There comes a time in everyone’s life when the deck seems stacked against you. One minute you can be on top of the world; the next minute the world seems dead set against you. For whatever reason forces have gathered together in a determined effort to drag you down, to discredit everything you have achieved, and destroy you as a person.

It’s how you handle that ferocious tempest that reflects the true inner you and establishes the foundation for you to grow and develop into an even greater human being and leader. Within you lie all of the answers and within you resides the strength, the courage and the resiliency to overcome the challenges.

Remember the following advice and make it part of your day, every day, as you face up to the struggle.

It will make you stronger

When you’re put to the test you have been given an opportunity to show your true grit. It’s a new dimension that empowers you to learn and mature. It gives you the opportunity to reflect and look deep into your own soul; to contemplate the steps in your journey that have brought you to this point; to seriously consider what transformations you can make going forward. Your life will be whatever you decide it will be.

It was Maya Angelou who said, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

You’ll know who your friends are

Your adversity will shine a bright light separating your real friends from your pretend friends. You’ll soon find out who believes in you and is willing to stand by you no matter how outrageous the claims against you might be, no matter how much you might be vilified.

You’ll discover who trusts you and who you can trust. When the arrows of misfortune are raining down on you, they’re the ones who hold up the shields to protect you. They’re the ones you remember and the people you’ll stand with when they encounter their greatest challenges. Loyalty isn’t shades of gray. It’s black and white. Be aware, though, that some people aren’t loyal to you—they’re loyal to their need of you. Make sure you know the difference.

It will lead to a new beginning

The turmoil that surrounds you has a purpose.  You don’t know why a greater power has seen fit to upend your life. Be assured there is a meaning that will come forth in due course. 

After you walk through the blazing fire and prove your worth your journey will take you to new levels of accomplishment. You will build on the experience. You will develop a richer awareness of life and your role in the world. You can choose the path you take. Take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. There’s always a rainbow after the storm. It’s up to you to find it.

Don’t dwell on it

When the storm is raging it’s easy to give it all of your focus and get sucked into the vortex; your mind a whirlpool of feelings. You rollercoaster through all of the negative emotions—fear, anger, sadness and disgust. The current can pull you down and drown you—if you let it take over your life.

Don’t spend every waking minute obsessing. Channel that energy into your business. Have it drive your entrepreneurial engine. Convert it to positive feelings. Go out dancing. Practice yoga. Spend time with friends. Live your life like you normally would. Don’t waste time dwelling on the downside.

This phase of your life is going to pass. One day you will look back at these bleak times when the world seemed against you and count the hours and days you wasted wallowing in the mire. Don’t let it control your life; you must control it.

Don’t take things for granted

There are good things in your life in spite of the rough patch you are going through. Don’t forget them. Don’t neglect them. Appreciate them all the more.

Spend your time thinking instead of the ones you love, how much they mean to you and what you could be doing with them and for them.

Think instead of your business friends and allies who are always by your side because they know who you are.

Think instead how lucky you are—how, unlike many in the world, you have your health and you have a home. You know where the next meal is coming from.

Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t forget to count your blessings.

Don’t hold grudges

Life is too short to hold grudges. When you can’t shed off your anger or give up the grudges it just becomes, at the end of the day, a self-inflicted wound. Be open to forgiving those who have done you harm, and forgive yourself, too.

Holding grudges means that you are storing negative energy that drains from the positivity; nothing good can come from holding grudges. It’s not worth devoting your important thinking time getting bent out of shape over the ill will of others. There’s nothing to be gained. You’re just swallowing up time that is better invested in positive pursuits.

The journey continues

Bottom line: this is part of a greater plan. We are meant to experience tough times so we can come to realize who we truly are, deep down inside. The greater the obstacle thrust in your path, the greater the triumph when you overcome it.

Someone once wrote, “The tests we face in life’s journey are not to reveal our weaknesses but to help us discover our inner strengths. We can only know how strong we are when we strive and thrive beyond the challenges we face.”

The challenges you face are not an impassable barrier, they are nothing more than a different fork in the road of life. Another path to greatness. They take you along different, more arduous trails and are, therefore, more rewarding and satisfying when you surmount them.

Every moment of your life on this planet is precious. Don’t squander a single moment. Don’t let those who may conspire against you drag you down. Don’t be a victim — be the victor.