“It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf
It was another Monday morning. I woke up depressed and wondered what the heck I am doing on this freaking Earth. My life seemed empty. No goals, no dreams, broke without a single dollar to my name.
At first, I organized my own pity party. I was trying to blame others and find “who did this.” Later, I shut myself down and reminded myself that we all deal with shit and that it wasn’t anyone’s responsibility but mine.
The hard truth which no one wants to hear is that adversity is a part of life. No matter how hard you are trying to avoid it, it gets you and you either check out or deal with it.
But here is what I strongly believe. Adversity can make you stronger, it can help you achieve things which you haven’t been able to achieve for a long time and it can drastically change your life for a better.
Before you assumed that I am totally nuts after what I just said, let me share with you 5 ways how to not only overcome adversity but master it.
1. Stop believing that you shouldn’t experience any
For some magical reason, we believe that problem-free life is a good life. I certainly believed it for a majority of my life and still fall into this trap. But here are two things you need to know about this theory. First, problem-free life doesn’t exist. Second, we can deal with problems and still have a good life.
What drains us a lot is our picture of how things should be and also the fact that we shouldn’t have any problems. That’s the issue right there. It is our perception of life and happiness.
If you believe that adversity shouldn’t be a part of your life, when it shows up, you see it as a very serious thing. Your representation of adversity makes the matter even worse. So the first step in dealing with struggles is understanding that they are a part of your life, they will show up and it’s up to you to decide what you are going to do with them. The perspective here is everything.
2. Take care of your mind and body
Everything starts in your mind. Even your body shape or your health begins in your mind. And if you take care of those two, dealing with adversity becomes easier.
Here are a few things I do when I feel pressure, stress, pain, hurt or any other sign of adversity in my life. As one of the most powerful things I started last year is meditation. At first, I thought that I don’t “do” this stuff since I believed that’s for people who work with energy or focus on soul stuff and unicorns. Very quickly I discovered that people from all walks of life practice meditation daily so I gave it a try. Results were amazing. And don’t worry. You don’t need to know anyone who practices it, simply go to YouTube and search for “basic mediation.” I am attaching a link HERE to share with you a video I started with. It’s short, simple and very useful.
The second thing which is helping me tremendously is exercising. You can do it at home, without spending time for driving, expensive membership or any other source of excuses we tend to have when it comes to action. You don’t need to go crazy. 20 minutes, 3 times a week from the comfort of your living room will do it. Click HERE to check out my favorite cardio workout.
3. Get strategic
What certainly helps when you deal with adversity are some actionable steps and solutions instead of feeling like a victim. That’s when you want to get strategic and work with your feelings since they determine everything.
Power of questions is something that can help you in dealing with your current struggles. Here is the group of 4 questions I designed as a tool to deal with challenges. Ask questions in the order I listed them for you.
Question #1: “What do I feel?”
Question #2: “Why do I feel it?”
Question #3: “What’s in it for me?”
Questions#4: “What is the next step?”
“Everyone is handed adversity in life. No one’s journey is easy. It’s how they handle it that makes people unique.” Kevin Conroy
4. Focus on giving
Here is the truth my friend. We just get too hung up on our own problems. Sometimes, they deserve our attention but more often, we are blowing things out of proportion and we feel that we are the only ones dealing with it.
What I’ve found very effective when facing adversity is helping someone else who is dealing with it as well. Here is the trick. When you focus on your problems all day every day, you overthink them and sometimes make them bigger than they really are. When you are trying to help someone else, you get busy with their problems and often, it changes your perspective on yours.
Another benefit of helping others with their issues is that you feel useful, needed. This feeling will give you satisfaction which empowers you within and helps you in resolving your own problems more effectively.
5. Don’t give a shit about other’s opinion
Often, opinions of others matter to us. And I get it. We want to be respected and admired and I’ve seen too many times that people’s problems were closely associated with what others think of them. Even the way how they wanted to deal with adversity was based on other’s opinion.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say that you deal with some adversity at your job and consider leaving it and starting a business on your own. You have a pretty good benefits package and so-called “stability.” You don’t only think about the business side of the situation but also what your freaking mother-in-law will say about it. With all due respect, fuck it. Do what you feel, in your heart, that it’s right. Don’t worry about other’s opinion, they always have some.
The burden of “what others will think of us” is sometimes so huge, it takes most of our focus off the actual issue which needs to be addressed. Pay attention.
Even when we see adversity as a negative part of life, it has many benefits for our mindset and mental strength. The key is to know how to handle it and how to read it. Every struggle is here to teach you something, to show you a meaning and give you a lesson.
Don’t close your eyes. Keep them open and look for a message your adversity offers to you. Once you know how to handle things which are painful and see benefits in them, your life will never be the same.
How do you handle adversity? Leave a comment below.
My name is Silvia and I teach people how to turn their pain into power. My personal struggle inspired me to help people in living a powerful and fulfilling life which they create and control. You can find out more of my story by visiting my personal page www.silviaturon.com. Also, there is a FREE gift waiting for you. See you there!