Updated: Dec 12, 2020
I heard someone recently say, "I don't believe the idea that everything happens for a reason, because there are no reasons for some things such as a loved ones suicide..." This made sense to me. Then that person followed up with saying, "there may not be a reason for things but I can always find meaning in them." Now this was something that I could resonate with.
Looking back on my past, the hardships that I have faced have always preceded a tremendous amount of growth. Now, in my earlier days, as I was going through adversity I would allow negative thinking, specifically shame put me into a tailspin. My difficulties with trust with even make the situation much more challenging. I struggled with trusting that I would be able to get through a situation, struggled with the idea that It was permanent and would never pass, and struggled with how failure defined me as a human.
So what its the best way to cope with adversity:
1. Understand that it's not permanent.
- Remind yourself that this too shall pace - think of the times in the past where you were you faced adversity but moved through it.
2. Bring a growth mindset to the situation.
- Always look at the situation as a growth opportunity. Stay away from good/bad thinking or catastrophizing. Ask yourself - what can I do to help me grow in this stituation? What am I learning from this? What can I do differently?
3. Use evidence based logical thinking.
- When the negative thoughts come in - ask yourself - is this true or false? What kind of evidence is there to prove this thinking to be true?
4. Find your tribe.
- When adversity hits - ask for help. Use your close friends, family, spouse, therapist, mentor, etc...
5. Use your resources - internal and external.
- Create a list of ways that you can deal with adversity and read it often. Make two columns. One for internal resources, one for external. Internal resources can include, positive self talk, grounding techniques, visualization, prayer, and meditation. External can include: supportive friends, physical activity, art, community, and recreation.
6. Look at the times in the past that you were able to navigate difficulty.
- Take time to recall a time in the past that you went through something difficult. Write down the strengths that you used to get through that situation. Remind yourself that you are capable to do hard things.