1 Secret to Getting Through Difficult Situations (and Really Bad Days)


Marc & Angel Chernoff

The human experience is filled with love, passion, creativity, joy, connection, compassion, laughter… and the taste of chocolate. But because we as human beings learn, evolve and grow through life’s ups and downs, our experience also includes plenty of difficult situations that round us out.

The key is to not let life’s difficult situations get the best of you.

Think about the most gut-wrenching situations you’ve endured in your life. Doing so likely brings up some very uncomfortable feelings. And the associated memories may stir anxiety, anger or sadness, and thus, may continue to quietly affect the quality of your life. This is a predicament many of us face.

Now imagine how you would feel if you were able to get over these feelings. By “get over” I mean no longer suffering over something that happened in the distant past. I know this is possible because Marc and I have both personally come to peace with extremely difficult, heartbreaking situations, and we’ve witnessed hundreds of our students and “Think Better, Live Better” seminar attendees do the same.

So what’s the secret? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, but all of the possible answers start with…

Releasing your judgments.

The truth is, it’s impossible to get over a difficult situation—to let it go—if you’re still obsessively judging what happened. Let’s revisit one of those gut-wrenching situations from your past again—choose one that still stirs negative emotions. And then ask yourself:

  • Do you believe it should not have happened at all?
  • Do you believe the outcome should have been different?
  • Do you take what happened personally?
  • Do you blame someone else for what happened?
  • Do you blame yourself?
  • Do you believe the situation is impossible to get over?

If you caught yourself thinking “yes” to one or more of those questions, then what’s prolonging your suffering and preventing you from getting over it is judgment. Your judgments about what happened in the past continue to keep the situation present in your mind, and thus, it continues to impact your daily.

Now you may be thinking, “What happened was unbelievably horrible! I can’t conceive of ever getting over it!” But releasing your judgment does not mean you’re pleased with what happened, or that you support it, but rather that you are eliminating the negative burden you are carrying by perpetually judging it.

When you let go of your negative judgments, you automatically replace the victim mentality with acceptance and presence. And acceptance and presence together will free your mind and move you forward.

Yes, you can think better and live better!


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