Adversity is my topic today. I want to offer up the idea that adversity is not to be feared or avoided, but actually embraced in order that we can grow and develop.
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit” – Napoleon Hill.
The truth is that no one can elude adversity forever; it’s a futile task to attempt to do so. Whether you love to live your life on the edge, or are someone who prefers playing things safe, life will never be a complete bed of roses. It will inevitably and eventually throw unpleasant surprises and challenges in your direction.
Sometimes the adversity can be minor and other times it can be more serious. It may be unavoidable but there are certain things that can be done to make these testing times easier. It doesn’t matter who you are; none of us are exempt from suffering pain on occasion in life and being confronted with some adversity.
The good that comes from facing adversity
“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the [BS] story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” – Jordan Belfort.
It may not seem like it at the time but facing adversity can make you better and stronger, it can allow you to better deal with future problems and adversity. Perhaps we need to take on board a Nietzsche like attitude of “That which does not kill you makes you stronger”??
If you lack practice in confronting obstacles (perhaps you typically choose to avoid them), one traumatic event can take you down and you may lack the resilience to deal with it effectively. There also exits an apparent link between adverse experiences and creativity. A recent research study suggests that creative people may be able to channel their negative experiences into inspiration for their work, and possibly use creativity as a coping strategy for dealing with hardship1.
I have written about similar themes before and recommend reading these articles to assist you too:
a) How to Bounce Back From Being Knocked Down.
b) Learn To Enjoy Life’s Problems.
c) Apply Problem Solving To Yourself and Solve Your Own Problems.
Tips for overcoming adversity
- Adopt a positive attitude:
When confronted with an overwhelming situation, it’s easy to become depressed and resentful, but do not allow yourself to indulge these feelings. Rather, cultivate an attitude of determination; look forward rather than back. Though the situation may feel like a drastic blow, time will likely show that in reality it plays an important teaching role in your life development.
- Expect and normalise setbacks:
As anyone who has been there can tell you, the road to recovery more closely resembles a squiggly upward spiral than a smooth straight line. What appear to be setbacks or reversals are just part of the process. Accept them as such, and trust that you will move through this phase and emerge stronger than before. Everything in life has its own timeline, which may not adhere to what you want or expect.
Normalise setbacks and respond to them as part of the process, and when planning, factor in potential set-backs in order that you can have contingency plans in place to deal with them effectively.
- Set step by step goals:
In other words, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Accomplishing small tasks one by one will lead you from success to success, encouraging you to persevere rather than to give up in defeat. Make relentless forward progress.
- Maintain perspective:
It is highly likely that you are going through an entirely unique challenge, maintaining perspective that others have experienced a similar set of experiences and struggles (for example) can help you to avoid feeling completely alone. Researching people that you admire who have overcome the challenge you may find yourself in via autobiographies, blogs or videos is a great way for you to shift your focus onto problem solving. How did they overcome their challenges? What did they do differently? The more you focus your attention onto finding a solution, the more likely you are to find one.
- Believe in yourself:
Many of us have experienced a setback in some shape or form. Making a record of all the hardships that you’ve previously survived is a good way for you to keep track of the challenges that you’ve already overcome and can act as evidence that you have the strength to do so again. Listing your adversities and your successes is a great way for you to acknowledge your resilience, trust that you can survive and strengthen your self-belief.
Here are some great articles to help you with that:
a) How To Believe In You – 9 and a bit Ways To Advance Self-Belief.
b) Believe in Yourself!
c) Creating Your Superhero Alter-Ego Using Self-Hypnosis To Boost Confidence.
d) 6 Ways to Overcome Self-doubt.
e) Using Self-Hypnosis To Love Yourself More.
- Serve others:
When adversity strikes, it is easy to be self-absorbed with your plight. And you should give your energy to improve your situation. But we help ourselves when we help others. This could be charitable work, helping neighbour or a colleague in any way, and just serving an individual, supporting them, helping them move forward is any way possible.
- Take action:
When it comes to changing your life, the key lies in taking action. Waiting or wishing for things to get better without taking consistent action steps to get you there won’t help you to overcome your challenges. Making a list of small daily action steps and holding yourself accountable for taking them is a great way for you to move through your challenges instead of avoiding them. What actions can you take to move closer to your goals? Working with a life coach or joining a support group of some kind are two ways that you can stay motivated and discuss your challenges. Here are some good articles to help you step out of your comfort zone and take action:
- Create a strong support system:
Studies have shown that people who enjoy strong relationships with friends and/or family tend to live longer and are happier and more successful than those who live isolated lives. Cultivate empowering connections, while you may need to detach yourself from naysayers and energy drainers. “Overcoming adversity depends on supportive, responsive relationships and mastering a set of capabilities that can help us respond and adapt to adversity in healthy ways,” says Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Development at Harvard.
- Feed your body and your soul:
Whatever it is that you love doing – do it! People facing serious challenges often get so discouraged that they give up their favorite activities. This is a big mistake! Whether it’s music, art, or zip lining, do the things that make you feel alive and get you ‘in the zone.’ Being in nature and exercising your body are universally healing experiences. Likewise, create an environment that is relaxing and low on detrimental stress, and treat yourself to the best wholesome, nutritious food.
Adversity is a part of life and learning to respond to our challenges in a positive way can help us to develop qualities such as courage, confidence and perseverance, transforming our greatest struggles into our greatest strengths. Embrace adversity, rise up out of it, become stronger and better and equip yourself effectively to deal with it.
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.