Much of my life and for many of us we can say we have had our fill of adversity.Often we have a part in bring it on ourselves, and sometimes it is just life. I want to address an issue which most like to avoid. I will share various views
- The Christian View-
As part of Heavenly Father’s plan of redemption, all people experience adversity during their lifetime. Trials, disappointments, sadness, sickness, and heartache are a difficult part of life, but with the help of the Lord they can lead to spiritual growth, refinement, and progress.
Each person’s success and happiness, both now and in the eternities, depend largely on his or her responses to the difficulties of life.
Adversity comes from different sources. Trials may come as a consequence of a person’s own pride and disobedience. These trials can be avoided through righteous living. Other trials are simply a natural part of life and may come at times when people are living righteously. For example, people may experience trials in times of sickness or uncertainty or at the deaths of loved ones. Adversity may sometimes come because of others’ poor choices and hurtful words and actions. Suffering may also come through a loving Heavenly Father as a tutoring experience.
When some people face adversity, they complain and become bitter. They ask questions like “Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this now? What have I done to deserve this?” But these questions have the power to dominate their thoughts. Such questions can overtake their vision, absorb their energy, and deprive them of the experiences the Lord wants them to receive. Rather than responding in this way, people should consider asking questions such as, “What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial?”
Different kinds of adversity require different responses. For example, people who are stricken with illness may simply need to be patient and faithful. People who suffer because of others’ words or actions should work toward forgiving those who have offended them. Victims of abuse should seek help immediately. If a person’s trials come because of disobedience, he or she should correct the behavior and humbly seek forgiveness.
Doctrine and Covenants 105:6; 121:7-9
In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
- Professional and successful People view Adversity
Positive Change in Your Life
Make no mistake about it, change is challenging whether it is conscious or unexpected. Viewing adversity as change, not loss or failure, is part of empowered and positive thinking. Humans develop resiliency through change, both physiologically, and emotionally. It’s necessary for all life forms to evolve.
Change comes through many vehicles – some hit us hard, others are rather sneaky. But despite the challenges change brings, we know it is our natural state. It’s inevitable – the world grows and we grow with it, fueled by our emotions. We are already designed to cry, express sorrow, frustration, anger, resentment, even give up for awhile – and most of us choose to explore these feelings. But we are also designed to have hope, recover, be stronger, and inspire others as a result of change. You are never alone because emotion gives us plenty in common - as a society, we are not yet Vulcans.
What makes one person triumphantly survive loss and turn it into positive energy, while another in similar circumstances resign? It has to do with our underlying assumptions on change. I have two very dear friends; each have had a double mastectomy from breast cancer. Losing body parts is devastating, not to mention living with the daily uncertainty of not knowing whether you continue to remain in remission. Yet one woman has forged ahead as a life-force warrior, focusing on triumphs and wins of today. She doesn’t look back. The other has difficulty moving forward – not engaging in work outside her home, quitting her job, waiting for “something” to happen while in a state of self-imposed limbo. They’ve processed their information in completely different ways. Why?
Have Faith in the Process of Life
It’s because people want certainty before they decide to accept change. It’s a natural reaction. Certainly our culture has become more comfortable with making choices that have predictable outcomes. A current cultural disease we suffer from is predictability, reflected in our inability to accept change at a deeply personal level. It applies across the board to choices we make with our finances, careers, or our relationships. Science, especially when applied to health issues, has given us a false security blanket when it comes to certainty. After all, it seems we’ve been able to control nature. We like to think we’ve cornered the market on predictability and good planning, when the truth is we live in a time where prediction is more intuition and common sense than science. To embrace change, we need to release the umbilical cord we think we have to outcomes of certainty. In other words, stepping off of the plateau requires a huge amount of trust. Your fall will be broken somewhere at the right time. Believing that is what allows us to cope. It is the first step, unsupported by any scientific doctrine. And it’s a big one.
