top of page

9 Ways to Overcome Adversity

Overcoming and potentially thriving from adversity isn’t out of reach for anyone. It can help you become stronger and more resilient in the process.

Adversity is a hardship, problematic situation, or misfortune. It can occur to anyone, no matter who they are and what path they choose in life.

Adversity can be short-term and limited, like being denied a promotion or dealing with an acute injury or illness. Or it can be more complex and long-term, like living in poverty, having difficulty in a career path, or losing a loved one.

Getting through adversity isn’t always a simple task and goes a lot deeper than slogans about getting through anything with the right mindset. The right attitude can help, but you will likely need to try different approaches to find the best solution for you.

1. Try to release excuses

Excuses allow you to shift blame and deny your own role in your current situation.

While you may have no control over certain events, how you respond can help influence your outcome. Taking time to examine your own responses as well as actions that may have led to the current situation may help give you actionable steps to take.

2. Change your focus

Focusing too much on the negative can lead to a psychological phenomenon known as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Researchers defined this process in 1948 as causing your initially inaccurate perception to become true. Over time, studies, such as research from 2014, suggest perception can help define a future reality.

Visualization, positive self-talk, mindfulness meditation, and other strategies may help you to change your perception from a negative one to a positive one. They may also help influence a more positive future.

3. Try journaling

Journaling is the simple act of writing out what’s going on along with your thoughts and your feelings. It can be therapeutic at the moment.

According to 2021 research, it may also help you better reflect on what is going on and allow you to better process the adversity and gain wisdom from it.

4. Block out the bad noise

Everyone has opinions, and not all are helpful or constructive. Some can even bring you down and make it easier to engage in self-doubt.

You can try to block out the negativity with a variety of different strategies, such as practicing self-care or setting clear boundaries, but you should use the one that works for you.

5. Celebrate your accomplishments

Whether big or small, take some time to acknowledge your accomplishments as they happen. In doing so, you can see how far you’ve come and help build up your self-confidence and self-esteem so you can get past whatever adversity you’re currently facing.

6. Surround yourself with positive people

Positive people and those with good mindsets can help energize you. People who will praise or positively respond to your goals, ambitions, and choices can help give you the confidence to keep going.

7. Take time to take care of yourself

Sometimes you need to take some time just for yourself. While focusing on your goals and getting out of the situation can help. Taking time to engage in leisure activities can help you feel better rested and allow you to keep moving forward. You may consider engaging in activities such as:

  • rest

  • playing a game

  • exercise

  • gardening

  • stretching

8. Set your own goals

In a 2021 study of university students, students set goals with mentors who then encouraged them to raise their goals. Researchers discovered that the students performed worse than those who set goals without being challenged to raise them.

The researchers theorized this had two possible reasons. The first was that the goal in the raised group was too high for the student to achieve. The second theory was that the students in the raised group didn’t feel ownership of their goal.

You may find that when you set your goals, they’re both realistic for you and something you feel you chose. Not someone else’s goal.

9. Don’t be afraid to try again

Rejection, whether professional or personal, can be hard to deal with and move past. But just because one person said no or didn’t like you does not mean you won’t find someone who will appreciate you or your ideas.

What are the benefits of having adversities in your life?

Adversity can challenge you. While it’s certainly not ideal, it can help you to learn perseverance and how to stay positive in bad situations. It can also help you learn to cope with the changes that adversity may bring.

Adversity can help you grow and learn. It can show you who you are and how you can cope with uncomfortable situations.

Types of adversity

Adversity can come in many forms. They include broad categories such as:

  • emotional adversity: rejection, trouble processing emotions

  • mental adversity: learning disabilities, issues with memory

  • physical adversity: illness, disabilities, injury

  • social adversity: trouble making friends, dealing with bullies

  • financial adversity: poverty, loss of a job, trouble in career

bottom of page