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How to handle adversity

October 19, 20203 min read

How to handle adversity

Have you ever been through adversity? My guess is, you have. I know that because everyone goes through it. And it can be really tough while you’re in the middle of it.

So how do you handle it, and handle it well?

Here’s a few things I’ve discovered that have helped me :

  • Don’t take it personally

It’s not personal. Adversity has no favourites. The victim mentality, when facing adversity, says : ‘Why me? Why does this always happen to ME?’. They personalise it.

The champion mentality in contrast says : ‘Well, I’m going through adversity right now, but I know that everyone goes through suffering and pain at some point. So let me think about how I can best handle this.’

  • Get whatever support you can

Don’t take it personally, and don’t go through it alone. There’ll be people around you who may have gone through exactly the same difficulty, if you’ll just find trustworthy people to open up to. Even if they haven’t gone through it, they can be there for you practically, emotionally and spiritually.

  • Realise that it is temporary

Perhaps you’ve been told your illness or difficulty is permanent. Maybe you suffered the loss of a loved one – and that indeed is permanent. But often, our adversity is only temporary – and if we focus on the fact that we will get out of it, we’ll not lose hope and be more likely to find solutions we need to emerge from it victorious.

Even if the situation itself is permanent, the way you feel right now is temporary – you don’t have to feel the pain and heartache you’re feeling right now, forever. You can come to a place where you’re at peace with what you’ve been going through.

  • Look for the positive side to it

This can be hard – but if you look for it, you can find something positive to dwell on, even in the midst of a really tricky situation. Perhaps you’ve learnt something from it – maybe it’s brought you closer together with people who are going through it with you, perhaps it’s caused you to understand more what similar pain others have gone through. You may have learnt an extraordinary compassion through it all. There’s always good that can emerge from adversity.

  • Turn your misery into a message

There are probably many people that you can help with your story, the story of what you’ve gone through and how you’ve triumphed in spite of your setbacks and disappointments. You can be an inspiration to others – by standing strong, and by refusing to give up on your dreams, you can give hope and encouragement to others even while you’re going through tough times. Your misery can become an incredible message to others. By refusing to quit, you’re impacting others and silently giving them courage to keep strong themselves.

  • Forgive and let go

If there are others involved who have hurt you or let you down, and that has led to the adversity you’re in, you need to forgive. It doesn’t mean that you accept what they’ve done – it means that you won’t be tormenting yourself with unforgiveness and bitterness. Letting go also means letting go control of the situation. If there’s truly nothing you can do to change it, then it’s time to let go of trying to control the outcome.

  • Stay positive and hopeful

Finally, stay positive! Believe that this situation really can work out for the best – and it really can get better.

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