How Adversity Can Make You a Stronger Leader and a Better Person

Have you ever been so discouraged or humiliated that you have never gotten over it even if what caused you to feel this way might be many years in the past? I know that I have experienced this feeling and there are still situations in my life that have caused me so much pain, despair and rejection I still have a hard time to reconcile my feelings when those memories arise.

In today’s blog, I would like to focus on some strategies that can help you as a business leader, and as a person to overcome adversity. If you have not yet faced adversity in your career, business or personal life you are fortunate because in truth no one can elude adversity forever. It does not matter what your personality type is, a risk taker living life on the edge or if you are someone who is more pragmatic, playing things safe. At some point, adversity will strike and make for unpleasant challenges that you will need to deal with. 

Adversity has many faces; it can be that your personal life is in chaos,  you missed a big client contract you were sure you would get, your start-up business is on the brink of failure and you are terrified you will have to declare bankruptcy. These types of situations can cause enormous stress, despair, and a huge loss of self-confidence and self-esteem. Left unaddressed these types of situations can easily cause mental health issues with depression and anxiety being at the forefront. The time to prepare for adversity is not when it is staring you in the face but actually when things are going well for you.

Be Determined: You have handled tough situations before and you made it to the other side. If you are determined, you will get through your current set back. When faced with adversity, actions speak far louder than words. Take some time to think about how you will overcome your current challenge, enlist others who support you, rehearse and visualize a positive outcome. 

Be Responsible: When people face adversity, they often retreat from the situation and hope that it will resolve itself. It won’t! You need to take responsibility to determine what actions, behaviour and conduct you may have displayed that contributed to the situation. Yes, it could well be another person or group of people that caused or contributed to the adversity but if it is your career, your business, your startup, you need to own it and resolve it. If the issue is something that you could not have prevented, identify what happened and respond in a positive manner. 

Use Your Experience and Abilities: Failure happens to everyone and it is not a judgement of you as a person or your abilities. If you have received negative feedback, let the message sink in and reflect on what you could have done different or better and plan to do it next time. I know you have heard it before but failure is not final and it really is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Your Strengths Are Your Greatest Power: We tend to work on improving our weaknesses while ignoring our strengths. Continual growth, competency and proficiency are all important things to strive for but it is your innate strengths that will help you to survive when you are struggling to overcome an obstacle or a setback. We all tend to be harder on ourselves than we need to be. I know this feeling all too well and I am sure you do too. Work on letting your perfectionism go and look at your situation in a more positive light. 

Stand Up and Start Over: If you have reached the pinnacle of despair, this may be a time to reassess what you need to do to set a new course. Once you have completed your self-analysis on what may have caused the adversity, stand up and start over. I have done this many times, and I am confident that you can too.

If you need any guidance or assistance to overcome any adversity in your career, business or personal life, we are here to help. Contact Jennifer Grant International for a courtesy consult. 

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” ~ Albert Einstein

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