Last Updated on 04/20/2023 by Glynn Willard
You’re human, I’m human, we’re all human (I think) and humans make mistakes. We have failures and there’s no escaping this reality.
But you can control your perception of adversity.
I realize this is nothing new to you.
Shoot, we even have “Adversity introduces us to our higher self” on one of our Reset Your Journey shirts.
But, there’s an important takeaway to all of this adversity/mistakes/failure talk.
First, what does overcoming adversity mean?
Overcoming Adversity Meaning
I believe there’s more to the meaning of overcoming adversity than just getting through obstacles and challenges that stand in your way.
It’s more about how you present adversity to your mind.
Or better yet, how you initially perceive adversity and convey that information to your decision making center (cerebral cortex).
And finally, how you deal with the adversity.
Perception of Adversity
It’s one thing to tell you that failing can be a good thing when you’re willing to learn from the failure or adversity, but without analysis of the failure, nothing is gained.
Got that? This is why taking the time to analyze your failures and adversity is so important.
I know you’ve heard the phrase, “we learn from our mistakes” too many times.
But do you ever assess what went wrong during such a circumstance?
I mean really sit down and think about or discuss the lessons learned and what can be done differently the next failure or adverse situation?
Few do. If this is your habit, awesome for you!
But if not, how can you incorporate this the next time you experience a “less than cool” failure?
Developing Your Resilience To Adversity
Resilience to adversity requires exercise once you learn how to analyze how you handle adversity.
I strongly suggest willfully seeking new challenges. Do things you’re afraid of… let me rephrase that:
Do things that scare the crap out of you!
If it requires a mentor or coach, even better. Paid education is invaluable.
Here are a few things I’ve done that scared me.
- With the assistance of mentors, I learned how to build and operate a successful business. And then sell it.
- I learned to tow a trailer.
- Learned the Linux command line (this has been a lot of fun).
- Became comfortable standing in front of the video camera. I was petrified initially. Now it’s easy.
I continue to look for new things to challenge myself.
Why do all of this?
Because it’s practice for better managing adversity!
Real Life Examples of Adversity
I can give you plenty of personal adversity examples. Endless, in fact.
Adversity presents its head in so many different ways for each and every one of you.
Every minute of the day, there are copious amounts of people overcoming adversity.
Shoot, you can watch my first example on YouTube.
If you follow our channel, you may recall the video about our wheel falling off while pulling into our boondocking location in Kofa, AZ.
The mistake occurred months earlier when I did not properly back off the axle nut enough.
And I didn’t address the hole in the dust cap, allowing dust to accumulate in the bearings of that particular axle.
At the time, I didn’t even realize the mistake I was making.
Seriously, imagine pulling your travel trailer into your potential camping spots in the desert, getting out to assess the area and realizing you’re missing a wheel.
At first, it was a “head scratcher,” then it settled in and was more of a “holy ears!”
This is a great examples of overcoming adversity!
When it happened, I could have lost my mind and made Rose and the boys uncomfortable.
Instead, I took time to think about the situation and find a workable solution.
That solution came in the form of a great person who came to our rescue.
Not only did he rescue us, he took me under his wing and taught me how to properly change bearings and suspension shackles.
We turned adversity into a wonderful experience. It all started with my perception of the situation.
This is an aspect for which you have complete control over.
Here are a few more personal examples of overcoming adversity:
- Watching my son have a seizure while driving.
We pulled over and called 911. My wife removed him from his car seat and laid him in the shade.
She remained calm while following the protocol the 911 dispatcher was giving me.
We learned from and prepared for the next time. Fortunately, it never happened.
- Receiving a text from my wife while I’m working, stating “passing out, calling 911.”
Mind you, she was home alone with our young children. I never made it home so fast.
The ambulance was there when I arrived to take her to the hospital.
This was the beginning of months of overcoming adversity.
- Shutting my business down during Covid without knowing how we would finance ongoing overhead.
We played it safely and pivoted our business to a hybrid online set up.
We minimized our expenses, kept our staff paid and accepted very little PPP funding.
- Learning how to tow a travel trailer after purchasing the trailer.
I practiced every maneuver in a vacant parking lot over and over. It never presented a problem.
I have to note, this is a situation where we ended up turning adversity into advantage. We sold it all and traveled the country for two years. It was epic!
I could go on and on. No doubt, so can you.
But my perception and ability to handle adversity improved every time. It has taken practice and exercise.
I do this by purposely embracing adversity to fine tune how I handle it in all situations as I mentioned earlier.
Going forward, fail as many times as necessary until you succeed while subjecting yourself to adversity.
Even if your wheels fall off! It always leads to wisdom and an ability to better manage adversity.
I bet you’ve heard that before!
Again, look for opportunities to do challenging things.
The more you challenge yourself, the easier it is to manage adversity that’s out of your control!
Conquering adversity is within your means!
How will you challenge yourself?
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