Mental Mechanics: Facing Adversity

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person that walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.”  

–  Haruki Murakami

We all face adversity, in one form or another, every day. That is part of the human experience. This “storm” can present itself in any size, from the alarm clock not working; to traffic that makes us late, to a serious illness. In the moment that storm can feel never-ending, and can consume our energy and focus. Trying to avoid it is a wasted venture. It is as much a part of our lives as air, or sunlight. Some days we see more of it than others, but the one guarantee is that we will see it. How we choose to deal with adversity, when it does happen, will determine our levels of success. I have worked with thousands of individuals on managing adversity. I have noticed some commonalities in how the ones who are most successful choose to experience adversities-both big and small. The most successful understand that adversity is a normal part of the journey, and that it does not have to end it. They find ways to manage, or even leverage those moments. As one client said, ‘These past few weeks of rain have been really tough, but I know my garden will grow stronger as a result.’ These individuals also focus on the things they can control, letting go of those things that they can’t. The only thing we can ever really control is ourselves. If we can’t control something that we are facing, we can always control our reaction to it. Take time today to explore your situation. Are you currently facing a “storm” that seems overwhelming? What aspects of it can you control? How can you control your reactions to what is happening? What aspects of this situation can make you better? Be proactive in handling adversity, learn as much as you can from it, and apply those lessons to your life. It can truly be whatever you decide to make it. You will have periods of sunshine, and periods of rain, but you must be willing to keep traveling on this journey no matter the weather.