Overcoming Adversity: 10 Powerful Ways to Being More Resilient

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It’s an undeniable fact of life that hard times happen. Unfortunately, adversity is a part of our life, whether we like it or not. It doesn’t matter how clever, lucky, or carefree we are. We all encounter challenges, struggles, and difficulties. And the truth is, there is nothing enjoyable about any of it. Adversity can present itself in varying degrees of intensity and can feel like an overwhelming uphill battle. 

However, some people are still able to thrive even during the most challenging times. Successful people have a way of navigating through these setbacks, while others become overwhelmed by them. In addition, successful people have developed a mindset where they don’t allow themselves to be overcome by negative emotions or thoughts. While it may be difficult at first, overcoming adversity is a necessary step on the road to greatness. 

A study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people who experience adverse life events reported better mental health and well-being than those who never encountered hardship. Overcoming adversity and developing resilience to these challenges makes us bounce back better when things get tough. This is why it’s crucial to develop resilient behaviors and put them into practice to thrive when more challenging times come. 

If you want to be better at overcoming adversity, here are ten powerful ways to be more resilient:

1. Embrace your reality

overcoming adversity

The first and best way to overcome adversity is to accept your current reality and learn to embrace it. There’s no point in denying your struggle or escaping the facts of your hardship, especially in business. Instead, accept that these challenges are opportunities to strengthen one’s sense of self-worth and enact change to become better. 

Understand that approximately 61 percent of men and 51 percent of women in the US have gone through at least one traumatic life event. This means that you don’t have to keep your burdens to yourself and know that the human capacity for resilience is remarkable. In business, partnering with a business mentor is one way you can have the guidance to steer your company in the right direction. 

2. Anticipate and Be Prepared

overcome adversity

Understanding that hardship is a natural part of your life or business journey is an excellent step to overcoming adversity before it even happens. Anticipate the possible challenges you or your enterprise may encounter so that you can prepare possible solutions. A great way to develop resiliency is by building your inner strength and developing a growth mindset. It’s crucial to have the right mindset when running a business from the beginning. This is one way you can get past the growth stage to the scale stage. Read more about it here.

Providing that deep, unstoppable belief in yourself doesn’t depend on anyone else and isn’t limited by your unwanted circumstances. Finding inner strength is a must for successful people. This allows them to realize the things holding them back and provides a means to do something about it. Developing a support system that you can always fall back on is also essential. Then, when the hard times come, you’ll be able to uncover how to overcome adversity because you’ve prepared for it.

3. Be kind to yourself

overcoming adversity

When faced with a crisis, many people often beat themselves up for the choices they’ve made or the path they’ve taken. Instead of overcoming adversity, this negative state of limbo impedes progress. Psychological studies have demonstrated a consistent pattern of a negative relationship between self-criticism and goal progress. Instead of beating yourself up, you can be your own best friend with these five practices:

  • Focus more on positive self-talk. Stop putting yourself down. Negative self-talk provides more harm with the jabbing comments that you make to yourself. 
  • Be patient with yourself. Overcoming adversity can often highlight the harmful habits that may take time to correct. Through considerable effort, commit each day to do something positive for yourself. 
  • Practice kindness towards yourself. Being kind to yourself is as equally important as being kind to others. 
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. Instead of beating yourself up for not being the best, accept that you are not perfect and focus on being the best version of yourself.
  • Understand that mistakes are opportunities to learn. Mistakes may be unavoidable, but life is a never-ending road to self-improvement. Instead, see those mistakes as opportunities to work on becoming the best you can be.

4. Work on yourself and your skills

overcoming adversity

Your capacity for resilience isn’t something you can develop overnight. It’s going to take time and a bit of work to develop the skills for acting resiliently. First, you’ll need to have self-confidence and a strong belief in your capabilities so that you can overcome difficult times. Adversity provides a chance to gain valuable insight and develop the skills needed so you’ll have a better chance of success next time. 

It’s also a perfect moment for self-reflection. Finding out where and how things went wrong can make you take a hard look at where you might have faltered. From your planning, preparations, execution, and the effort you gave, challenges provide a means to re-focus areas within your control to see what more you can do to be better.

5. Master your emotions

overcoming adversity

The way you handle a daunting challenge determines your ability to overcome adversity. Unfortunately, most people allow these external circumstances to determine their emotions, which can make things harder. Instead of taking a proactive approach, they tend to react impulsively. Mastering your emotions is vital to overcoming adversity, or your feelings will take the better of you. 

To master your emotions, be intent on discovering your triggers. Find out what happens when you get triggered by something or someone, and know what emotions arise. Understanding your reactions can allow you to reframe negative emotions in those situations. Being mindful of yourself gives you more control and is an excellent way of taking away power from your personal feelings. 

