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Last Updated on December 4, 2020

5 Powerful Tips for Overcoming Adversity

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5 Powerful Tips for Overcoming Adversity

When something bad happens in your life, how do you react? Do you approach the process of overcoming adversity as a learning opportunity, or do you let it throw you off your game?

Whether it’s an accident, the loss of a loved one, or mental illness, adversity strikes all of us. However, the response to it differs from person to person. Some people are able to thrive when times get tough, while others struggle to keep it all together.

Let’s face it…there is nothing enjoyable about adversity. It creeps up on you at the worst time and tries to mess up your day. For some, it negatively affects every area of their lives.

Adversity can feel like an uphill battle, especially when you’re not getting a break from it. However, successful people have found a way to navigate their way around roadblocks that would stop others in their tracks.[1]

As a result, successful people are able to bounce back faster when adversity strikes. There is a purpose behind every adverse event that you experience in life. However, it’s up to you to look for the silver lining.

Often, if you choose to fight against adversity, it only hits you harder. This is why you need to surrender to what is and learn how to embrace the mess of life.

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Challenges can be used to your advantage. Let’s talk about 5 powerful tips for overcoming adversity.

1. Practice Self-Compassion

We all experience difficult times at some point in our lives. That’s a normal part of living. What we all don’t do is have empathy for ourselves when we are in distress.

Do you ever feel like it’s so easy to practice compassion for others but difficult to do so for yourself? This is fairly naturally as we tend to be hard on ourselves.

If you want to overcome adversity faster, the best place to start is by being more self-compassionate. By doing so, you will improve your emotional wellbeing and give yourself the confidence to rise up and keep moving forward.

Try creating a daily mindfulness practice, like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. This will help you navigate stressful times with a clearer mind. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and if you need to take a break, do it.

Honor yourself, knowing that you have everything that you need inside of you to weather any storm.

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2. Become the Master of Your Emotions

The way that you respond to a challenge determines your ability to overcome that challenge. Where people get into trouble is that they allow external circumstances to dictate their moods.

They react to things, instead of taking a proactive approach. If you don’t master your emotions, your emotions will master you.

The best way to become the master of your emotions is to start to experience your emotions on a physical level.

Notice what happens when you get triggered by something or someone and mentally note what emotions are coming up. Then, get curious about the message that the emotions are offering you.[2]

Lastly, do the work to reframe negative emotions and situations. Just because you experience negative emotions doesn’t mean that you have to react in ways that are harmful to you or others. Mindfulness and naming your emotions is a good way to give your feelings less power.

3. Make Humor Your Ally

Finding humor in the face of adversity can be extremely healing for the mind, body, and soul. It’s not about discrediting your pain. Rather, it’s about pulling upon positive emotions when you need them most.

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Studies show that in the face of adversity, going through life with a positive attitude helps you become more flexible in your thinking and resolution of problems.[3]

I know that humor and laughter have been a key aspect of my healing process. It doesn’t take the pain away completely, but it’s a great coping mechanism. Anything that lightens your mood and inspires hope during the midst of chaos is ideal.

4. Stay Optimistic

When bad things happen, it’s easy to be negative and play the ‘why me’ game. However, this mindset often gets us nowhere.

Conversely, people who remain optimistic, even in the toughest of times, naturally bounce back faster. Optimism is a powerful tool in overcoming adversity.

Research shows that optimists develop more positive ways of explaining disappointing events, and they are often able to reframe them.[4]

You may be surprised by how much calmer you feel in the face of adversity when you choose to find strength and joy during the darkest of times.

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5. Believe in Yourself

None of the previous pieces of advice on this list will matter if you don’t have an unwavering belief in yourself and the process. Self-confidence in your ability to overcome adversity is the key to bouncing back from anything.

The key is to learn how to recognize when your self-talk is working against you and quickly reframe it. Instead of saying to yourself “I can’t”, replace it with “I will.” Trust yourself and know that there is nothing that you can’t handle.

Final Thoughts

The mindset that you adopt towards challenges will determine your level of resilience when overcoming adversity. People who are able to overcome challenges with grace possess a growth mindset. They choose the mindset of a champion.

They don’t believe that their intelligence is fixed. Instead, they embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the path to mastery, and learn from feedback.[5]

Adversity of any kind can be very difficult to overcome. Nobody wants to experience hardships in life. However, if you never experienced pain, you would never understand peace.

For this reason, overcoming adversity is critical to your personal growth and development. You always have a choice of how you will react to low points in life. You can either give up or view adversity as an opportunity for growth.

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The next time that you encounter adversity, remember that these are merely opportunities for you to grow and improve. Fostering a growth mindset will empower you to find hope in the direst of circumstances. It will give you the faith to know that there is nothing that you can’t handle.

