You cannot prove the quality of anything until it has been tested. The true quality of your life is not determined when things are going great but in the face of adversity.
I think we can all agree that life can sometimes come at us hard. Sometimes we see it coming while other times we are caught totally off guard. Like the weather, we all go through different seasons in life. Times where we are flourishing and in a place of growth and abundance and other times where the realities of life can seriously interfere with our balance.
Ironically, in both seasons, there is opportunity to learn, grow and embrace the life lessons that life throws at us. No matter the trial being faced, rising above personal adversity takes commitment and conviction of your personal vision. It’s “hope” for brighter days that we must cling to during life’ storms, while asking our Heavenly Father to sustain us and offer direction. Matthew Kelly, author of “Life is Messy” argues that “the problem isn’t that life is difficult. The problem is that we expect it to be easy or we try to make it easy.”
Growth Comes With Adversity
We keep selling the concept of growth while neglecting to highlight the challenges that emerge from the sacrifices we sometimes make in pursuit of said growth. It is almost proven that the higher the climb the greater the challenges faced. We can never truly prepare ourselves for moments of despair at a personal or professional level.
On the journey to becoming, it is my personal experience that God uses trials to help shape us into the people we need to become for the future He has in store for us. Rising above personal adversity is never easy in the moment, yet collectively our level of endurance, perseverance and faith determines how we traverse the turbulence. These character traits determine our scars coming out on the other side of the changing tides.
We don’t have control over ever situation presented to us, yet our aim should be to control how we respond. Our ability to rise above personal adversity very much lies in how we choose to respond in the moment. This does not mean you shouldn’t allow yourself to experience the wave of emotions that are likely to emerge but know that this is where it gets messy. Choosing to respond and not react can be very difficult when your views, thoughts and desires are being tossed aside by others who we naturally expect should know better and do better by us. I personally believe that the level of disappointment above all else is what weakens us and throws our entire emotional equilibrium out of whack.
Pushing Through The Storm
They say that everything in life happens for a reason and that sometimes situations in life that cause us pain are actually bringing us closer to our God-given purpose. When faced with adversity, it’s the little things that remind us that we have what it takes to overcome the current situation. We must focus on the light as the light offers hope for a better tomorrow and grants us permission to keep moving.
Our ability to be strategic or even think strategically tends to be weakened when it comes to matters of the heart. The sad reality is that many times the heart causes us to compromise our most basic minimum standards for engagement, whether it be with loved ones, friends or colleagues. Matters of the heart add additional layers of complexity to how we traverse the turbulent times in our lives.
To fuel our efforts at rising above adversity, we must first believe and keep reminding ourselves that we are worthy of all good things in abundance. Allow time for quiet reflection as this offers that much needed clarity that helps you to keep pushing through the storm.
Given my current season, I am by no means an expert but felt led to share these 10 self-coaching tips to help shape your own personal moments of reflection:
- Remember always that your feelings are valid so give yourself permission to feel and experience the tidal wave of emotions.
- As we build greater resilience which ironically comes from overcoming past trials and tribulations, we come to realise that we may bend and fall but never break. There is power in acknowledging your inner strength based on past experiences.
- It is important that you identify and accept the role you “may” have played in the current situation. Afterall, we are only human and taking personal accountablilty helps with our decision making.
- Ask yourself these important questions, “is the current situation in alignment with the vision I have for my life” or “is now the time to release what no longer serves my vision.” In other words, is whatever you are in pursuit of or facing really worth the fight?
- With the real understanding that familiarity breeds contentment. Is it enough for you to be contented or is your vision one of sheer happiness, peace and satisfaction?
- Drown out the noise! People are always ready to offer up counsel. There comes a point where you have to evaluate the agendas of everyone that’s offering you guidance as you attempt to traverse the choppy waters.
- Pray daily for strength and guidance so that you have clarity in your thoughts and actions. While you are keeping your head afloat remember everything happens in God’s timing.
- Find positive sources of inspiration and take comfort knowing that “this too shall pass” to help see you through the difficult road that can lead to greater purpose, peace and fulfillment.
- Find your community and draw inspiration and energy from like-minded persons that have no skin in the game to influence your decisions. Unbiased council is sometimes needed so that you benefit from new perspectives.
- Give yourself some grace! It might not feel like it in the moment, but maybe you are doing the best you can as you work towards a better outcome.
In the end, while moments of personal adversity can be quite messy, it is in these very moments that our true character is being tested and shaped. We get to see whether what we believe, our personal values and our dreams and aspirations are really worth standing up and fighting for. The truth is, sometimes the answer is yes and this gives us the impetus to keep pressing on and other times, we are forced to evaluate the areas of our live that expose, hamper and even derail our chances at growth.
In the words of Napoleon Hill, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it a seed of equivalent or greater benefit.