6. Set achievable goals

overcoming adversity

Often when adversity happens, we rush in to react in order to salvage the situation and pick up the pieces immediately. However, the most resilient types of people know better to stop and assess the situation first. They then set achievable goals to help them deal with the problem at hand instead of facing it unprepared and becoming overwhelmed. Achievable goals provide solutions that can alleviate the hardship and can offer success down the road. Here are ways you can achieve goals today and help in overcoming adversity:

  • Set practical goals. Instead of setting unrealistic or impractical goals, break large goals into smaller short-term ones that can be more achievable along the way. 
  • Be open to failure. Some tend to set the bar too high, while many set the bar way too low. Avoiding disappointment by making goals easy to obtain doesn’t move you forward. Having goals that are challenging are more fulfilling and rewarding when they are accomplished. A great way to avoid failure as part of overcoming adversity is to visualize your success. 
  • Have a solid plan. Having a plan of action towards achievement is the most significant part of setting goals. Setting targets and deadlines provides the direction you need to improve your chances of achieving your goals. 

7. Surround yourself with good people

overcoming adversity

In overcoming adversity, most people look to success stories as a source of inspiration, but you must also recognize to find inspiration from those around you. Surround yourself with good people who live optimistically and also stay focused through their adversities. Having people around you who are resilient helps you better achieve it. Those who have triumphed over their troubles and now live more productive and successful lives instead of surrendering to it can support you in many ways. 

They can also be the ones to help you through more difficult times to come. Rest assured, they care about you and have your best interests in mind so you can achieve your goals. This support system is vital as they may also talk you through your problems to come up with achievable solutions. Often, just talking about a crisis with people you trust and care for you is the best way to overcome adversity.

8. Keep a positive mindset

overcoming adversity

To be resilient during more challenging periods, practicing an optimistic attitude and having a more hopeful outlook is essential. Developing a positive mindset is a necessary coping skill to see you through adversity’s most challenging times. By staying optimistic, you can create an acceptance that the difficulties you’re encountering are only temporary and that you have what it takes to get past them. 

Remember that the challenge is part of the process. Instead of seeking the easy road, which offers no learning at all, facing your obstacles with a positive mindset is the only way out of it. No matter what adversity you’re facing, you can maintain a positive mindset by:

  • Realizing that your challenge isn’t entirely just your own. Almost all of the problems that most people face, other people have encountered them as well. Take a moment to realize that someone else out there has most likely gotten through the same challenge and found a way to work through it. 
  • Understanding that nothing is “impossible.” No matter what the challenge, there will always be a solution to fix it. The answer may not be what you’re expecting and may come in a variety of different forms, but be open to all the possibilities.
  • Asking for advice. When encountering challenges, having a network to gain perspective is always an advantage. Everyone has faced their own set of challenges at one point, and it’s beneficial to learn from other people’s mistakes.

9. Have a purpose

overcoming adversity

To move forward from adversity, you need to motivate yourself by finding your purpose. Tough times may leave you feeling displaced and lacking confidence, which is why developing a sense of purpose is what you need. You can start by following a routine that can take the burden of the trouble off your shoulders. Activities such as walking in a park, reading books, and physical activities can keep away the negativity. 

Next, inspire yourself to find goals that you can focus your efforts on and be passionate about. This will keep you motivated to keep pushing through until you find success. You’ve already accepted the fact of life that things can happen beyond your control, and working on something meaningful can liven up your spirits.

10. Recover your sense of humor

overcoming adversity

It may sound cliche, but laughter is the best medicine. Laughter is our body’s way of releasing the tension, coping with stress, and jerking our brain to be more positive. It’s also a great way to release dopamine and endorphins, making us feel good in the process. Recovering your sense of humor after experiencing hardship is a positive way to bring you back to balance. Having positive humor is associated with self-esteem, optimism, and life satisfaction and decreases depression, anxiety, and stress. 

Taking a step back to see the humor of your situation can help lighten your mood and motivate you to take the first step forward. It may take some time to muster a chuckle after a significant setback, but don’t take too long. Finding your sense of humor is healthy to build resilience and provides more benefits than staying negative. To help you find your laughter, here are some things you can do:

  • Spend time around funny friends. Hanging out with people you consider funny can make you feel a whole lot better and give you time to socialize instead of focusing on your hardships. 
  • Embrace your inner child. After experiencing tough times, being silly and playful is a great way to enhance happiness. Don’t deprive yourself of an afternoon of fun just because you want to act “age-appropriately.” 
  • Play with a pet. Animals have a way of doing wonders to make your heart smile. Playing with a puppy or a kitten is a sure way to make you feel warm and cuddly inside.
  • Watch or listen to stand-up comedy. Comedians have a very personal way of expressing humor that we can all relate to. They also tend to share their hardships and use them as a punchline for their jokes. This exposed humanity is celebrated with humor while revealing insight that shows you’re not alone through your most challenging times.


Developing resiliency to overcome adversity means embracing challenges no matter how hard they may be. To persist in the face of setbacks, one must master the effort it takes to stand firm through the tough times. Having a positive mindset can allow you to face challenges with grace and provide you with the skills beyond those that you need. Nobody wants to experience hardship, but having the ability to stay resilient through it all can help you gain the qualities you need to achieve success.

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