Adversity – when life or business throws you an unexpected setback! How do you react?
Life and business have an interesting way of turning out and teaching you what you need to learn or know. Not always in the easiest way either. It can seem all is going great, things are picking up and then BAM!! Out of seemingly nowhere, you are hit with a whammy. Ok, so you acknowledge it’s a setback, lesson, challenge, misfortune, etc, whatever you like to call it. You decide to just take it on the chin, do whatever you can to keep your head above water and just keep going.
It’s when the second BAM hits, albeit in a different format than the first that it takes some courage and strength to stop, hang onto the closest object to keep your balance and to keep standing, all the while wondering what hit you. That feeling like you are sinking and there is no-one to save you.
Now is the time to stop, take a breath and choose to make a change. Be in the present moment, surrender all as the illusion of control you thought you had, you never had anyway, so it’s time to acknowledge it and surrender.
If you are like me, you will have been running some kind of story in your head, looking for solutions and feeling totally overwhelmed and hopeless, all at the same time. Being so deep in my stuff makes it hard to step away from it and look at it objectively. We lose our ability to be objective and calm because we have moved into survival mode and the brain does not work so well in this state, except to get us out of the perceived threats.
We forget to ask ourselves “What do I need to learn from this?”. Instead we tend to ask ourselves “Why is this happening to me?” It’s that knee jerk reaction to your problems. It feels like everything has come crashing down on you and the end is near. And if we are not careful, we can get so caught up in it and totally forget to see that it is not nearly as bad as it feels. We tend to get lost in whatever story we are telling ourselves about what’s happening and we believe it too, even though it could be complete rubbish. At the time, it does feel totally true for us. It all too often feels like we have been pushed into the deep end of the pool and it is now sink or swim time.
How to recover from adversity
By stepping back, taking a breather, we give ourselves a chance to realise, we are actually ok right now, here in this moment. When I feel the panic and overwhelm beginning to resurface again, I start asking myself questions, like “Is it really true that this is the end of the world?” Is it really as bad as it feels or is it because of the story I’m telling myself? Would I tell that story to a young child in a time of crises? What is the story I would prefer to think?
By questioning ourselves and the story we are telling ourselves, we can break this cycle. When we are so caught up in the story, it is not easy to see or recognise that this is what is happening. If we can catch that moment, become aware of it, we can question it and we can make a conscious choice of what we can do, based on our answers! Do we go down the old rabbit hole, and let ourselves be caught up in the same old story and keep behaving in the same old ways, or do we stop, take a moment, catch our breath check in with ourselves if what we are thinking is really true and if it is really a threat or not.
We can take back our power in that moment.
I’ve very recently experienced this adversity scenario. I had a setback (in my mind it was major) when my phone rang and I already knew it was going to bring more news that feels like the end of the world.
My reactions and behaviours this time around have totally surprised me and delighted me. The panic roller coaster quickly collapsed once I started to ask better questions around what was going on in my head regarding these incidents.
Gifts from Adversity
I have been doing a lot of work on myself, especially over the last 6 years, and was in that moment just recently that I could see the rewards of my hard work. I was able to find the gift in these experiences.
- I have a choice. I can choose to not believe the rubbish that goes on in my head that frightens me and takes my power away.
- When I surrender to what is, without labeling it as good or bad, life feels lighter and easier
- Usually not long after my perceived setbacks, something else comes along that is usually a much better opportunity
So please, remember, if you are someone who thinks you have to control everything, yet you really have no control, and you are telling yourself terrifying stories in your head about not having that control, you can change it, if you want to!
Do you need help recovering from adversity?
If you are looking for a way to overcome your adversity then contact me. I am a Behavioural Strategist, that works with people to understand how their mind works, working out what is false and what is true for you. This process helps to clear past hurts and trauma and relieves the mind and body from the constant stress that perceived trauma can bring, and helps us change our behaviours.
Contact Empowered Transformations today if you can relate to what I used to experience and you would like to release the hold it has over you.