~The Flipside of Adversity: Overcoming~
Let’s take the time to have a real moment – adversity is not a word that makes us feel good. As a matter of fact, it can be quite frightening and, at times, extremely overwhelming. Our hardships allow us to learn to appreciate how instrumental they are in relation to our perspective on the flipside of adversity – looking through the lens of opportunity.
Let’s face it – adversity is something that we all will face in our lives and is not defined by the event itself but how we choose to deal with it.
Over the past 14 months, I have experienced more adversity than I thought I could take. I had to urgently alter my self-care plans due to health challenges as a result of stress. A part of this plan was to end some long-term relationships that had become detrimental to my mental capacity and executive functioning; all leaving me faced with making some difficult decisions. I recall driving down Kelly Drive in Philadelphia, PA, finding myself enamored with the fog that had risen above the river due to the weather climate change. In the very midst of this moment, I began to visualize a diamond coming out of the rough with renewed clarity and greater purpose. That powerful experience enabled me to refocus my lens and boldly acknowledge three life-changing truths:
There is one person in particular, whose strength I admire: Oprah Winfrey. Oprah was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother; later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood and endured physical abuse by relatives. In the midst of it all, she skipped two grades and was awarded a scholarship at age 13. As we all have witnessed, Oprah Winfrey is not your average woman as she chose not to let the troubling times and the impossible she faced define her. Instead, she stared adversity in the face by overcoming her obstacles, continuing to show countless individuals how to succeed despite the challenges they face.
One of the most effective ways to overcome the improbable and unexpected is to develop a growth mindset. Developing a growth mindset embraces a confident attitude towards life’s challenges. It means that when things don’t work out as you planned, you can still respond positively instead of becoming frustrated or feeling defeated. Developing a growth mindset embraces increased faith and mental toughness and is reflective of a person who, in spite of adversity, approaches difficulties as learning opportunities. In developing your own growth mindset, you may have to visit many chapters in your life to be reminded of prior successes to encourage you on your journey.
In last week’s blog, I shared the Seven Bold and Abundant Pillars for Living Strong with Adversity. One of those pillars, Mindset, is crucial when facing adversity. When focusing on mindset, be intentionally aware of negative self-talk. Why is this important? It is crucial because what we think becomes our reality!
The definition of growth mindset is that your basic belief in your abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Meaning, your position in the face of adversity can be changed through the power of thought. Over the next 7 days, reflect on past practices when faced with adversity. Purposely respond from a place of learning in spite of the letdown. Take your time and respond to each thoughtfully. The clarity that comes in reflective thought can pave the way to overcoming future obstacles.
- Identify a challenging situation that caught you by surprise. How did you respond? Recall your feelings at that moment.
- Think about a difficult time you faced growing up? How did you or your family respond?
- Recall a time you failed and changed strategies which led to success
- Record the most difficult skill you had to learn and the steps you had to take to learn it
- Get clear on “why” it is necessary for you to make the change now, change the habit now, or get back up from adversity, NOW!
- Unapologetically, write down what you want for your life on the flipside of adversity.
- Who will be impacted because you “won’t quit”?
Use this download to practice the art of reflecting and application that is tied to a growth mindset as you journey through the next 7 days.
Often times life’s greatest challenges can produce the most prized diamond, allowing you to find your way through the adversity you face and be better for it. As I look back over the adversity I have faced, I can clearly see it as a pathway to something great.