Coming back from adversity

Learning to deal with, and overcoming adversity, is what makes us who we are.

Learning to deal with, and overcoming adversity, is what makes us who we are.

Every challenge and every difficulty we successfully confront in life serves to strengthen our will, confidence and ability to conquer future obstacles.

There will always be the exception to the rule but for the most part, being able to get back up again and again after adversity ultimately makes us stronger. Let’s be real here, who wouldn’t want to have a life that didn’t have any trials or hardships? But this is unrealistic.

Even the most successful, rich, famous and happiest of people still have problems to overcome on a daily basis. Why? Because all of that “stuff” is an illusion and we are all human when it comes down to it. Human beings have this one thing in common. It’s how we deal with these adversities that define us though. That’s not to say that we are weak if we find it hard to come back, but we must at least try.

Adversity has the effect of drawing out strength and qualities of a person that would have lain dormant in its absence. It is very easy to get caught up in the self pity, unfairness of life, or the ‘why me’ trap.

In my opinion it’s ok to do this for a short while, it’s ok to attend a pity party - just know when it’s time to leave, like any good party! If we stay in the why me trap we fail to recognise the opportunities for wisdom and growth that accompany adversity. However, as soon we allow ourselves to think more clearly we are able to let go of self-defeating and unproductive thoughts and get down to the business of dealing with what’s before us.

It is all a process, and none of this happens quickly or smoothly but being aware is key.

First we have the adversity, then we go into why me for a while, if we can catch it and be aware that we don’t want to stay here then we can move out of it, become clear and start to realise that if we can take small steps to move forward we will be stronger and better equipped.

If you’re facing adversity right now here are some things to keep in mind:

- Be aware of, and accept that, adversity is inevitable in life. Adversity is part of life. To avoid or resist it will only make it persist. Everywhere you look in the world there is unmistakable struggle. Although pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

- Build your internal resources. Before adversity hits, work on cultivating emotional strength, courage and discipline. When you make yourself aware that certain difficulties are inevitable, you can prepare yourself mentally for confronting adversity head-on.

- Build a support system of family and friends. When the going gets tough, we all need encouragement and support. We need someone to talk to, someone to help ease the burden. This one for me is key. We are human beings who are not meant to be alone and need to share and have support from others. Even just knowing a friend is there when you need them can be most comforting.

- Take inspiration and learn from others who have dealt successfully with adversity. There are many inspiring stories of people who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds. Look to your friends and family for inspiration, if you know someone who has come back from a tough time go and speak to them and see how they did it.

Look at JK Rowling - born to a poor family, left a bad marriage with a young baby to live on government assistance, wrote her first Harry Potter book and was turned down by most publishers until Bloomsbury Publishing picked it up.

We can overcome most anything if we take it one step at a time, be gentle with ourselves, stop the self criticising and realise that we are capable of much more than we could ever imagine.

Contact Glen on 083 1470147 or on Facebook