“In the midst of adversity, execute…” – Eric Thomas
Adversity is defined as an unpleasant or difficult situation. As humans our natural reaction to a difficult situation is that we don’t really like it. We generally tend to think we would be perfectly fine and happy without an annoying thorn in the flesh. But adversity creeps into all our lives anyway. In some way, shape or form we all face difficulty. It is true that difficult times can be overwhelming, that is correct but you must know that there is no testimony without a test. So in order for you to overcome; you must pass your test. Experience has taught me that in adversity, it is not the situations we go through that actually crumbles us, it is our response to the adversity.
They say that one knows and realises the true character and essence of a man when he is tried and put through the fire. We see this even in nature – a pearl is formed because a tiny grain of sand is a big botheration for the oyster, diamonds are formed when coal is under a lot of pressure for extended periods of time. There is something very interesting and remarkable about adversity. Maybe it’s in the way it manages to strip away the impurities and unwanted parts in us or in the way it smooths out rough edges. It certainly makes us strong in ways we could not have imagined.
The funny thing is, we don’t necessarily choose adversity. More often than not difficult life situations are perceived as something that happens to us. In challenging situations, there are those of us who just let ourselves be dragged along and then there are those of us who take charge of the things we can, because the truth is, even in the midst of an adversity we are not out of control and we are not helpless. So, how can we use adversity to our advantage? How can we feel in control when things are seemingly out of control?
We have the ability to choose how we see things. The power of perspective. To be able to choose is our greatest weapon and contributes towards a sense of being in control and a sense of empowerment. Here’s a few things to help you execute, even in the midst of adversity.
- Failure to recognise and acknowledge adversity/ difficulties.
You must acknowledge your adversity or else you would not seek for help and tend to get your situation worse. Recognising and acknowledging your difficulties is the number one key thing you must do. Often times, we might be in a difficult situation but not knowing that the situation is not the only way out for us. That is, you may be going through some challenges but you end up taking it as the norm. No matter how tough you are are or well organised, the Covid 19 pandemic is a crisis.
- The way you handle your challenges
Do you see challenges as the end of the world? Do you see challenges as an opportunity? Hear this, challenges are not there to destroy you. Challenges are not there to kill you. Challenges are there to strengthen you, to make you a better person and prepare you for your next level of success. Therefore, the way you handle your adversity will determine the outcome you get.
Even if your walls are crumbling on you and you cannot prevent them from crumbling, do not allow the bricks to fall over you. If only you can stand on those bricks and know the use of your voice indeed you can execute in adversity. Always say “I know everything is not going the way I would like it, but maybe I can think of the things I am grateful for…” That shift in perspective will allow you to be thankful for all the good that is around you.
- Those you surround yourself with
Who do you call your friend? I have been in difficult situations whereby those I surrounded myself with made the situation worse. Hence, I will advise you choose your friends wisely. Deliberately choose those you call your friends.
As you know, “you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with” – Jim Rohn. So true, but it is even truer that the company you keep will determine if you will go through your adversity with much ease or with much stress. As humans, we are prone to challenges, so it is important you surround yourself with caring and loving people that build you up.
- We can choose our actions and how we behave
Oprah Winfrey had the choice to crumble in her adversity but chose to turn her mess into a message that has transformed the world. Colonel Harland David Sanders in his frustration chose to give birth to KFC, which is now a multi-billion company even after he passed away. Think about your actions in times of adversity. Are your actions aggressive, gentle, kind, selfish, healthy or unhealthy? What fuels your actions? Is it love or survival? Fear or selfishness? Is it kindness or revenge? Maybe stress or urgency? Pinpoint that which drives you to act and ponder on it first before moving.
- Perspective Changes The Outcome
I will lead with a side story here, a man had 2 sons, his wife died and he started drinking heavily. The situation affected both his sons, the eldest also started drinking heavily and the youngest withdrew away from the family. When their father died the eldest son was asked ‘why do you drink so much yet this habit has killed your father’ he responded by saying “because i saw my father drink”. The youngest was asked why didn’t you drink like your father and your brother did? And his response was “because i saw my father drink”.
The situation was the same, the circumstances were the same but the perspective was different. The 2 sons experienced different outcomes in their personal lives because they saw their situation differently.
Perspective reminds us what’s important and what’s not. It helps us recognise that we probably don’t need to dwell on one bad grade for too long, or wallow for months on end about a relationship that we knew wouldn’t work out in the first place fulfilled its prophecy. It allows us to move on, to not sweat the small stuff, because the bigger, life-altering problems are still looming. Adversity is sure like death and paying taxes, your part is to embrace the difficulties.
What is it that you are going through, what is it you have been through that has crumbled you and denied you of your dream? Is it a marital crisis or betrayal from your loved ones? Could it be unemployment issues or failure in business that has led to financial struggle? Are you dealing with health problems of a close family or yourself? Listen, life is full of challenges but in the midst of your adversity, it is of paramount importance you remain focused to overcome. Pick yourself up and keep going.
Hope you and yours are safe, share with us your perspective in the comments section. Would love to hear from you. Let’s be great.