Suffering a traumatic experience, disappointment or unexpected setback can be devastating.
One minute your life is fine and the next minute your entire world seems like it’s about to implode.
I know because adversity has touched my life more over the last six years than it has in the previous 20.
Adversity wasn’t something I much thought about. When I hit a few bumps in the road of life, I found a way to deal with it and got myself back on track fairly easily.
But then over the last six years something started to shift — I lost my job, was in a very serious car accident, my only sister betrayed me, went through a bad family illness and had my husband lose his job.
It got to the point that I began thinking someone had it in for me and sent a personal memo to God that said the following:
“In case you haven’t noticed, Lina Hollman has had it relatively easy the last 20 years. She’s a great person, hardworking and always so positive (snicker). Maybe it’s time she got a taste of some of the hardships other folks go through? Then we’ll see just how positive she really is (villain laugh).”
Of course that’s not what really happened. Everyone goes through adversity at one-time-or-another in their life. It’s something you can count on – like death and taxes.
It’s never pleasant but I learned through my experiences that if I viewed adversity as less of a barrier and more as an opportunity it can become an advantage.
Adversity builds character, confidence and resilience and shows both you and the rest of the world how much more you’re capable of.
When you embrace adversity and learn how to control your thoughts and reactions, you will create more positive outcomes in your life.
Use these five strategies to effectively overcome adversity and turn your setback into a come back:
- Accept it.
It is what it is. Bad things happen every day. Regret, anger, hurt and pain won’t make it go away. I think college professor Randy Pausch, who chronicled his battle with pancreatic cancer in his book “The Last Lecture” said it best:
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
- Don’t let it define you.
We are shaped by our past but we don’t have to be defined by it. Love yourself enough to learn from your struggles and mistakes and use it to mold and shape a better future.
- Open yourself up to the process–don’t be resistant, be persistent!
Embrace the change, let go of the fear, STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP and be open to the process. Take your foot off the break — unlock the doors and roll down the windows and breathe. Open your heart and mind to what’s going on around you because there’s a reason for it. Use it to learn, grow, change and improve.
- Trust in the journey.
Bad things will happen in our lives. Trust that there is a reason you are where you are right now. Stay positive and keep learning, building, doing and connecting with people (there are angels out there waiting to help you) no matter where your journey takes you. Believe in yourself, practice persistent and have faith that God will lead you to where you can do the most good.
- Serve others with gratitude.
When you’re going through tough times serving others with a grateful heart energizes and gives hope. Studies have shown that gratitude is a coping mechanism that helps you get through difficult events. It’s the one-two punch that has the power to transform your life.
Serving others builds awareness and makes you realize you’re not alone and that other people struggle too. More importantly it helps you realize– that despite your own challenges — YOU HAVE THE POWER TO LIFT OTHERS.
When they work together — gratitude and service provide a perspective that reframes your thoughts and reprograms your brain to see the good in the most difficult of situations. They offer healing properties that have the power to transform your life and the lives of the people you touch.
NOW I’D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Which one of these 5 strategies has been most effective in helping you deal with adversity in your life? How has it helped you?
Others in the community can learn from your experience so please share your personal insights and lessons learned related to this topic in the box below.
Remember a more positive and happier life is within your reach. It starts by believing in yourself and taking small steps in the direction you want to go. I know YOU CAN DO IT!!