How to Bounce Back from Adversity
One of the most valuable life skills you can learn is how to bounce back from adversity. There will be a lot of it in your life, as if you didn’t already know. But as familiar as failure can be, it’s always tough to prepare for.
That’s because it can come in many forms and to varying degrees of repercussions. Learning the following skills will not save you from the pain of it all, but it will give you solid footing for a brighter future, and the sooner you can learn them the better. Let’s begin!
1. Build a Circle of Trust
No one faces a crisis alone. Sometimes it can feel that way. But we all have people who care about us, and in times of great adversity, those people show themselves. Let them help.
Of course, tough times also out the people you thought cared about you but don’t. Try to keep it positive. Focus on the ones who are there and apply your energy and time to those efforts moving forward.
You might even one day end up being their saving grace. Just remember: the more you give, the more you get. So start “preparing” now by extending a helping hand to others. It won’t always be repaid. It may not even be repaid in the same portions which it’s given. But generosity will eventually lead to the right circle of trust.
2. Learn Effective Stress Management Skills
Managing your stress is such an important part of dealing with adversity. At any point in your life, you might face the loss of a job or a loved one at the most unexpected time. Unfortunately, bills still need to be paid and obligations need to be met during those times.
Learning to juggle all of that will keep a bad situation from getting any worse. But how do you do it? Here are some quick tips:
- Identify the source(s) of your stress
- Focus on dealing with one crisis at a time
- See it through until it’s over
- Repeat the following mantra — “This, too, shall pass” — until it becomes true
- Start this process over, pausing to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and what you still have to go
Again, managing stress won’t fix every problem or make them go away immediately. But implementing the strategies above will give you the ability to dig yourself out of the muck and grow your confidence, thus making you stronger to deal with each new issue.
3. Try to Stay Positive
Positivity is like the key that sets you up for future success. Without it, it’s easy to spiral out of control and give up. But with it, you can manage the severity of the situation and stay focused on better days ahead.
It also provides you with the ability to visualize your successes along the way. And you’re going to need to be able to do that if you hope to escape the current situation.
Remember: negativity has a corrosive effect on your ability to function. And when adversity strikes, you need all hands on deck, so to speak. In other words, the best parts of you need to be working smoothly in order to tackle the challenge ahead.
4. Take Action
A certain degree of wound-licking might be in order when you’re dealing with a bad grade, the loss of a friend or family member, or a stressful day at work. But eventually, you’ve got to talk to that part of yourself that’s afraid to start over and impress upon him the need to snap out of it.
The only way to do that is to take action. It all starts with a single step. You don’t have to fix everything all at once. It might be something as simple as lacing up your tennis shoes to go for a run, but you have to do something. Otherwise, it’ll be too easy to give up and miss key opportunities to bounce back.
One suggestion we’d like to make if you’re unsure of where to start: look at the outcome you desire for yourself. Then, reverse-engineer it from the next-to-last step to the first. That’ll help you find the starting point.
5. Accept What You Cannot Change
If you really want to learn how to bounce back from adversity, you’ve got to stop re-litigating what happened to put you there and just accept that it did. Contrary to what Hollywood would have you to believe, there’s no such thing as a time machine.
Acknowledge that you flunked the paper or failed to turn in your project on time. Accept that your instructor will give you a bad grade as a result. Once you’ve taken that step, you can look at what you still have to work with and formulate an action plan for moving forward.
Spending too much time worrying about what’s already been will keep you from moving forward. It’ll also make you miserable to be around for others, thus making it more difficult to build your circle of trust.
6. Keep It in Perspective
So you lost in some way. What comes next? Keep that question at the front of your brain. As long as you’re still breathing and have the use of your mind and body, you have things you can do to make up for it.
You may have to tweak one or two things that are keeping you from a breakthrough or reverse course altogether. Either way, one failure isn’t going to stop tomorrow from coming. Remember that as you figure out what to do next.
And as you remember it, start figuring out the game-plan for moving forward.
7. Maintain Your Confidence
As you move ahead, it will be so important to schedule your early victories. Stack the deck in your favor by figuring out what you can easily accomplish. Then, take the necessary steps to accomplish it.
These early wins will lead to bigger wins down the road. And as your confidence grows, it’ll be easier to take on bigger challenges.
Just don’t be deterred by any missteps along the way. Don’t think about how many times you’ve failed or fallen short. Just reroute like Siri after a missed turn and keep making turns until you arrive at your destination. Safe driving!
8. Do Things That Bring You Joy Every Day
There’s a temptation when you’re in the crisis to think about nothing else but working your way out. But even in these hectic, chaotic times, it’s beneficial to slow down and spark joy with something in your life.
That could mean reading a book, watching a favorite television show, or working on your Wattpad novel-in-progress. It could even mean playing a favorite mobile game or chatting with friends on social media. These are not unproductive activities.
They help remind you of a stabler and happier existence and give you a glimpse at what awaits you if you just don’t give up.
9. Set Pride Aside
Some failures just happen to us through no fault of our own. Others are self-inflicted. Either way, it’s easy to start feeling badly about yourself. But that bad feeling often is born from pride. You’re still holding onto the version of yourself that didn’t experience the failure or adversity.
When you learn to let go of that person, an interesting thing starts to happen. You stop reliving the past and you start thinking with a solutions-first mindset.
But how do you beat pride? You beat it by realizing that failures happen to everyone, even the most successful people. Henry Ford didn’t come up with the Model-T until he was 45 years old, for goodness sake! You never know when your greatest successes will come. But they can’t come until you let go of the past and the pride that’s holding you back.
These Answers for How to Bounce Back Will Save You
Hopefully, you’ve learned something from these tips on how to bounce back from adversity. Now we want to learn from you. What’s been the greatest challenge that you’ve had to set you back? What were the major things you did to get through them? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Flickr Creative Commons]