10 Steps to Rock Adversity Out and Make It Rewarding

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It’s now time to step out and tackle adversity head-on. Yes, time to take the necessary action to effectively overcome any setback once and for all.

When adversity strikes, you must immediately let go of any expectations you may be holding onto. All the plans you put in place may suddenly not be viable anymore. Holding onto these plans and expecting that there is only one path towards your goal will not help you effectively deal with the situation at hand. In fact, resistance at this stage will immediately create internal conflict which will force you into a downward spiral into the pits of despair.

What you must do instead is immediately let go of any plans or expectations you had coming into this situation. To do this, acknowledge that:

  •  I fully accept what has happened without resistance…
  • I accept that some things are out of my personal control…

I’ve been through many challenges my whole life (I dealt with the most critical ones for the past 7 years) like everybody does in their daily routine. I’ve read loads of life’s stories from Bill Gates, Soichiro Honda, Henry Ford, Sir Isaac Newton, Steve Jobs, JK Rowling, Oprah Winfrey and so on where I realized the benefits of turning adversity in a productive and profitable resource for ourselves.

This is not the time to whinge, whine and complain about your situation. I´ve learnt the road of success isn’t a straight line. In fact, the course that gets you from where you are to your desired goal will take many twists and turns.

Right now, right here is YOUR moment. This is your moment to do something meaningful. In fact, this state of desperation could be the catalyst that sparks your creativity and helps you move through this situation in an optimal way.

Whether it’s dealing with unemployment, a difficult job, or personal tragedies, here are 10  insights that can funnel it in personal and professional profit:


1.- Stay Focused

When dealing with adversity it’s important to stay present and mindful of the moment. When we are present and mindful this naturally helps to improve our focus, which subsequently allows us to gain more clarity about the situation at hand and about our possible options moving forward.

In addition to this, it’s important that we stay objective. Don’t cling on emotionally to a specific outcome, otherwise, you may not be able to see the situation clearly. Moreover, it’s also wise to stay self-aware of your thoughts and the feelings you bring forth into the situation. These thoughts and feelings can either help you or they can easily mislead you. Being self-aware will ensure that you always stay in control of your mental and emotional faculties.

All this essentially comes down to your ability to focus on how things really are and not on how you imagine or hope them to be. This distinction is important and will help you to effectively deal with the situation at hand.


2.- Breaking Things Down

Facing adversity and setbacks can become rather overwhelming very quickly. These can often be unexpected circumstances that suddenly knock us off balance. While off balance we are unable to see things clearly and therefore cannot take decisive action that can help us move forward.

In order to get yourself “on-balance” once again, you must take charge of the situation. One way to do this is to turn adversity into a problem which is helpful because when you are dealing with a problem, you are in the midst of handling something that comes with a solution. This immediately puts you in a very different frame-of-mind.

You are no longer at the mercy of circumstance, and you are no longer tempted to play the victim card. Instead, you are empowered to solve this problem because you now see it in its proper perspective.



3.- Take Immediate Action

Now that you are in a frame-of-mind for solving a problem, it’s time to take immediate action that will help move you forward.

Of course, there might still be a lot of uncertainty and you might very well not yet have all the answers you need at this stage to help you solve this problem. But all these things are of course irrelevant.

Solutions to your problems don’t often come during times of contemplation; although that is certainly a part of the process. Breakthrough insights often come while we take proactive action to solve the problem. This happens because while you are taking action you gain new experiences, and with new experiences, you gather more information, and more information leads to unique insights that you never had before.

Join to groups and courses in your professional área, get books in the topics you love most, write, coach, improve, implement, apply, do ANYTHING that can keep your mind synchronized in a productive, mindful and positive state.


4.- Find Heroes AKA Mentors

If you’re still struggling and don’t seem to be making much progress, then it can be helpful to find heroes or mentors who can help provide you with some guidance.

