Overcoming Adversity and Failure

Overcoming Adversity and Failure

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning to dance in the rain!  When life brings you lemons, make lemonade!

There is a reason these cliché statements are so popular.  They have meaning behind them in times of adversity and failure.

Wouldn’t it be a dream If we could just flip through our little manual of life to the hardships/failures section and follow these 5 steps to overcome this challenge?

At times it might feel like our most desirable option (if such a thing existed, but then again….maybe not.)  Read on, a little shift in perspective may be just the thing. 

Abraham Lincoln failed in business, had a nervous breakdown, and was defeated in eight elections.  Steve Jobs was fired from his own company.  Oprah Winfrey was publicly fired from her first television job as an anchor in Baltimore for getting “too emotionally invested in her stories.”  Steven Spielberg snuck his way into success after being rejected by the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts multiple times.  Vera Wang failed to make the 1968 US Olympic figure-skating team. Then she became an editor at Vogue, but was passed over for the editor-in-chief position.

Just as the opening quote states, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning to dance in the rain!”  If we view these times of adversity and failure as an opportunity, it greatly changes our perspective and motivation to succeed.  Why not use our failures to cement our success stories!

This “Encouraging Guide to Overcoming Failure” adapted from www.becomingminimalist.com is a great start to a shift in perspective during hard times.

  1. Admit that we fail! Don’t hide, it happens to everyone.  Own it!
  2. Recognize that failure is common
  3. Take responsibility.
  4. Process and understand your weakness. A wise Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
  5. Don’t waste your time worrying about things that are out of YOUR control.
  6. Recognize that the pain you feel will help you grow
  7. Forgive those involved so you can move on, including yourself!
  8. Ask for help from your loved ones. No one said you had to overcome it alone
  9. When you finally conquer your adversity, use your story to help others. It may not happen right away—some failures take longer to process than others. But eventually, we find opportunity to share our story. When we do, we share it with honesty and humility. Through it, we discover opportunity to provide hope, strength, and encouragement to others. We find influence for good. And we begin to make sense of our failings.

In the end, remember that life is a journey.  Instead of dread and worry, ask yourself what dance you will do when the rain clouds are headed your way.  You just might find a smile on your face as you break it down.

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