How to bounce back from adversity
We all face adversity from time to time. How you react is often the difference between taking it in your stride and at other times feeling overwhelmed and as though nothing can ever go right again. How often have you tried something that did not turn out the way you expected and it made you decide you would rather never challenge yourself in that way again rather than facing the feelings of failure, embarrassment or humiliation? How do you protect yourself from the feelings of ‘not enough’ and regain your courage to face life with all of the challenges it will throw at you?
Useful tips for overcoming adversity
I have put together a few tips which hopefully will get you on the right track to building resilience and creating the life you want to live, rather than experiencing fear and overwhelm when life throws you one of those curve balls. Implementing these tips will assist you in overcoming adversity and bouncing back from difficult situations.
Focus on how you have overcome difficult experiences in the past.
What did you do to feel better? What things did you do that helped? What are the things you did that did not help? Build awareness around what you can consciously do to create a better environment which will support your journey to overcome the situation.
Use the situation as a learning tool.
What can you learn from this situation? If you could change it, how would you act differently? What were the positives? Is there something you can do differently if you are in the same situation again? Every part of life we experience, good or bad, is part of who we become. Even the most difficult of situations allow us to build resilience and coping techniques which we can then utilise in other parts of life.
Take on the challenge
If it is a situation where you have a choice, consciously take on the task ahead of you. Set goals and work out how you can overcome the barriers. What can you do? What do you need to do differently to get a different outcome? What do you need to learn? Who can support or help you through this?
Put it in perspective
You are not the only one to have ever experienced this event and will not be the last. Remember that everyone has difficult things they need to work through from time to time. You can ask others how they dealt with a tricky or negative situation and they may have some great ideas. Sometimes it is just knowing that bad stuff will happen and you have the power to move on. Keep a positive attitude and build optimism for the future.
Laugh it off. Bounce back.
Sometimes this may seem really difficult, but if you can follow the old adage of ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ you are on your way to being able to work your way through the situation. If you can use humour to reframe the circumstances and see things from a funny perspective, it will help decrease the negative emotions surrounding the event. If the situation itself is not capable of being turned into something humorous, then take the opportunity to do something fun, or watch a funny movie, comedy show or chat to a friend who always makes you laugh. Laughing is a great way to bounce back from adversity.
Be aware of your emotions
Take a moment to feel the physical emotions you are experiencing as a result of the situation. How would you explain these? What colour would you describe them as? Can you notice the emotion or feeling and once identified, let it go? Building awareness around your reactions to situations will help to judge if those feelings are helpful, and if not, how can you remove them? Will identifying them be enough? Do you need to go for a walk or exercise or listen to music or read a book to distract those emotions from taking over your whole being?
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
If you can think of the worst possible outcomes to any situation you may face, and then have a plan as to how you will react in the unlikely event these things happen you will build the idea around setting up a coping mechanism ‘just in case’. Remember to also focus on the positive outcomes and set yourself some really positive affirmations as well, so you do not manifest the negatives into reality. It is like a fire drill for life.
Make peace with your mistakes
It is important to remember that negatives or bad outcomes are always possible. It is how you take responsibility for your actions and input into the situation and how you work out how to overcome the failures that make you strong. Have a look at what you could change to make the outcome different next time. Were you the only person responsible? What would have happened had you done something differently? Know that you cannot change what is the past, what you can change is your ability to own the events and to learn from the experiences.
Be kind to yourself
Treat yourself with compassion and understanding. Often we are super harsh with our self-talk about what we did wrong. Stop for a moment and think how you would speak to a friend or someone else about the situation and give yourself the same level of understanding and kindness and most of all forgiveness. Remember that you need to be kind to yourself to overcome your adversity.
Hopefully these ideas have sparked something in your thoughts and will help to change your behaviours next time something does not go your way. If you never experienced adversity, pain or disappointment, you would never realise the wonderment of success, happiness and contentment. Use these tools to give you the confidence to reach out for what you really want to achieve in life and to get over the hurdles and barriers that sometimes get in the way. If you would like to know more about overcoming adversity and building resilience please drop me a line or visit our coaching page to see how I can help you with strategies to bounce back from adversity.