As rain turned to freezing rain and the wind blew harder instead of giving in I accepted Mother Nature’s “friendly competition”. The result – a PERSONAL BEST RUN completed an entire 1 min, 17 sec faster! But this represented so much more than just an improvement in performance…running just happens to hold a special meaning since it was an activity I often enjoyed in the company of my brother.
Honestly, I don’t love running quite that much to venture out in bad weather. However, in order to achieve something I’ve never achieved I know I must be willing to do things I’ve never done. In such weather, simply getting myself to take that first step of going outside for a run was already a victory. Then what was intended to be just a shorter run extended into going the distance. When the freezing rain began to numb my hands I found it symbolic of the numbness I still feel inside from the loss of my brother so I channeled that to keep going. Each time the wind picked up to challenge me I challenged it back harder increasing my pace and responding with a “Is that all you got?!” This reminded me of how my brother and I used to taunt each other during our runs and races to the finish.
How Do You Respond to Adversity? Do you have a life philosophy that serves your personal growth or does it hold you back? Entering our first fitness competition together in honour of my brother has given my wife and I a positive goal to focus on. You’ve heard it before “It’s not what happens to you, but what you do with what happens to you.” Since life is unpredictable with its share of adversity it’s far easier to learn how to embrace it and make the most of it then it is to avoid it. If you don’t find a way of overcoming it, it will overcome you! Rather than making greater progress in any area of your life you will find yourself stuck.
There are those who are defeated by nothing and those who give up at the first “bump in the road”. Stats reveal that out of all goal-setters only 5% will actually become goal-achievers! This is partly because people choose a goal and plan a way to accomplish it, but give up at minor setbacks, disappointments or adversity (What doesn’t help is the prevalent “all-or-nothing” attitude which will be a topic for another post). Rather than view adversity as an “obstacle” start viewing adversity as a “gift” or “opportunity”:
Life doesn’t give you the people and experiences you want, it gives you the people and experiences you NEED – To help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you, to stretch and challenge you, to make you into the person you were meant to Be…something far greater than what you could imagine for yourself. The Universe will never ask more of you than that you have within you to handle; the Universe will always fill you with desires that you already inherently have the potential to achieve.
What a difference in self-esteem and self-respect embracing adversity makes. Saying you will start and giving up gives a feeling of failure, distrust of your own integrity, and insecurity about trustworthiness of your own future promises. This sets one up for a vicious cycle of indifference, lowered expectations and unfulfilled goals.
Saying you will start and finding a way to not only start but to keep at it in spite of bumps along the way gives a tremendous feeling of success, deep trust in your own integrity and a strong feeling of security about the trustworthiness of your own future promises. When quitting is never part of the equation, winning is always the outcome!
1. Take a serious look at what you let defeat you. The majority of times, most people let small things defeat them. Take the attitude that you will not be defeated.
2. Hold your end goal in mind. Realize that the only way to that goal is by keeping the daily commitments that will get you there. Don’t be stopped by small things.
3. Know thyself. Be honest with who you know you are and what you will have to change about your habitual thoughts and actions. Be realistic about what you can commit to and focus on what you CAN do no matter how seemingly insignificant. Then work at growing your level of commitment.
4. Reflect and
Respond without self-criticism. Be open to a non-judgmental process of creating conscious awareness and taking corrective action. Create back up plans and alternate actions you can take to succeed if your first plan does not work out for unforeseeable reasons. Always know in advance what you will do if your first plan does not work out.
Adversity is a character builder – embrace it, and you will embrace a new you!
Make this day yours,