How will you manage in the face of adversity? asks Carole Spiers

Life is not a straight line! Everyone faces failures and disappointments from time to time. The trick is to find a way to bounce back and maybe to even come out ahead.’ I remember my mother saying this to me many years ago. And she was right.

Life certainly does have its setbacks – some having a greater significance in our lives than others. So how do you deal with them? Well, first and foremost, we need to realise that everyone has them – you are not alone! There are certain things in life over which you have no control, and you need to accept that.

However, instead of focusing on the things you cannot control, let’s look at those factors which you can, as it may be that you will need to deviate from your planned course to reach your goal.

Tough Roads Ahead

When the road gets tough, you need to be strong to survive. The reality is that life is full of challenges, and your success is gauged by your ability to meet and clear them. The upside is that for every hurdle cleared, the next one will be easier to jump over.

Unfortunately, there will be those who will not clear the first hurdle and will stop trying after their first failed attempt. So, what is it that will keep you in the race if you fail to meet that challenge? Do you have the inner strength to continue when the going gets tough, or do you just sit and assume that something or someone will come along to rescue you?

The simple fact is that setbacks and disappointments will happen. However, if they are to be accepted as part of our lives, then we need to ensure that we have adequate resilience levels to deal with them.

The question is, how will you manage in the face of adversity? Will you bend like a tree in the wind, or will you be so inflexible that you break?

Strategies to Use

Stand back and reflect

You may think your world has ended because you failed to get that promotion. But it hasn’t. However, use this time to reflect on the learning that came from the situation before you draw a line under it.

Talk it through

Find someone whom you trust and who is a good listener. Share and diffuse your feelings of disappointment, but make sure you find someone of empathy with whom you can speak.

Keep a positive attitude

This is certainly not easy at a time of challenge. However, if you didn’t win that contract, think of the learning you took away from the exercise of actually researching the facts, creating it and delivering the presentation. Then you can use the knowledge gained for next time.

Find a way to benefit

It is important to try to find a way that brings some benefit from the setback. You might want to change office procedures or introduce a new company policy.

Resilience is at the core of mastering life’s challenges, and at the heart of resilience is belief in yourself. Resilient individuals don’t allow adversity to impact their lives. They see tough times as a temporary state of affairs. However, they know they must bend with the wind and grow with the sun.

Carole Spiers FISMA, FPSA, MIHPE FISMA, FPSA, MIHPE is a leading international Business Stress Consultant and currently serves as the Chair of the International Stress Management Association UK (ISMAUK). On their behalf, she founded Stress Awareness Day ... (Read More)

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