Storms make trees take deeper roots – Dolly Parton
Adversity introduces a man to himself – Albert Einsten
Hi everyone! The weekend is nearly here and hope you are feeling it as I am! 🙂
Today I wanted to write about a topic I find very interesting and useful to know how to manage it: adversity. Socially (and in the dictionary), adversity is a word that has a negative connotation therefore when we face hardship or a difficult situation in our lives (yes, we all do!) we tempt to feel down, or frustrated, or sad. If we allow those negative feelings to be there for long time, you can imagine that the result is not good for anyone – not for you and in consequence, not for those who surround you. We all have the right to feel that way when going through a difficult situation (of course!) but I don’t let myself feel like this for long time.
Can I ask you a question? How do you think that things would be if we could turn adversity into advantage? The good news is that it’s possible 🙂 The not as good news (I refuse to use the word bad!) is that it’s easier to say it than to do it. One of the things I’ve learnt in the last year through practicing yoga, meditation and working on my personal growth in a consistently manner is that mindset is key. As Lewis Howes writes in his book The School of Greatness: “The actual problem, obstacle or adversity is irrelevant. It’s the mindset and response to it what matters.” Sometimes we focus on fighting (very hard) against hardship that we don’t realise that the specific (hard) situation we are experiencing right now will take us closer to our best self, to our goals, to or vision. If instead of fighting against adversity we learn to embrace it, the result could be very different – right?
For example, if I look into my personal experience, I recently chose to quit my traditional 8-5 job and take the reins of my life – something I really wanted to do and I needed for my own wellbeing. Then I found myself with a brand new venture that I need to develop (lots to learn there!) and not having clarity around the direction I want to take going forward. Plus no income coming in every two weeks (which used to give me a sense of security I don’t have now). I know it was my choice but it’s also scary and a difficult situation for me. However, instead of seeing it as adversity, I’ve decided to embrace and see it as an opportunity: an opportunity to design my life, an opportunity to learn new skills, an opportunity to leave my comfort zone and be comfortable within the uncomfortable. An opportunity to grow in all areas!
So, what did I do to embrace it? In order to put a little bit of perspective on it, I first wrote down what’s my current ‘difficult’ situation, what’s my hardship right now – what I’m not happy with, how I’m feeling and why. Your WHY (for everything you do) is VERY important. Once I identified this, I could then reconnect with my vision and goals and create an action plan to address what’s not working. And this is something you can apply to any situation you are in. However, that wasn’t all.
In addition to the above, to acknowledge what I have achieved and practicing gratitude every day has been key. When we are in a difficult situation we tempt to focus on the negative side of things and forget the positive ones. It’s why I think that working every morning in setting up your mindset for the day through meditation, positive affirmations, your attitude, or whatever other tool or strategy works for you, it’s a MUST.
I also want to share with you my recent ‘fabulous achievements box’. I went to a meet up couple of weeks ago and it was mentioned that it’s a great way to remind yourself of your achievements, which is essential. I thought it was a brilliant idea so as soon as I arrived home I took an empty box I already had and put in there my main achievements starting in January 2018. What is stopping you from having one? Believe me, it feels great when you open it and go through your achievements. It gives you a sense of purpose, of fulfillment – at least it’s what I feel 🙂
To sum up, I’d say… don’t fight against adversity and hardship, embrace and learn to love it. Who we are today is the result of our past experiences, so make your choices, keep trying and never give up 🙂
With lots of love,