Death, Taxes and Adversity
It is said that two things in life are certain: death and taxes. Well, I’m going to add one more: adversity. We are either in the middle of a difficult challenge, coming out of one or getting ready to go into one.
When you are going through adversity, have you ever told yourself that things can’t possibly get worse…but they do? Do you feel that you finally hit bottom but then that bottom collapses and you fall deeper in the pit? I have, many times in my life.
My most difficult setback came in June 2020 and it wasn’t related to COVID. One month after coming home from my heart transplant surgery, my husband left me for another woman after 27 years of marriage.
Long story short, I have a new heart, a new business, and a new life full of opportunities. I'm living proof that God can bring good out of every situation. Not only for me in 2020 but over the course of my life. But that is a story for another blog.
When you find yourself in a devastating situation that you must accept and grieve over, it is important to find the strength to live in the present and move towards your future.
The past is the past and cannot be changed. The first step in moving forward is to hunt the good stuff every day while looking for things within your control to change your life for the better.
Why Hunting The Good Stuff During Adversity Results In Personal Growth
- Because a positive outlook helps you make better choices and changes in your life.
When faced with adversity, you have two choices: accept it and/or change something within your control. We might not like our options at the moment but we still have to make a decision. If you can’t accept your situation then you have to decide what is within your control to change your situation for the better.
Change forces you to get out of your comfort zone which can be very scary or very exhilarating. Losing hope leads to helplessness and pessimism. Having hope and optimism isn’t wishful thinking but leads to action-oriented problem solving and thinking outside the box. You can turn your obstacles into opportunities.
- Because a sense of gratitude helps you appreciate the important things in your life.
Start a gratitude journal by writing down at least three good things that happen to you each day and why you are grateful for each one. If you don’t want to write them in a journal then type them in a Notes app on your mobile phone. Your journal can be private or you can share it with a family member or a best friend.
The important thing is to keep your list handy when you are having a rough day and thinking negative thoughts. Our lives are always full of blessings no matter how small or how few we think they are.
As humans we are wired to focus on the negative. A positive perspective will help open your eyes to new opportunities. You can always find at least one good thing to be grateful for each day.
- Because perseverance strengthens your resiliency muscles.
Good things come to those who wait or as I like to say, good things come to those who persevere. When going through adversity it can be easy to take the path of least resistance, but the lack of satisfaction will still be there. Treating the symptom will not resolve the root cause.
It is important you hunt the good stuff every day and remind yourself that your situation could be worse than it is. Learn from your experience. What worked? What didn’t? Your situation is not a failure if you keep moving forward. When you overcome your current setback then you know you have more skills and resources to overcome the next obstacle that stands in your way.
- Because managing your thinking traps keeps your outlook positive.
Thinking traps are negative thoughts that can jeopardize your progress. They include jumping to conclusions, mind reading, the blame game, a pity party for one, and always/never thoughts.
When you find yourself in this negative mindset, pull out your gratitude journal and read a few pages or recall the good things that happened throughout your day. Remind yourself how you overcame previous setbacks. You are in control of your thoughts. Don’t let your thoughts control you.
- Because appreciating the beauty around you relieves stress in your life.
Being in nature can have a calming affect when you are experiencing adversity. The fresh air gently blowing on your face, the sweet fragrance of beautiful flowers swaying in the wind, the crunch of dried leaves underfoot, and the chirping of birds in the trees can be a great stress-reliever. There’s a world out there to experience and appreciate.
If you appreciate art, go to an art museum. Take a walk in the neighborhood while listening to your favorite music. Finding positive ways to manage your stress is important and better for you than negative alternatives like drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping, and eating.
When you find yourself facing a difficult challenge, remember these five reasons to hunt the good stuff so you can experience positive growth and change your life for the better. You have the choice to be a victim of your circumstance or be a victor.
A victim stays stuck in their situation and loses hope. A victor sees their obstacles as opportunities to change their situation for the better and flourish in life.
Which one do you strive to be?
Daily Mantra: Hunt the good stuff, find the humor, stay positive and focus on your blessings. God can bring good out of every situation!