Adversity is something we all have to deal with. Everyone goes through turbulent times, but it’s how you respond during those moments that defines you as a person. There are those who cave under the pressure, but some have learned to weather the storm.
The importance of overcoming adversity in life cannot be understated. Cultivating resilience these days is a necessity because the way you respond to challenges
can have a bearing on your goals – and by extension, your success in life.
Luckily, this is a trait you can develop, nurture and turn into your strongest pillar of support when challenges come. Because in life, there will always be setbacks to contend with, whether it’s to do with your job, business, relationships, health and so on. It’s an inevitable part of being human.
What does it mean to overcome adversity?
Overcoming adversity means finding ways to cope with challenges and obstacles that stand in your way. It’s about developing the right mindset to deal with difficult situations.
Whether it’s dealing with a bad boss or negative co-workers, a financial setback, bad breakup or illness in the family, adversity is something we all experience at one point or another. However, as difficult as it may be, we owe it ourselves to rise above these setbacks when they befall us.
Overcoming adversity does not mean ignoring the issue or suppressing the pain or negative feelings that come with it. It’s about finding the mental fortitude to lift yourself out of it, and taking the necessary action in full knowledge of the harsh fact that the problem won’t go away by itself.
True, some challenges are harder to deal with than others. But however much they test your emotional mettle, you would agree that finding the inner strength to face them head-on is better than throwing in the towel and capitulating under the pressure.
Sometimes you may not even have a choice. In such instances, it’s best to dust yourself up and keep going. The option (wallowing in the grief and self-pity) will only work against you in the end.
The best thing about situations like these is that we always have that option. The option to decide how we want to respond to the adversity.
Just as the strongest steel is forged in the hottest fire, overcoming adversity is what makes you mentally strong and gives you the ability to withstand every battle you are called upon to fight.
Here’s Walter Anderson: “Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilised by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.”
How to overcome adversity
The ability to overcome adversity is a key factor in achieving success in whatever endeavour it is we are pursuing, be it at a personal or professional level.
When we encounter obstacles and setbacks, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. In the pursuit of our goals, however, it is important that we remain strong and steadfast by keeping our eyes on the prize.
It is not easy, of course, and depending on the challenge you find yourself having to deal with at a given time, the temptation to throw in the towel could kick in. You might feel defeated and want to give up.
But the danger in allowing yourself to cave under some of the challenges life throws at you is that you risk never accomplishing what you set out to. You may not see the need in that moment, but in the end it matters. You don’t want to sentence yourself to a lifetime of regret.
By all means, take some time out to get in touch with your emotions and process things. You need that. But don’t take forever. Your goals await.
Overcoming adversity will sometimes involve a lot of hard work and perseverance. In these moments, it’s important to remind yourself why you wanted to achieve the goals you set for yourself in the first place. And to get there, you need to find it within yourself to keep pushing forward no matter the difficulties that lie on your way.
It is called resilience, or what I love to call the irrepressible mind.
We all love a good comeback story. Stories of individuals who have overcome enormous odds to succeed. We may not understand how they manage it, but we admire their determination and tenacity. We secretly root for them.
You can write a similar story for yourself. Your challenges might not be as testing, but they are still challenges nevertheless. Challenges you need to overcome in order to take the next step in your life.
“Whatever obstacles appear in your path, put your head down and get past them. Those obstacles aren't real. They're just God's way of testing you. He's asking you, 'Do you want to make it or not?’” ~Russell Simmons
What overcoming adversity does to you over time is strengthen you as an individual. It builds your character.
Dealing with challenges in whatever form they present themselves in gives you strength and more confidence to tackle any new challenges you face later.
Like a mother gains experience and confidence with every birth of her child, learning to face adversity head-on will only make you stronger with time.