Adversity can come in many different forms, whether our struggles are big or small learning how to overcome them is a life-skill that can move us away from falling into a 'why me' trap and into a space of self-empowerment instead.
Adversity can come in many different forms, whether our struggles are big or small learning how to overcome them is a life-skill that can move us away from falling into a ‘why me’ trap and into a space of self-empowerment instead.
When we learn how to overcome adversity we’re more likely to build our resilience, strengthen our character, increase our confidence, conquer future obstacles and reclaim our power.
If you want to learn how to let go of self-defeating thoughts and drive towards happiness, below are 10 ways to overcome adversity:
The more we’re able to accept that adversity is a normal part of life that each of us encounter, the less likely we are to get trapped in feelings of self-pity. Whether we’re experiencing a period of difficulty or experiencing frequent setbacks, learning to move into a space of ‘acceptance’ can help us to move away from feelings or frustration and let go of how things ‘should’ be. The more we allow ourselves to make peace with our circumstances and accept that we may not be able to change everything but we can change our attitude, the easier it can become to embrace our emotions and manage our state. Setting a timeframe for how long you choose to dwell on your setback and any feelings that come up can help you to accept them, get unstuck and move forwards.
Often when we’re going through challenging periods in our lives even the most minor of setbacks can seem like overwhelming disappointments. Learning to differentiate between what you consider as minor and major obstacles can help you to put things into perspective and have more control over what you should prioritise in resolving. A good way to keep track of this is by making a list of your current challenges and listing on a scale of 1-10 (1 being least and 10 being most) of how much this particular challenge is impacting your life. Doing so can help you to get clarity around what needs to be addressed first so that you can formulate a plan of action to break free from your challenge. You can also work with a Life Coach who can help you to move closer to your goals.
3. Maintain Perspective
It is highly likely that none of us are going through an entirely unique challenge, maintaining perspective that others have experienced a similar set of experiences and struggles can help us to avoid feeling completely alone. Researching people that you admire who have overcome the challenge you may find yourself in via autobiographies, blogs or YouTube videos is a great way for you to shift your focus onto problem solving. How did they overcome their challenges? What did they do differently? The more you focus your attention onto finding a solution, the more likely you are to find one.
4. Reframe mistakes
When we make mistakes, many of us can beat ourselves up or consider them as failures. Learning to acknowledge our mistakes and reviewing what we’ve learnt from the situation and what we’d do differently next time is a great way for us to reframe them as an opportunity to gain more self-awareness and view them as a learning curve. Making a list of the positives from even the most challenging of circumstances can force us to look at them differently and let go of self-defeating thoughts.
5. Believe in yourself
Many of us have experienced a setback in some shape or form. Making a record of all the hardships that you’ve previously survived is a good way for you to keep track of the challenges that you’ve already overcome and can act as evidence that you have the strength to do so again. Listing your adversities and your successes is a great way for you to acknowledge your resilience, trust that you can survive and strengthen your self-belief.
6. Reach out to others
Reaching out to others in times of adversity can provide comfort and support, whether it’s your friends, family, partner or colleagues the more you openly communicate with others the easier it can become to consider possible solutions or move away from feeling like you are facing things alone. If you don’t have a solid support system you can develop one by joining online forums, attending meet-ups with like-minded people, reconnecting with old friends or making new ones. The more you reach out to others the easier it becomes to feel supported, strengthen connections and overcome your challenges.
7. Take care of your health
Often when we are stressed our wellbeing may be the first thing to slide, choosing to regularly exercise, maintain a healthy diet and ensuring you’re getting enough sleep are quick wins to boost your self-esteem, increase your resilience and cope better with any challenges that life throws your way. What healthy foods or fun exercise activities could you incorporate into your daily routine? Could mindfulness help bring more balance into your life? If so you can join my 30 day mindfulness challenge here
8. Start a gratitude journal
When going through a challenging time it can be easy to lose sight of the positives and stay focused on the negatives. Choosing to move your attention onto all of the things that you are grateful for can help you to change your mood and remind you of the good things and good people in your life. Taking 10 minutes before going to bed and writing down 3 things that you are grateful for each day is a great way for you to acknowledge the positives and attract more of it into your life.
9. Take action
When it comes to changing your life, the key lays in taking action. Waiting or wishing for things to get better without taking consistent action steps to get you there won’t help you to overcome your challenges. Making a list of small daily action steps and holding yourself accountable for taking them is a great way for you to move through your challenges instead of avoiding them. What actions can you take to move closer to your goals? Working with a life coach or joining a support group are two ways that you can stay motivated and discuss your challenges.
10. Be Kind to yourself
Doing something nice for yourself helps you to get out of your head and have something to look forward to. Often when things are challenging we may forget to be kind to ourselves. Planning to do something nice like watching a funny film, cooking your favourite meal, booking yourself in for a pamper session or spending quality time around loved ones are all ways that you can be kind to yourself, helping your troubles to fade away. What can you do to be more kind to yourself?
Adversity is a part of life and learning to respond to our challenges in a positive way can help us to develop qualities such as courage, confidence and perseverance, transforming our greatest struggles into our greatest strengths.
Which tip did you find most helpful? Let me know in the comments below.
I was working as an equine veterinary surgeon and although I really enjoyed my clinical work, I knew I had skills that I wasn't using. Having gone into the profession with a primary interest in animals, I had become more and more interested in the people I met and what drove their expectations and behaviours.
I trained with The Coaching Academy in 2008 when life coaching was little known and people assumed it was something to do with sports coaching. I'd been to a weekend workshop on sticking to your new year's resolutions and hung back after the workshop to find out more about what Life Coaching entailed. I knew that it was a really powerful tool and I left that workshop determined to find out more about coaching.