No matter what science pronounces, whether it is in the form of a diagnosis, prognosis, or the state of the environment, there is no sure thing. Science has already given us permission to accept truth with a margin of error in just about anything. There is always the possibility something may exist, or not exist, despite what patterns indicate. Truly, it is a useless endeavor to let science, or proof for that matter, hold you back from moving forward. Whether it is health, or other issues surrounding job loss, divorce, or death, you will successfully navigate through change and elevate the quality of your life by knowing anyone can beat the odds. There is evidence everywhere, not just from stories you find in People magazine, but from the dry cleaner, your third cousin, your own child. Almost everyone you know has a story of beating the odds. Let’s pay attention to the real evidence instead of looking for ways to prove that we can’t make it or the odds are just too great.
Change Helps Us Learn
Adopting a new attitude on adversity requires big picture thinking on the subject of change. View life, and spiritual development for that matter, as an upward spiral where you experience some of the same lessons over and over again. Is it because we just aren’t getting what the lesson is telling us? Perhaps, but that’s not the only reason. We’ve deliberately put those circumstances in our chart in frequent doses to allow ourselves an opportunity to see how we’ve been progressing on the upward part of that growth spiral.
Adversity is an inescapable performance indicator – a frequent reminder of our upcoming 360-degree review in how we handle the bumps. We are meant to be a stronger, more insightful person each time we get walloped. With each business obstacle, make a stronger commitment toward your goal of service to humanity; each time you grieve, become better at comforting others and showing compassion; after each funeral, return home knowing life is a precious gift. With all setbacks, it drives the point home on the one true certainty in life and that is we must use our time wisely to make conscious change in the world. Change is designed to get outside of ourselves and become conscious of our place within a community of souls. Without change, there is no transformation. Change is good, making us stir the self-development pot a little faster!
The Rev. Dr. Charlene M. Proctor of The Goddess Network is the best-selling author of Let Your Goddess Grow! The Women’s Book of Empowerment, and The Oneness Gospel. A Blessing facilitator and a Minister of Spiritual Peacemaking, she is dedicated to helping awaken individuals from all walks of life to the magnificence of their own Divine gifts. Visit http://www.charleneproctor.com for many books, workshops, and recordings and her blog at www.charleneproctor.com/blog. Click here to buy books.
You're welcome to reprint these self-help, spiritual, and personal transformation articles on your website and in your e-newsletters free of charge, provided:
• you don't change the article in any way or charge for it;
• leave the bio; and
• you include the link to our website in the bio.
Copyright © 2013 by The Goddess Network Inc., All rights reserved worldwide.
Tips For Overcoming Adversity
Be aware of, and accept that adversity is inevitable in life.
As has already been pointed out, adversity is part of life. To avoid or resist it will only make it persist. Everywhere you look in the world there is unmistakable struggle. There are floods, tsunamis, wars, and calamities of all types. Even within your own circle of family and friends there is death, loss and tragedy. Although pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. So what do you do?
Build your internal resources.
Before adversity hits, work on cultivating emotional strength, courage and discipline. When you make yourself aware that certain difficulties are inevitable, you can prepare yourself mentally for confronting adversity head-on. It would be no different than a warrior going to battle. He (or she) prepares himself physically and mentally for any possibility. He knows it could be ugly, daunting, and grueling, but he is equipped. More often than not, when you're prepared for the worst, the worst never happens, or it's much less severe than anticipated. Another invaluable inner resource is faith. Faith that everything will work out; faith that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, and faith that "this too shall pass." Everything in life has its place and purpose
- Build your external resources. Build a support system of family and friends. When the going gets tough, we all need encouragement and support. We need someone to talk to; someone to help ease the burden. You would be surprised to discover how often a friend has had a similar experience and can help guide you through the difficult time. Even just knowing a friend is there when you need them can be most comforting.
- That which does not kill you doesn't always make stronger. Sorry Nietzsche! While I agree with Nietzsche, in principle that - "that what does not kill you will make you stronger", I do not necessarily agree with him in practice. For instance, if you do not have enough built-up resilience or experience in dealing with difficulty, adversity can crush you. On the other hand, if do you have sufficient resilience, then indeed it will make you stronger. How so, you ask? Resilience like any muscle is built up gradually and exponentially with repeated exposure to obstacles. If you lack practice in confronting obstacles (as when you choose to avoid them), one traumatic event can take you down.
