• JRD

Overcoming Adversity During This Unprecedented Period of Unrest

2020 has ushered in the toughest first 6 months that most have experienced in a long while. It seems that everywhere you look, people are more stressed and unbalanced than ever before. From the COVID-19 crisis and the associated unemployment and small business failures to the Black Lives Matter protests across the nation and an upcoming presidential election with the potential to be more divisive than ever experienced before, many are experiencing cycles of frustration and failure instead of living the life of their dreams. However, there is a secret to overcoming adversity you can tap into, that the most successful people understand.

If you want to experience a life of victory, you must develop endurance to overcome adversity. That means having the stamina to stand through any storm that life brings your way, as well as the tenacity to triumph even in moments of great turbulence. You must be unshakeable even in moments of uncertainty.

The way in which you view adversity will either allow you to be set free from the heartache, confusion, guilt and fear or allow you to be negatively affected in every aspect of your life. After experiencing an adverse event, you will be at a crossroads. You can either view it as a blessing or allow your past to control the rest of your life.

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

If you want to find a way to continue to grow and achieve a following in the hardest of times, read on. Overcoming adversity doesn’t have to be impossible. Below are tactics and mindset revisions that support resiliency. Hard times happen. Getting past them is a mental game you can win.

Have the right mindset

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. 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.


A healthy dose of optimism goes a long way when you’re faced with a bad situation. It may seem cliché, but sometimes the darkest storm clouds really do have silver linings. It turns out that developing a positive mindset is an important coping skill when dealing with adversity.


It’s true you need to be realistic and see a situation clearly, but if you constantly frame everything in a negative way, you’ll only see the bad. Try cultivating positivity and refuse to let pessimistic voices and naysayers invade your mind.


Your thoughts are essential; they frame the triumphs or tragedies of your life. Getting past adversity requires a change in your belief about challenges. It is not what happens to you, but how you respond to it that is important here. You must realize that difficulty is not designed to derail you, but to develop you. A positive mindset is essential.



Make peace with the situation.

Now is not the time to blame others for what happened. Moping around and feeling sorry for yourself will do you no good, and can actually sabotage your ability to come up with solutions and next steps forward. It’s important that you consider what mistakes or missteps you might have made.


Spend time processing what you could have done differently and take responsibility for your actions. Make peace with what happened. Accept the situation for what it is, and then move on.


Stop making excuses

Excuses are the lies we tell ourselves when we’re too afraid of the future. Whatever you tell your mind will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t achieve your dreams, it will be because you made the decision to be detained by excuses.


Excuses will always keep you in a limited place. Overcoming adversity is impossible when you’re making excuses. You conquer excuses by having the courage to step out and do what seems impossible.


Take stock of all you’ve been through already.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The hardships and misfortunes you’ve been through can give you confidence that you’re capable of handling whatever comes your way. You’ve been in tough times before. How did you overcome adversity at that time? What got you through? Your past experiences can help you find your inner strength and resilience.


We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. It may even be necessary to encounter the defeat so that we can know who we are. Then we can see, we did get knocked down flat in front of the whole world, but we didn't run away -- we rose right where we had been knocked down. That is how you get to know yourself.



Adversity offers valuable insights.

Adversity is a great teacher. This is your chance to gain valuable insights; to truly learn from your mistakes so you’ll have a better chance of success next time. However, you will have to engage in some self-reflection. Where and how did things go wrong?


Take a hard look at your planning. Did you miss something key? Consider your preparations. Were you ready for the challenges ahead? Look at your execution. Did you put in consistent effort? Focus on areas that are within your control and ask yourself what more can you do next time. With every mistake and failure, you can learn what not to do.


Embrace adversity as a chance for opportunity.

Life is full of adversity and struggle. It’s through difficult times that we learn the most important lessons in life and build resilience. Adversity often presents opportunities we might otherwise miss. Now is your chance to dig deep and face this obstacle head-on.


Hard times present you with the chance to change course, reinvent yourself or find an undiscovered bridge that will get you over this hurdle. The true secret to success is the ability to embrace adversity as a chance to change ourselves and our situation.



Believe in your capabilities.

None of the 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.


