When adversity comes knocking on your door, you may have to answer the door but don’t have to invite adversity in to stay and become a permanent house guest. Instead use the below 12 steps for dealing with adversity:
- Do your mindset work. When thoughts keep running through your mind, they are setting you up to become disempowered. When moving through adversity it is important to give yourself extra time to process.
A. Do a “Thought Dump” to get the thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Score each thought on a scale of 1-10. One equals the thought doesn’t really bother me. Ten equals I can’t imagine anything bothering me more.
B.Take the highest numbered thought and do a “Judge Your Neighbor” worksheet or a “One Belief” worksheet.
- Keep repeating step one until you begin to feel centered and empowered. Remember, when you are triggered by adversity, regaining your center is like peeling an onion one layer at a time.
- Use the “Centered In Your Power” to check to see if you are “centered”
- Do extraordinary self-care. When you are up against adversity that is the time to make sure you are really taking care of yourself. Moving through adversity is often a marathon not a sprint. So, make sure you are getting proper sleep, exercising, eating healthy, and doing your mindset work. Give yourself time for some additional extraordinary self-care. Is that taking a bubble bath, getting a massage, meeting friends for coffee or a meal, or is it spending time extra time with your loved ones? Whatever extraordinary self-care is for you, create a space in your schedule to do self-care.
- Share the facts of your circumstance with your support system. This is not a pity party or “camplaining’’ (complaining while campaigning for others to support your point of view). Your support system may provide you with support in unexpected ways. It is ok for you to accept their support. No one gets through life alone. So graciously accept their support. It will help you thorough your adversity more than you may realize.
- If you are a person of faith, this is the time to reach out to your faith community for prayers, candle lighting, good thoughts. Whatever your faith does, engage in these faith-based steps.
- Watch out of buffering. There is a difference between extraordinary self-care and buffering. Buffering is over-eating, over-drinking, over-spending, over-drugging, gambling, binge watching TV, over-surfing social media, avoiding your normal activities and life. Don’t buffer. It may feel good temporarily, but it will add to disempowerment in the long run. If you feel the urge to buffer, repeat step one.
- Do NOT react. Often adversity kicks you into your fight, flight or freeze response. Instead, again, repeat step one. Often, people want to react instantly. This is NOT in your best interest. Often, people really want to give the other party a piece of their mind, tell them off, put them in their place. Do NOT do this. Your brain would like to tell you that engaging in these behaviors is your right and will make you feel better. I would like to suggest that this is not true. Engaging in these behaviors is indulgent and often ends up damaging you and your position in the long run. Remember “Centered In Your Power”. You cannot control what others think, say, do, or how they live their lives.
- Watch out for anger. A friend once told me “Anger is just fear in a leather jacket”. Anger may feel empowering, but it is really disempowering. It is part of a fight response. So once again go back to step one.
- Slow your breathing. Practice the slow deep intake of breaths to the count of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Briefly hold and then exhale to that same slow count. Slow deep breathing will relax you and take you out of fight, flight and freeze. It will help you move from your reactionary limbic brain to your problem solving prefrontal cortex.
- Do a “Driven By Circumstance, Run By Results” worksheet to become crystal clear on where you are in your situation and what steps you want to take to move through this adversity.
- Assemble your power team. Is the adversity a legal issue? If so, hire your attorney. Is it financial? Make an appointment with your accountant. Turning your adversity over to your power team allows you to step out of the disempowerment of adversity and step back into the power of running your business and life.
The richness of a full life cannot be experienced when you live only on in the highs. The human experience is full of peaks and valleys. It is when you are in the difficult valleys that you will do your best personal growth. Adversity is what polishes the diamond. It grows you. Consider the possibility that from time to time adversity is a normal part of everyone’s life. Use the above steps to deal with and move through adversity. Soon you will be through the adversity and it will only be a speed bump in the rearview mirror of the life you are driving towards.