new opportunities. 

Focus on what you can control:

When facing life’s challenges, it’s important to know how can you deal with life’s challenges positively. If something goes wrong, get a clear idea on what are the things that you can control versus what is out of your sphere of influence. Rather than exhaust yourself worrying about things you can’t change, shift your focus to what’s right in front of you. 

“Do not think that you could have prevented the fence from falling, the water from

flowing, the wind from blowing, or the glass from breaking.”

Care for your physical and mental health with healthy habits. Express gratitude in all you do. Strengthen connections that bring you joy. Help neighbours through acts of service. Fulfil your duties wholeheartedly. Keep learning and building your skills. 

Look for the positives:

To be optimistic, focus on finding the good things instead of only seeing the bad. Even when things are tough, try to see moments of hope, progress, and happiness. Think of every good thing as a victory.

Thinking positively about situations also helps you stay hopeful. Ask yourself questions like: Can I learn something from this problem? Could it lead me to something better? What skills can I develop from facing this challenge? 

“If you see that the desert extends for miles and miles, then know

that beyond that distance are green meadows with plentiful shade.”

Use challenges to grow:

Facing tough situations helps you in building mental resilience and become better at handling difficulties in the future. Every challenge is a chance to learn and improve. Stay curious, stay open, and take time to think about what you’ve experienced.

Think about what you can learn from this experience to make smarter choices next time. Pay attention to what kind of help makes you feel better when things get tough. Growing through hardship makes you stronger to face the next storm. 

Tap into your inner strength: 

To stay positive, think about times when you faced tough situations and came out strong. The challenges you’ve already conquered show how resilient you are. Remember what helped you get through those times so you can use those strategies again. You will bounce back.

Also, remember the parts of yourself that never change, no matter what happens around you. Imagine the best version of yourself using words and pictures that inspire you. Practice positive thinking to achieve goals, visualize yourself succeeding and focus on the steps you need to take to make it happen. 

Other resilience building strategies: 

In addition, there are more ways to boost your optimistic mindset during challenging times: 

  • Give yourself grace. Be patient and speak kindly to yourself on the hard days. Recognize that you’re doing the best you can. 
  • Limit consumption of negative news and social media. Seek positive content that inspires and uplifts you.
  • Ask your family and friends for help when you need it. Don’t isolate yourself. Being around people who care about you makes you stronger.
  • Try relaxation practices like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or time in nature. These provide a calm mindset and fresh perspective.
  • Take care of your physical health. Eat nutritious foods, exercise, and get sufficient sleep. Your mindset improves when your body feels good. 

Keep trying different resilience strategies until you find what works best for you. Have faith that you will make it through the storm.


Life has its highs and lows, but it’s up to you to decide how to respond. By accepting change, finding positives, learning from challenges, and tapping into your inner strength, you can cultivate resilience and optimism to handle anything. Life’s changes can help you grow if you embrace change positively. Focus on making steady progress, celebrate small wins, and be gentle with yourself on the tougher days. Seek support from loved ones and mentors who support you. 

Keep moving forward with faith that the hardship will pass and better days will come again soon.

So the next time life throws a storm, remember to be flexible, find the silver linings, and tap into your deep wells of inner strength. With an adaptive mindset and spirit of optimism, you will not only survive but thrive, developing a growth mindset along the way.

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