3 Ways To Use Adversity To Your Advantage
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By Cathy Meyer, Founding Editor - September 28, 2014

Fotolia_56950355_XS.jpgI like the word “calamity” instead of adversity but, it doesn’t get the point across quite as well. It sounds a bit too dressed up to express the distress and hardship that comes along with the loss we experience when we go through the adversity of divorce.

But, maybe that is how we come out on the other end of adversity a better person with a better life…by dressing it up, turning it into a “calamity” and viewing it as an opportunity instead of a roadblock to happiness.

When one stops to think about the rewards of adversity, or facing adversity in a way that benefits us don’t we have to stop looking at it in a negative way? Think about it, those who manage to navigate adversity in a healthy manner…

  • End up with a higher sense of trust in themselves,
  • Become less fearful about future hardships,
  • Are more resilient,
  • Have a better sense of self-worth,
  • Are no longer vulnerable to opinions and judgments of others,
  • Are left with wisdom, strength and clarity of why they are and what they are capable of.

Life challenges such as divorce have a way of dimming our spirit. We can go from feeling like a 100-watt bulb to a flickering 60-watt bulb. Worse yet, if adversity is not properly dealt with, we can eventually burn out and find ourselves feeling powerless. That little light that was your spirit just won't shine anymore.

So, what you ask is the proper way to deal with and view adversity?

How do we keep our spirit from growing dim and losing power during difficult times?

We all go through adversity; the trick is how to get through adversity without adversity getting the best of us.

Thriving and growing through times of adversity depends on…

  • How you view adversity,
  • The attitude you have toward adversity,
  • How willing you are to actively work through the period of adversity.

Most people view change as bad, scary and avoidable. Adversity is nothing more than change that negatively affects your life. Your power does not lie in resisting the change, the circumstance, or the behaviors of others.

Your power lies in your interpretation of the situation, in your ability to get up again, renew your life, and transform your pain into power.

How to View Adversity:

I've said before that I don't believe what happens to us is important. It is how we respond to what happens to us that is key to survival. If you are the type to make a mountain out of a molehill then you are going to have to deal with a mountain instead of a molehill. In other words, our problems are as big as we allow them to become.

It is imperative that you bring the adversity of divorce and what it means for your life into proper perspective.

It may seem huge and insurmountable to you, but is it really?

Is it going to mean physical injury, are you going to be burned at the stake, lose the love and support of your family and friends?

When we are consumed with our own problems, we may believe they are the worst in the universe. The truth is, they are not. They may be of supreme importance to us, but if you look around, you can always find someone with worse problems that yours.

In other words, although you may feel overwhelmed, stressed out and at your wits’ end, there is life to live, a future to build and many things to look forward to. Those who manage to navigate adversity and come out smelling like a rose do so because they view adversity as a temporary setback.

And, they are able to take care of the business of life while also dealing with the adversity. They don’t give up on everything and focus totally on the adversity they are going through. This enables them to continue to grow through adversity.

Your Attitude Toward Adversity:

Your attitude can reshape a hurtful experience and turn it into a new and promising experience.

Your own view of yourself will determine your view toward adversity.

See yourself as a strong and powerful woman and you will we view adversity as a challenge to work through, not a life altering occurrence you can’t get through.

When you respond positively and constructively to your biggest challenges, the qualities of strength, courage, character and perseverance emerge from deep inside of you. You need to decide whether you will allow your divorce experience to make or break you. Depending upon how you choose to perceive it, it could go either way.

Working Through Adversity:

Yes, navigating a period of adversity in life is work. Sunny, fun filled days are easier to get through than days filled with emotional pain or nasty legal issues to deal with. So, what makes the difference in the results we get while working our way through a period of adversity?

How much hope you have and how resilient you are. What you do and how you do it will directly impact who you are and the life you will live on the other side of adversity.

When the negativity of divorce becomes overwhelming you must have faith, hope and the resilience to move forward. Remaining hopeful that the future will be better and knowing you have the strength to persevere is what will help you make progress instead of give up.

The Rewards of Adversity:

Wherever we are in life, we are there for a reason. There are lessons to be learned from hard times. Adversity is not so much about contending with problems as it is learning more about what is inside us, about who we really are.

Adversity can bring out the best and the worst in us. It can pull the covers back and show us our true colors.

Adversity creates the ability for us to feel empathy and compassion for the human condition.

Adversity, if dealt with, with the proper attitude, patience and a willingness to learn can give us our greatest opportunity to shine.

Viewing adversity in the proper perspective, not giving it more importance than necessary, and learning the lesson contained in it means taking control of the adversity instead of it taking control of you.

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