How is it that some people can overcome adversity at every turn while others seem to struggle day after day?
There are countless people who are able to overcome the adversity of sexual abuse, daily violence, financial disaster and the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” with nothing more than a shrug and a smile. Then there are the majority who are taken completely our of the game by the smallest of road blocks.
The good news is that facing and even overcoming adversity (which we will all face at some point in our lives) doesn’t have to be overwhelming when you know what you’re dealing with.
“What defines us is how well we rise after falling”
Studies have shown that the lives of people who are able to overcome adversity hold clues for the rest of us.
One of the biggest aids to overcoming adversity is having a support system in place. It is easier to get through personal problems if you have someone you trust to talk to and who can give you advice you trust. Support also comes in the form of groups like AA and MOMS Club and church groups.
A sense of community and belonging goes a long way in the battle against adversity.
CAUTION: If you are always playing the victim and looking to share your drama with your otherwise receptive support system they will soon begin to see you as the “boy/girl that cries wolf” and will not be there when you really need them.
It isn’t all about being tough, persevering or picking yourself up by the bootstraps without anyone’s help. Quite often dealing with sicknesses, addictions and mental or emotional scars that, if left unaddressed, will shutdown the entire process of overcoming adversity and leading a productive life.
Don’t be like me… I will never stop for directions and instead drive around lost for hours until I figure it out myself… damn it!
In order to move forward you must let go of the past. This sounds cliche and without a doubt a great deal more difficult than it sounds. Acknowledging the memories, emotions and experience and then letting them go is a huge part of the healing process.
Sometimes we don’t want to let go because we feel like we’ll also loose what we learned from the experience. “I will never trust a man again!” – is a dis-empowering if not paralyzing lesson to take forward. Re-frame the lesson “I am cautious when it comes to trusting men” hold onto the learning but let go of the negative emotions attached to it.
It’s the emotions that are holding you back along with the wrong lesson. You can’t move forward if you’re still tied to the past. Visualize a better future and move toward it.
Strengthen Your Core
Which is why you should exercise every opportunity to strengthen it. Going to the gym, saying NO to that pizza or scotch, reading instead of watching TV, doing what you say you will when you say you will do it all works towards strengthening the emotional muscle needed to overcome what ever life has to throw at you.
Greatness is defined by our action under adversity not when things are easy.
The truth is you are already stronger than you think you are but a little extra muscle sure couldn’t hurt.
Share with us something you’ve had to overcome and how.