Heroes are typically role models who you look up to. You don’t necessarily know these people. You rather admire them from a distance. Mentors, on the other hand, are people you know who have a vast array of knowledge and experience; who have typically gone through the same kind of adversity you are currently struggling with. These are people who can guide you along the next steps through your journey.

Find heroes and look for mentors that can lead you down the right path. At times a little guidance is all you need to make a breakthrough.


5.- Manage Your Emotions

Sometimes when SCUBA divers drown they still have air in their oxygen tanks. NO JOKE.

How is this possible? Something goes wrong, they panic, and instinctively pull the regulator out of their mouth.

The victims had followed an emotional response that was in general a good one for the organism, to get air. But it was the wrong response under the special, non-natural, circumstances of scuba diving.

When you’re having trouble breathing what’s more natural than to clear an obstruction from your mouth?

Winners acknowledge difficult situations, keep calm and evaluate things rationally so they can make a plan and act. So you know you’re in trouble but you’re keeping your cool. Might there be a simple way to sidestep all these problems? Yeah.


6.- Be A Quitter

Many of you might be a little confused right now: “Quitting? That doesn’t make any sense.”

What do we see when we look at people who survive life and death situations? Many of them were smart enough to bail early.

The best way to take a punch from a UFC fighter and to survive a hurricane are the same: “Don’t be there when it hits.”

When the company starts laying people off, there’s always one guy smart enough to immediately jump ship and preemptively get a new job. What about some people are smart enough to realize, “I am never going to be a great Tango dancer and should double my efforts at playing poker.”

And you know what results this type of quitting has? It makes you happier, reduces stress and increases health.

You can do anything — when you stop trying to do everything.


7.- Be Delusional

This is not to be misinterpreted as a bad thing. In fact, being delusional helps us become more effective. By definition, these delusions don’t have to be accurate. If they were totally accurate, your goals would be too low. I noticed that although illusions of control expose people to risk of failure, they do something else that is very interesting: they motivate people to keep trying even when they’ve failed…

Crazy successful people and people who survive tough situations are all overconfident. Very overconfident.

Some of you may be scratching your head: “Isn’t step one all about not being in denial? About facing reality?”

You need to make a distinction between denial about the situationand overconfidence in your abilities.

See the world accurately — but believe you are a ROCKSTAR.


8.- Prepare… Even If It’s Too Late For Preparation

Folks, I firmly believe there is no such thing as a “pretty good” alligator wrestler.

Who survives life threatening situations? People who have done it before. People who have been prepared. Now even if you can’t truly prepare for a layoff or a divorce, you can work to have good productive habits and eliminate wasteful ones.

Good habits don’t tax your willpower as much as deliberate actions and will help you to be more productive.

How do you survive a WW2 shipwreck and shark attacks? Keep preparing for the future, even when you’re in the midst of trouble. You’re expecting the best but prepared for the worst.

Perfect. Is now the time to de-stress?  Heck, NO.



9.- Stay Busy, Busy, Busy

What’s the best way to survive and keep your emotions in check when things are hard? “Work, work, work.”

When things go bad, people get sad or scared, retreat and distract themselves. That can quell the emotions, but it doesn’t get you out of this mess.

Winners know that staying busy not only gets you closer to your goals but it’s also the best way to stay calm and believe it or not, we’re all happier when we’re busy. Aren´t we?

You’re hustlin’. That’s good. But it’s hard to keep that can-do attitude when things aren’t going well. What’s another secret to hanging in there?


10.- Make It A Game

Even boring things can be fun if you turn them into a game with stakes, challenges and little rewards.

You can use this same system for everyday problems: How many resumes can you send out today? Can you beat yesterday?

Celebrating “small wins” is something survivors have in common.

Survivors take great joy from even their smallest successes. That is an important step in creating an ongoing feeling of motivation and preventing the descent into hopelessness. It also provides relief from the unspeakable stress of a true survival situation.

You’re a MACHINE. Making progress despite huge challenges!

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