Life is tough. It presents us with unexpected events out-with our control. It can often test our patience and courage, our strength and sense of wellbeing and more. It catches us unawares and without notice. It presents situations we wouldn’t choose and traumas to deal with. It can be very hard indeed.
Here I look at how best to deal with and respond to adversity to make the most of a bad situation and be most resilient, to have a glimmer of hope or positivity and to remain at least a little in control.
That’s not saying of course, that everything is fixable or sortable or happy in outcome. It’s not. But sometimes, looking at bad situations differently alters the outcome and next steps.
Our attitude is key.
Think of some well know phrases from over the years:
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking that makes it so”
Shakespeare, Hamlet Act II, Scene II
“People are disturbed not by things but the views that they take from them”
Epictetus c A.D 55-135
“The meaning of things lies not in things themselves but in our attitude towards them”
AC Grayling 2005
Look at the timeframes of knowing that often the perspective of a situation is determined by our actual thoughts. Across the ages!
And more recently:
“The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem”
Captain Jack Sparrow aka Johnny Depp
So, if A is the Adversity, what dictates the C, Consequence? At the heart, it is our belief, B.
We frequently might think or determine that the consequence or outcome of a bad event or situation is based on the adversity itself when in fact our approach to the adversity, our belief and attitude, is actually what dictates the outcome.
Consider the A as: you asked someone out on a date and got rejected.
The C might be: disappointed but ask someone else out instead.
Or it could be: depressed, vow to never ask anyone out again.
So here, the adversity is the same but the consequence is different. How might that be?
Belief actually is the deciding factor. In the first case, the belief is more likely to be – there are plenty more fish in the sea. In the second perhaps – I’m so ugly and boring that no one will ever go out with me.
Do you see the power here? In the first we are retaining it. In the second, we are giving it away.
Attitude is at the heart of resilience.
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
How true is that!?
The same applies in so many situations. If we believe we are going to have a good day, or enjoy a fun party, or are excited about a new adventure or experience, the likelihood is that will all happen. Our belief is one of perhaps deserving and hope, joy and happiness.
If we think we aren’t going to be good enough, or do badly, often we actually will. Our thoughts will determine our emotions and therefore our behaviour and actions.
If this is a new concept for you, it many take time to comprehended and apply to life.
Please think about it. So often, the consequence is not actually determined by the adversity, more so the belief.
In the face of rejection (Adversity) – failing an exam, being unsuccessful at interview, being declined at application process, not passing our driving test etc, what we believe (B) about ourselves, will determine the outcome (C). If we have positive self-belief, much more becomes possible than without.
I’ll be writing more about this topic in future blogs including ways to create a positive mindset.
Let me know what your belief or attitude is bringing you.