Handling Adversity

How do you handle adversity?  When things get hairy what is your response?  Adversity is a given. We all deal with it on varying degrees. Some things as simple as a stop light that doesn’t go our way, to a bad relationship, to a death in the family. They are all adversities that people face daily. No one is immune to it. No one. So, it’s safe to say that dealing with the “crap” is just part of life sometimes for every person. The key distinction I want to make here is how you deal with it. That is the variable. Situations happen. How you respond varies depending on who you are and more importantly on how you have trained your mind.

 

To simplify the discussion, I want to break responses down into 2 areas. One being a person that responds as a victim. It’s the “why me”, “this isn’t fair”, “it’s not my fault” pity party mentality that people put themselves into with adversity. Then there is the “what do we need to do”, “how do I overcome”, “I need to get it done” mentality when poop hits the fan. These are two completely different ways to look at things. To the point that each of these typically changes the ultimate outcome of the situation. So, what do you think those outcomes are?

 

It’s pretty simple. The “pity party” person typically takes little action and the emotions of the situation paralyze and depress their mind and body from finding resolution. The “overcomer” mentality typically takes immediate action and finds a way to funnel the emotions into positive movement forward to find a solution. So, what is the difference between these two people? 

 

The difference is nothing more than a choice. You choose everyday how you are going to respond to things. Something happens then you choose how you respond. The hard part is that response can become habitual.  In other words, you start to respond without even thinking.  Your emotions are in control and not you. This is dangerous and typically puts people in a victim state. So how do you change it?

 

You have to start to become more conscious of the decisions you make in those situations and it starts with little ones.  The stoplight for example.  When it turns red when you really, really don’t want it to how can you choose to respond?  You getting upset and having it ruin your emotions will do nothing positive. The same for other things in your life.  If you have someone who lets you down and it negatively affects your life how do you respond?  Do you get angry? Do you get depressed? Do you focus on what is wrong or do you focus on what needs to change?  You get where I am coming from here. The trick is to keep practicing in these situations on your response. When you start to feeling control over your response you will gain a lot of personal power and confidence. No longer do things shake you the way they did before. You let it happen, take a breath to take it in and develop your plan to overcome. You dictate your direction, not your emotions.

 

The bottom line is you must be in control of your emotions and not the other way around. Its exhausting. When you allow emotions to dictate your life you will ride the roller coaster and never be happy. Adversity happens. Don’t let the emotions associated with it be the second blow. Choose to control your state and find solutions. Being a victim puts you in a place that helps no one, especially yourself. I know it’s easier said than done and I battle it every day but that’s exactly it…it’s a daily battle you have to be ready for. Win the battle. Dominate your day.

Brett McDonough