“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
Sure, when work gets tough, we commit a bit more time to the office.
You absolutely put in the extra work to take care of your family or a friend in need.
Unfortunately, why is it that when we face challenges or adversity in our own goals that
we aren’t always as eager to put in that extra time or work?
If you haven’t hit a speed bump in your current goal, you’re lucky. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but it’s coming. I wish I had the magic secrets or tricks to make all adversity and obstacles disappear, but that’s just not the case.
Fortunately, I can offer you some of the best tips to prepare to face adversity and to “get going” when things get tough.
Let’s talk about adversity first.
What is it?
According to Merriam-Webster it is a state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune.
I look at adversity as a challenge or difficult situation.
We all face adversity, and for that reason, we talk much less about the type of adversity
faced and more about the response. The response is what’s unique because we always have the freedom to choose our response; however, the response is dictated more so on our perception and interpretation than on choice.
Adversity is perceived as either negative and limiting or positive and productive.
Unfortunately, too often adversity is seen as a negative and value-less scenario that hinders our progress and we forget the positive and productive potential.
So how can adversity actually be positive?
- #1 It challenges us in new ways
- #2 It opens new doors and paths
- #3 It presents new opportunities
Adversity is unavoidable. No matter what your goal is it’s a part of the journey. It’s not natural to view adversity as positive and productive, but it can be managed by simply shifting our mindset around a given scenario.
There are 6 things I recommend to my clients so they’re mentally able to manage and navigate adversity, here they are:
Stay Focused and Mindful
Too often when adversity strikes our heads run in 20 different directions. You think about the things you wish you would have done or what you can do in the coming days to work your way out of this scenario. The secret to managing adversity is NOT doing that but staying focused and present in the moment. It allows you to gain clarity about the situation and create and sort through possible options moving forward. It’s a difficult task because the emotions quickly creep in, but narrow your focus to how things really are and avoid broadening them to the things you imagine or create in your head.
Ask the RIGHT Questions
A challenge is thrown your way, and before you know it your head is filled with countless, head-spinning questions. I GET IT – MINE TOO! How loud does your inner voice shout these questions?
- Why did this happen to me?
- Why do I always make a mess of things?
- Why didn’t I do this before, then I wouldn’t be in this mess?
- Why can’t I catch a break?
- Why is everyone out to get me?
You need to train your brain to ask the RIGHT questions because that helps you narrow your focus and limit the “What if” type of questions. It takes practice, but here are some questions to help best navigate adversity:
- What’s positive or beneficial about this situation?
- What can I learn from this setback?
- Where’s the opportunity and how can I take advantage of it?
- How or where can I take advantage of this situation?
- How can I move forward from this moment?
Put these questions in your phone or commit them to memory so the next time you’re caught in an adverse scenario, you can stop the WRONG questions and begin problem-solving with the right ones.
Break Things Down
You can’t just stop at asking the question.
Okay, well I guess you COULD, but that takes away from the value of those questions.
Keep the value in those questions by answering them and breaking down the scenario.
This takes you out of the victim role and puts you into control of the scenario.
When we sit in the victim role, we’re unable to focus on the present moment, see the
benefits of the scenario, and clearly determine a plan of action.
Asking the right questions begins flipping adversity from just a problem to a problem waiting to be solved. It reframes your thought process and empowers you.
Answer these questions and your problem is ready to be solved:
- What’s the problem?
- Who can create the solution?
- What can I control?
- What can I NOT control?
- What’s the first step I can take?
Take Immediate Action
Have you ever been faced with a problem and just sat around thinking about it?
I don’t know about you but that just leads to more stress, worry, and anxiety about a challenge.
There’s no question that what you’re facing is tough, but you cannot let the challenge of a scenario paralyze you into inaction.
There is ALWAYS some type of immediate action you can take.
Yes, there’s uncertainty and fear, but there’s still something you can do right now. The more time you spend in contemplation and avoid taking action, the harder it is to push yourself into problem-solving mode.
Be proactive, ask yourself the right questions, and look for that next step because that leads you to new experiences and information which further guides you to unique perspectives and solutions to the problem.
You will make mistakes when you take action, but even failed attempts are better than no attempts. There’s always an action to take tor a move to make, regardless of right or wrong, because you can always develop a clearer understanding of the scenario.
You are the only one who can solve your problems or face your challenges, but it never hurts to have someone in your corner.
Build a circle of people you know you can turn to or lean on during adversity. This could
be family, friends, coworkers, coaches, or spiritual leaders. These are people you maintain relationships with in good times and in bad.
Those people are important, but you may find you need additional mentorship or guidance when in a specific situation.
Find a mentor.
Find someone who has faced a similar scenario and can lend experience and knowledge to help you find the appropriate solution.
Look for mentors who can lead you down the right path and provide all the guidance you need to find a breakthrough solution.
Prepare for the Future
There’s no way to predict the future, but using bouts of adversity as learning experiences can help prepare you for future challenges.
Take everything you can learn from this scenario and apply that into your next steps.
Prepare yourself for the future.
Strengthen your defenses.
Become more resilient.
Find yourself better prepared for adversity in the future.
About The Author
Jordan Davies is the Co-Owner of Complete Performance. Jordan has her B.S. in Exercise Science and Psychology, and her M.A. in Holistic Health Studies. She is a CSCS certified strength and conditioning coach, and a PN-1 and NCI-1 certified nutrition coach. She loves to study how the human body needs to be moved and nourished and making that fit to your unique lifestyle. Click Here Now to Apply for Coaching with Jordan.