People who rebound from adversity begin by believing they are capable of finding a way forward. If you feel hopeless and powerless, it’s unlikely you’ll find a way to be successful. You have to have self-confidence and a strong belief in your capabilities to overcome difficult times. You have to be open-minded and willing to leverage your talent, know-how, and ingenuity to overcome adversity.



Have faith

It takes more energy to live a life full of fear than to live one full of faith. To fear is to convince yourself to live in the walls you build yourself. To have faith is to convince yourself to embrace change.

You can either live in faith or live in fear; however, faith and fear cannot coexist. When your desire to overcome becomes greater than your fear, you’ll overcome adversity naturally. Fear will always attempt to immobilize you, while faith is designed to energize you.



Don’t take “no” for an answer – Refuse to give up

To overcome a crisis, you need to fully commit to finding a way forward. You must approach the problem determined and motivated. This will create a mindset where you look at adversity as something to be overcome and solved, not passively accepted. Sometimes dilemmas and obstacles are a chance to create alternative paths, to dream bigger, to push forward, and take even larger leaps.


But whatever you do, you can’t give up. Michael Jordan has famously said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” If you refuse to give up, you will always go further than you expected.

Trials will occur in life, but endurance requires you to never stop trying. Trials are one of the greatest teaching tools of life. If you keep trying, you can bounce back. Your response to difficulty will determine whether or not you realize my dreams. Never become defined by the insurmountable. Dare to do the impossible!



Let each success energize you

With every success, we are strengthened and empowered for greater victories. You cannot become enslaved by disappointments. You must realize that every disappointment is being engineered for your destiny.



Be mentally prepared.

What would your plan of action be if a crisis hit? Running through potential disasters on a regular basis builds mental strength and flexibility to overcome mishaps or catastrophes in real life. It doesn’t mean you should dwell on negative possibilities. But if the worst happens, having thought through how you'd react will keep you from panicking and help you stay calm and rational. It won’t feel so frightening because you won’t be caught completely off guard.



Surround yourself with positive people

Be selective with the people you surround yourself with. Indirectly they will affect your mood and your outlook. When you are in an emotional state of mind, it’s important to surround yourself with people who are supportive and encouraging. Human beings conform to those around them. Conformity is the change of behavior caused by another person or group of people. When experiencing adversity, it’s crucial in your development to surround yourself with people who are accepting of your flaws, mistakes, and imperfections. Overcoming adversity can be a challenge; when you have a supportive team helping you move forward, it’s much easier to accept yourself.



Experience nature.

Nature is very therapeutic. Whether it be walking in the park or gardening at home, taking the time to connect yourself with nature is a very healing process. There have been more than 100 research studies that have shown that outdoor activities reduce the level of stress. With adversity comes stress and frustration. Taking the time to be outside is a way for you to nurture your being and allow yourself to take a deep breath and relax. The sun and the air give you a sense of calmness during the face of adversity. Take about 10-20 minutes outside each day and find your stress level decreasing.



Start investing in yourself.

There is no greater investment than the investment within your own personal development. Experiencing adversity is a great excuse for people not to take charge of their lives. We all face adversity in some way. What makes one individual succeed and another not is how they handle their adversity. Many of us allow challenges to defeat us. What we need to focus on is developing into a stronger and wiser individual because of the challenges. There is no better way to do so than to develop your internal world.


Get yourself a library card and start reading self-help books. Take a look at the audio section and find yourself a few audio programs that you would like to listen to in the car. It’s about starting that momentum moving forward rather than backward.

Your adversity is a blessing in disguise. You may not think so at the moment, but it will eventually make you stronger and wiser.



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.

The Takeaway

We all face adversity from time to time, but some of us are able to flourish when things get difficult, while others seem to struggle to get out of bed in the morning. Successful people have found a way to jump hurdles and navigate around roadblocks that would stop others completely.


Those that bounce back and overcome misfortune and defeat don’t allow themselves to become overwhelmed with negative emotions or thoughts. They take time to process what they’ve been through, then they resume moving forward. Their mental fortitude lifts them up to seek opportunities instead of dwelling in despair.


Life can get us down, but we can pick ourselves back up. We must learn and not be limited by the experiences of our lives. We are strong, and we all have a dreamer inside of us. Anything is possible if we are willing to persevere.


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 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.

© 2017 by Unlimited Potential with Julie Rose, Julie R Delgado, LLC