Successful Leaders’ Top Secrets to Overcoming Adversity

Dealing with Adversity and How It Takes Its Toll

  • Negativity is everywhere, from TV to gossipy co-workers. It can’t always be controlled, but it can be monitored and manipulated.
  • Definition of adversity: When a hardship, unexpected event or life transition occurs, and we are left to pick up the pieces of our life and readjust to the next chapter.
  • Adversity is something everyone deals with; it takes a toll on our confidence, belief in ourselves, careers, relationships, and happiness.
  • Examples of adversity include divorce, the loss of a loved one, sickness, a learning or physical disability, job loss, etc.

Focus on the Goal (Not the Hardship)

  • Turn over a new leaf—get “stuck” in positive ways of thinking rather than obsessively thinking about the negative hardship that has affected your life.
  • Make it a mission to yourself to overcome adversity, conquer it and become a mentor or role model for everyone else facing hardship.
  • Focus on the good it has brought you: perhaps it brought you closer to family for support, caring friends, an opportunity to seek out resources and think outside of the box, a chance to start over single with no one to worry about but yourself, greater willpower and resilience, etc.

Make a List of Your Accomplishments (and Read It Daily)

  • Overcome adversity by writing lists—every morning, write down every accomplishment you’ve made. Re-read it several times throughout the day or right before going to bed at night.
  • Keep another list of your goals. How can you work through this hardship? Write down ideas you have about reaching each goal.
  • Create a vision board—include positive images of your goal, inspirational quotes, and old pictures that bring out feelings of happiness in you.

Everything Passes—Including the Tough Stuff

  • Avoid thinking this hardship is etched in stone—it’s not, and it will pass.
  • Look forward to the future—everything you have the ability to accomplish, the things you want to see, the people you want to meet, the career you want to have.
  • Here’s an affirmation to use: “This moment is meant to teach me something important. When the lesson has been learned, the hardship will pass, and greater things are in store. I can’t wait to see what wonderful things will happen!”

Go with Your Gut

  • Go through the motions of this challenging time, and listen to yourself (forget everyone else).
  • What feels right as you go about your day, and what doesn’t feel right? Are you taking steps to improve your attitude, or are you surrounding yourself with people who pull you down?

Laugh about Something Every Day

  • Laugh once a day, and you’ll take away some of the seriousness of your situation—laugh multiple times in a day, and you’ll heal quickly from the emotional pain.
  • Pull out old photos from when you were young and crazy (and laugh at your hair from two decades ago!).
  • Go through old journals, and see patterns of evolution and positive change that took place and will continue to take place.
  • Give thanks for all you’ve learned up to this point and all you will continue to learn—including right now in this very moment.

A Few Last Thoughts …

As you learn how to laugh about the harder moments of life and beat those negative thoughts to a pulp with powerful, positive thoughts, you will get through the rough patches with less and less effort and struggle. As you do, your life will continue to sparkle and shine on as it always has!


© Kathleen Crawford     and