- Take inspiration and learn from others who have dealt successfully with adversity. There are many inspiring stories of people who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds. They triumphed over their adversities to live successful, productive lives instead of surrendering to it.
To underscore this point, developmental research has shown that traumatized children are more, rather than less, likely to be traumatized again. Likewise, those who grow up in tough neighborhoods become weaker, not stronger, and are more likely to struggle in life.
Here are some examples:
Helen Keller: Lost her sight and hearing due to a mysterious fever when she was only 18 months old. She overcame her deafness and blindness to become a strong, educated woman who spoke about, and promoted, women's rights.Lance Armstrong: Overcame testicular cancer which spread to the brain and lungs (he was told he had only a 40% chance of survival) to come back and win the Tour de France seven more times! *** Lance has since admitted to taking steroids during his cycling career, however, he did still battle cancer and overcame immense odds. It's unfortunate that his career was not as exemplary as his will to overcome adversity.
Winston Churchill: Overcame a stuttering problem and poor performance in school to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and one of the most influential political leaders of the twentieth century. He was also known for his powerful and rousing speeches.
Wilma Rudolph: The Olympian born prematurely, the 20th of 22 children. She overcame double pneumonia, scarlet fever and polio to become winner of three Gold medals in track at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games.
J.K. Rowling: Born to a poor family; left a bad marriage with a young baby to live on government assistance; wrote her first Harry Potter book and was turned down by most publishers until Bloomsbury Publishing picked it up. Need I say more?
All Content Copyright © Essential Life Skills.net. All rights reserved.
Here’s a question for you: What are you made of? What are you really made of and how will you achieve great success? When push comes to shove, when the rubber meets the road, when the chips are down, and when you clear your mind what lies at the very core of your pillars of character?
DISCOVERING YOUR PILLARS OF CHARACTER
You learn what you’re really made of only when things go wrong and you are tumbled, end over end, by some adversity or setback that hits you like a Mack truck coming out of an alley. Since your behaviors on the outside are the real indicators of who you are on the inside, only by observing how you behave when things go wrong can you tell what you really have inside you and of what your pillars of character consist of.
HOW TO VIEW SETBACKS
Let’s make one thing clear at the beginning. Life is a continuous succession of both small and large problems. They never end. No sooner do you get control of one situation when you are hit by another. Life is a process of “two steps forward and one step back.” When you become a great success, you simply exchange one type of problem for another. No matter how smart and clever and careful you are, you’ll face challenges, difficulties and sometimes-heartbreaking adversities every day, week and month of your life.
And thank heaven for that! You couldn’t possibly have become the person you are today if you had not had to contend with adversity on your way up. Perhaps your chief aim in life and in your definition of great success is to develop a noble character, to become an excellent human being, to become everything you are capable of becoming. Only by contending with challenges that seem to be beyond your strength to handle at the moment can you grow more surely toward the stars and build upon your pillars of character.
DEVELOP PILLARS OF CHARACTER AND CLEAR YOUR MIND
Clear your mind – this is the starting point in creating great success in your business and personal life. Get yourself into a state where you’re calm and cool and in full control of your emotions and your begin to develop your pillars of character. Back off mentally, and become as objective as possible. Step back and look at the problem with a certain amount of detachment, as if it were happening to someone else. When you can clear your mind and analyze your adversities, you sometimes see opportunities to turn them to your best advantage.
HOW TO ACHIEVE GREAT SUCCESS WHILE DEALING WITH ADVERSITY
One of the rules in achieving great success and in dealing with adversity in life is that you are only as free as your well-developed alternatives. You are only as free as the options you have. Only when you can switch and do something else can you be flexible in dealing with your current situation. If you have not developed an option or an alternative, you will become anxious and even panicky when you are threatened with a sudden loss or reversal in a particular area of your life.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
In order to achieve great success in life, you must clear your mind and discover your pillars of character. Deal with adversity effectively; your ability to ask questions is essential. As long as you are asking questions, you are expanding the range of options and possibilities that are open to you. As long as you are asking questions, you are keeping your mind calm and cool and objective. You are not allowing yourself to get caught up emotionally, thereby shutting down large parts of your brain and your creative powers.
Author- Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.