If you don’t experience adversity at some point in your life, are you even human? Although it may escape the picture during short stints in our lives, that does not mean we have to see it as a negative. After going through a difficult time in your life, whether it be a relationship, a financial issue or some other matter, we can triumph in knowing that obstacles are something that makes us stronger with each and every time we encounter it. We gain much clarity and ultimately gain experience and wisdom from them.
According to John Maxwell in his book, Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn, “Adversity can signal a coming positive transition if we respond correctly to it.”
Just like the seasons, difficult times may come and go. Just like change of the seasons, comes great adaptation. Similarly, with the metaphorical seasons in our lives comes change. And with that change perpetuates itself if we don’t learn how to stop it. On the contrary, if we react in a positive manner, we have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes (if we let them) and grow from them. However, how you react to this change will either help you or hurt you in the long-run.
Here are three ways I have overcome adversity and have ended the negative thoughts before they began.
1. Recognize that adversity does not exist to make things more difficult for you, but rather to teach you and to allow you to grow.
There were plenty of characters in the bible who underwent many trials and tribulations and made it out alright. Whenever I am undergoing a difficult time in my life I have to remind myself that God would never put more on me than I could bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Some may see adversity as a burden – see it as an opportunity to strengthen your body, mind and soul, for future obstacles that may be even harder in the future.
2. When you encounter adversity, breathe, look at the situation and determine your next plan of action.
When tensions are running high, it’s easy to get very emotional. In an effort to overcome hardships, we must take a step back from the problem. With a moment out of the distractions it will allow our minds to clear. We must see the glass half full instead of half empty. From there, we can determine the best course of action in overcoming the issue.
3. Remember why you started on the path in the first place.
In moments of adversity, it’s easy to get discouraged and feel like everything is against us. However, if you keep goals in perspective and focus on why you began your journey in the first place, your original motivation will begin to shine through. Then, the adversity will seem like a mini speed bump in the road. Those tiny obstacles can make the end success that much sweeter.