When something bad happens in your life, how do you react? Do you approach the process of overcoming adversity as a learning opportunity, or do you let it throw you off your game?
Whether it’s an accident, the loss of a loved one, or mental illness, adversity strikes all of us. However, the response to it differs from person to person. Some people are able to thrive when times get tough, while others struggle to keep it all together.
Let’s face it…there is nothing enjoyable about adversity. It creeps up on you at the worst time and tries to mess up your day. For some, it negatively affects every area of their lives.
Adversity can feel like an uphill battle, especially when you’re not getting a break from it. However, successful people have found a way to navigate their way around roadblocks that would stop others in their tracks.((Entrepreneur: 10 Ways Successful People Push Through Adversity))
As a result, successful people are able to bounce back faster when adversity strikes. There is a purpose behind every adverse event that you experience in life. However, it’s up to you to look for the silver lining.
How to Overcome Adversity
Adversity is a normal part of life. You can’t stop setbacks from happening, but you can choose how to respond to them. You can either strap yourself in and do your best to enjoy the ride, or you can scream your way through the entire thing.
Often, if you choose to fight against adversity, it only hits you harder. This is why you need to surrender to what is and learn how to embrace the mess of life.
Challenges can be used to your advantage. Let’s talk about 5 powerful tips for overcoming adversity.
1. Practice Self-Compassion
We all experience difficult times at some point in our lives. That’s a normal part of living. What we all don’t do is have empathy for ourselves when we are in distress.
Do you ever feel like it’s so easy to practice compassion for others but difficult to do so for yourself? This is fairly naturally as we tend to be hard on ourselves.
If you want to overcome adversity faster, the best place to start is by being more self-compassionate. By doing so, you will improve your emotional wellbeing and give yourself the confidence to rise up and keep moving forward.
Try creating a daily mindfulness practice, like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. This will help you navigate stressful times with a clearer mind. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and if you need to take a break, do it.
Honor yourself, knowing that you have everything that you need inside of you to weather any storm.
2. Become The Master of Your Emotions
The way that you respond to a challenge determines your ability to overcome that challenge. Where people get into trouble is that they allow external circumstances to dictate their moods.
They react to things, instead of taking a proactive approach. If you don’t master your emotions, your emotions will master you.
The best way to become the master of your emotions is to start to experience your emotions on a physical level.
Notice what happens when you get triggered by something or someone and mentally note what emotions are coming up. Then, get curious about the message that the emotions are offering you.((Tony Robbins: Be the Master of Your Emotions))
Lastly, do the work to reframe negative emotions and situations. Just because you experience negative emotions doesn’t mean that you have to react in ways that are harmful to you or others. Mindfulness and naming your emotions is a good way to give your feelings less power.
3. Make Humor Your Ally
Finding humor in the face of adversity can be extremely healing for the mind, body, and soul. It’s not about discrediting your pain. Rather, it’s about pulling upon positive emotions when you need them most.
Studies show that in the face of adversity, going through life with a positive attitude helps you become more flexible in your thinking and resolution of problems.((Exploring Your Mind: Humor When Facing Adversity: The Best Ally))
I know that humor and laughter have been a key aspect of my healing process. It doesn’t take the pain away completely, but it’s a great coping mechanism. Anything that lightens your mood and inspires hope during the midst of chaos is ideal.
4. Stay Optimistic
When bad things happen, it’s easy to be negative and play the ‘why me’ game. However, this mindset often gets us nowhere.
Conversely, people who remain optimistic, even in the toughest of times, naturally bounce back faster. Optimism is a powerful tool in overcoming adversity.
Research shows that optimists develop more positive ways of explaining disappointing events, and they are often able to reframe them.((Fast Company: 4 Steps To Overcoming Failure and Using It To Your Advantage))
You may be surprised by how much calmer you feel in the face of adversity when you choose to find strength and joy during the darkest of times.
5. Believe in Yourself
None of the previous pieces of advice on this list will matter if you don’t have an unwavering belief in yourself and the process. Self-confidence in your ability to overcome adversity is the key to bouncing back from anything.
The key is to learn how to recognize when your self-talk is working against you and quickly reframe it. Instead of saying to yourself “I can’t”, replace it with “I will.” Trust yourself and know that there is nothing that you can’t handle.
Choose the Mindset of a Champion
The mindset that you adopt towards challenges will determine your level of resilience when overcoming adversity. People who are able to overcome challenges with grace possess a growth mindset.
They don’t believe that their intelligence is fixed. Instead, they embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the path to mastery, and learn from feedback.((Positive Psychology: 5+ Ways To Develop A Growth Mindset Using Grit and Resilience))
The next time that you encounter adversity, remember that these are merely opportunities for you to grow and improve. Fostering a growth mindset will empower you to find hope in the direst of circumstances. It will give you the faith to know that there is nothing that you can’t handle.
Adversity of any kind can be very difficult to overcome. Nobody wants to experience hardships in life. However, if you never experienced pain, you would never understand peace.
For this reason, overcoming adversity is critical to your personal growth and development. You always have a choice of how you will react to low points in life. You can either give up or view adversity as an opportunity for growth.
The question now is: “How will you transform your pain into possibility?”
More Tips on Overcoming Adversity
- 5 Rules for Overcoming Adversity and Emotional Pain
- Face Adversity with a Smile
- 5 Steps to Create Self-Fulfillment in Times of Adversity