Overcoming Adversity

Adversity comes in many different forms, and in many guises. One day you’ll be getting bullied by your boss, the next day you’ll find your finances don’t cover this month’s rent, and then after that you might find yourself injured and unable to move. These are all everyday problems that all of us come across, and while some people certainly suffer ‘more adversity’ than others, it’s fair to say that we all encounter it in a number of ways and practically every day. It’s simply a fact of life unfortunately and there’s no getting away from it.

Sounds bleak I know, but it’s important to make sure that you don’t give up, and that you keep plugging onwards. Life is full of challenges and it’s tough, but ultimately what will dictate the kind of life you live and your eventual fortune is how you respond to those challenges and those problems. Shrink from them and they will keep coming and you will find they defeat you, but if you rise to them you’ll overcome them and come out the other end stronger. It’s like Rocky says to his son in Rocky 6: ‘It aint about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward’. Wise words.

Here I will share some advice and encouragement when it comes to standing up to adversity, sourced from the all-spring of knowledge: the web.

Come Up With a Plan, and Don’t Give Up

First of all, recognize that no problem is ever too big to be worth fighting against or trying to overcome. You might think that the odds are insurmountable, but then you might just not be thinking about it from the right angle. Take some serious time out to think of a solution to the problem and you can normally come up with something to at least improve the situation. And even simply having a plan can be a great way to suddenly feel a lot better about your situation and to prevent it doing serious emotional damage.

At the same time you should remember that no problems really last forever. Things don’t tend to stay ‘in flux’ because it requires too much energy. Whatever you’re going through right now, at some point in the future it will be over and you will be able to go back to normal.

Attack Every Problem at its Route

Often the solution to a problem means not just tackling it head on, but also cutting it off at the source. This way you can avoid the problem reoccurring and you can help yourself to expend minimum energy. This won’t always be relevant, but think: what at the most fundamental level is causing the problem? And how can you handle it?

Recognize the Value of Challenge

If you are going through a very testing time, then there’s a chance that the last thing you want to hear is about how good it is for you. Well I apologise, but the reality is that sometimes it actually can be good for you to suffer adversity. Not only will this help you to develop yourself more as a person and prepare you for future challenges, but it will also help you to grow emotionally and to better appreciate the positives in life when they come. Everyone goes through hard times, even if it might not seem that way, and while you might feel it’s unjust it is unfortunately just a fact of life. See it as a test and a chance to grow, and at least that way you can take something away from it, even if it does cause you heartbreak as well.

Call on Your Friends

That said, you don’t need to go through this alone necessarily. Your friends and family will want to help, and they are sure to be able to offer support in some valuable ways. Don’t deny them the chance to give you a great gift then: take them up on their offer and use them, even if it only means talking your problem through. After all, it’s what friends are for.

At the same time if the problem is one that affects many people you might be team up and face it together. There is strength in numbers, so see if you can benefit from this.

Get on With It

Again, without wanting to sound unsympathetic here, it’s important to recognize the importance of tackling your problems head on as they arise. I recently had £600 stolen from my bank account – that was my weekly quota of adversity; but while I just wanted to sit down and stare at a wall for a while, or to rage about it, I realised that the only thing I could do was to go and report the problem immediately, cut off the card, and then start doing some extra work/planning to earn it back. You should deal with the emotions of course, but not until the problem has passed. The sooner you solve a problem, the sooner it will go away and the less it will grow and develop. So learn to swallow your emotions and to act quickly, and don’t put off something because you think it might be difficult whether it’s talking to someone or doing more work.

Be Meticulous

However, while you might want to act quickly, you should also be meticulous where possible in order to ensure that you solve the problem completely and don’t make matters worse. Don’t act in haste or in anger, but rather take time to make your plan of action, to consider it from all angles and run it by someone else, and then launch into it.

Consider the Emotions

When you do go through adversity, while it’s important to keep a level head until the problem is solved, you also need to make sure that you recognize the emotional toil that they may have taken on you and on others. Deal with this and make sure that you don’t bury your feelings or it can lead to more severe problems down the line.

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