When adversity strikes your mindset is your primary weapon. How you react, how you respond, and what you do determines your ability to effectively cope with and overcome these inevitable challenges. There is a process that will enable you to more effectively deal with adversity, and if you do the following, your prospects are increased immeasurably.
Accept – What’s done is done. You can’t change what happened, time travel is not possible. You can learn from the experience, but for now focus on finding solutions instead of finding excuses. Accept responsibility instead of casting blame.
Get the Facts – Before any action is taken ensure you get as complete an understanding as possible as to what went wrong and why it went wrong. Making decisions on inaccurate information will only compound the problem. Ask questions instead of making assumptions. Do not shoot messengers and be open to feedback.
Maintain Your Composure – Project confidence and a calm demeanor regardless of the circumstances. Do not lose sight of what you are about and your values. Set the tone by reinforcing your commitment and belief in the cause. A confident demeanor and a positive attitude, even without a solution at hand, will instill confidence in those around you.
Take Action – Once you have all the facts, or as much information as possible, and have considered the options, develop a plan. Involve team members in the development of this plan to ensure greater buy-in. Create a roadmap with objectives and timelines, ensuring clear lines of responsibility.
Assess and Learn – Closely monitor the progress towards the objectives, making course adjustments as required. Pay attention to the mindset and health of team members understanding some people do not handle adversity as well as others. As you claw your way back take note of what went wrong and have measures in place to ensure history is not repeated.
When faced with adversity find the inner strength to be courageous and resilient. Bear in mind you have choices and be fiercely determined to find a way or make one to get through your current crisis. Afterwards, you will take satisfaction in the fact that you were able to successfully get through this crisis and be better prepared when adversity comes knocking again.
Resiliency is the ability to cope and adapt when faced with adversity. When people who are resilient are faced with adversity or dire circumstances, they maintain their composure, have the psychological strength to deal with stress, and the skillsets required to cope and recover. Another phrase you may have heard is that someone “bounces back”. Those without resiliency become overly emotional, lose their composure, and have difficulty functioning. Those individuals who are not resilient often times portray themselves as the victim since they see events unfolding which conspire against them and feel powerless to do anything.
As with anything else, resiliency is a learned behavior and comprises a number of factors. If someone is cognizant of their shortcomings there is a process and actions which can be taken which will cultivate resiliency. This does not mean you will not experience the associated emotional pain or grief which accompany such events, but it does mean you will be able to navigate through the storm and eventually reach calmer seas. To do this keep the following points in mind during your travail.
Manage Your Expectations – Don’t set yourself up by expecting things to always go smoothly. Be an optimist, but also be a realist. Understand that setbacks happen and sometimes things don’t go the way you had hoped they would or had planned.
Positive Mindset – Maintain your composure. Do not view yourself as a victim of circumstances or view this as an insurmountable problem. Do not further exacerbate things by blowing this out of proportion in your mind. Focus on the issues at hand exhibiting a can-do attitude, vowing to find a way or make one.
Maintain Perspective – Consider the situation in the proper context. Understand this is a short-term issue that in the longer term will be valuable learning experience. Focus on past experiences where you have successfully overcome similar issues, drawing strength from the fact that you responded effectively then, and will do so now.
Take Action – Do not sit there and wait for something to happen, make something happen. Do not avoid the issue, it won’t go away by trying to manage it. Confront the issue head on and take decisive action.
Rely on Your Network – Relying on your relationships, either personal or professional, will help you weather the occurrence. Just as a cohesive military unit is stronger, taking strength from each other, you should do the same.
You may not think so at the time, but there are benefits to having incurred adverse circumstances. These are valuable life lessons and help shape your resiliency which is a key trait in being able to effectively deal with adversity. This also affords you the opportunity to develop in ways you may not have been able to if you had not had these experiences. As you encounter adverse circumstances, keep the following five points in mind during your travail:
1. Learning Experience — You need to be tested or challenged in order to learn and grow. Every adverse circumstance is a lesson learned that helps you grow and develop your capacity to deal with future occurrences. If you have never experienced something in your life, it is difficult to know how to react, and just as importantly, to know how you will react. Adversity provides you with the opportunity to learn from the experience and be better prepared for the next problem you will encounter.
2. Challenges are Opportunities — Adversity will challenge you in new ways resulting in experiences you otherwise would not have encountered. These challenges help build you as you strive to make the most of it a bad situation and turn things around. Facing these challenges head on, coping with them, and developing a recovery strategy emboldens you and gives you the confidence to face the next obstacle.
3. Builds Resiliency — These experiences develop your capacity to maintain resolve and determination through the tough times. Stress and anxiety are twin components which affect everyone when dealing with adversity. Being able to effectively cope with the stressors associated with adversity enables you to cultivate a range of skills which makes you stronger, better equipped, and more resilient for future events.
4. Gain Perspective — Times of adversity make us more appreciative when things are going smoothly. You will look back on this, taking satisfaction in the fact you were able to get through it, understanding adversity is not permanent. You will acknowledge adversity is also a state of mind, have a more positive mindset in the future knowing you survived once, and will do so again.
5. Helps with Planning — Another benefit to adversity is you are better prepared for the future. What you have learned about yourself, others around you, and the organization can be the basis for well-developed alternatives and contingency plans that can be expeditiously and confidently executed during the next unforeseen or untoward event.