More Tips on Overcoming Adversity

Featured photo credit: Lukas Rychvalsky via unsplash.com

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Ashley Elizabeth

Resilience Mastery Coach and Motivational Speaker

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Published on September 3, 2021

6 Friday Motivation Tips to Help You Stay Motivated

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6 Friday Motivation Tips to Help You Stay Motivated

You know the feeling—that “I still have another whole work day to get through” feeling? It sucks. The worst part is knowing that you have to get up, get to work, and be productive when you feel checked out, unmotivated, and would rather go back to bed. The trickiest part about it is that even though you may know intellectually that you’re not the only person who has ever felt that way, at the moment, it can feel very lonely.

If you feel the Friday funk and want to shake it off, try these six tips to lift your Friday motivation.

1. Eat a Solid Breakfast and Plan to Eat Lunch

The first thing you can do to lift your Friday motivation is to eat a solid breakfast. We have all heard the phrase, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It turns out that it wasn’t just something our parents were telling us to get us to eat before school. Studies have shown that eating breakfast can help with improved memory, recall, mood, and visual-motor functions.[1]

However, researchers have found evidence that the benefits of the micronutrient boost provided by breakfast do wear off after a while. Just like a car with a full tank of gas that runs out after a long journey, the body needs to be refueled. Therefore, planning to eat breakfast and lunch on a day when you are not feeling your best could give you that extra boost you need to get through the day. Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar, which can leave you feeling weak and tired.[2] If you are already struggling with feeling motivated, not eating is only going to make you feel more sluggish and less inspired to get anything done.

2. Prioritize What’s Urgent

I have always been a fan of the cheat sheet. No, I’m not a cheater, but I love knowing what needs to be done. No one wants to waste any precious energy trying to figure out what should be done when you are already feeling unmotivated.

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No matter who you are, there is a high probability that by Friday, on any given week, you have at least one or two items that were supposed to be completed earlier in the week but just didn’t get done. Here is my quick trick for figuring out what’s urgent.

Just ask yourself these three questions:

  • Are there any projects with deadlines that have passed already but are still due?
  • Which of those projects is the most overdue?
  • Of the overdue projects, which will take the least time to make significant progress or complete?

This should help you to easily identify at least one task that you can spend time working on diligently, knowing that you are getting something important done.

3. Tackle the Low-Hanging Fruit

Another way to refresh your Friday motivation is to tackle the low-hanging fruit. There is nothing wrong with doing the easy stuff first. Maybe you are so burned out and the urgent tasks will take too much energy. There is nothing wrong with knocking out the obvious easy things. Emails, filing, data entry, document reconciliation, follow-up calls, editing or revising written work, and research are all low-hanging fruits—these are all straightforward tasks.

Getting these easier tasks done will give you a sense of accomplishment. You can leverage this sense of accomplishment to help you tackle some harder tasks or get all the easy tasks done so the following week, you can dedicate your time to the harder projects.

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4. Give Yourself at Least Two Scheduled Breaks

Give yourself at least two scheduled breaks during the workday. Life is stressful. Feeling like you have to work when you don’t feel up to it is stressful. Let’s not compound it by forcing yourself to sit in front of the computer all day with no breaks. The days of believing that “lunch is for punks and working 80 hours a week is what you should be doing” are fading away—if not already a distant memory for some.

In fact, scientists discovered that, although “taking short breaks throughout the working day may not have as obvious an impact as taking a holiday, research has found significant benefits. Studies have found that breaks can reduce or prevent stress, help to maintain performance throughout the day and reduce the need for a long recovery at the end of the day.”[3]

Before you sit down in front of your desk for the workday, set three alarms—two 20-minute breaks and one lunch break. You aren’t proving anything to anyone by forcing yourself to be miserable in front of your computer. You deserve flexibility and compassion. Let these breaks be a radical act of self-care.

5. Listen to Some Upbeat Tunes

Another way to improve your Friday motivation is to listen to some upbeat tunes. Music is medicine. It is not a mystery that the vibrations of sound can affect our mood. Ancient communities knew this and embraced it through practices like chanting, the use of singing bowls, chimes, bells, and other sound instruments as tools for healing. Practices like Kirtan and Bhakti yoga use chanting to heal and shift energy. The Hindu and Buddhist religions use bells and chimes in many of their spiritual healing rituals. Throughout the modern world, we have adopted the use of signing bowls for energetic healing.

Most people could recall at least one moment in their lives when music or sound has helped shift their mood. Music has been shown to have a direct effect on the listener. Studies show that listening to music while you work can lead to an “increase in both mood and quality of work”.[4]

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If you are feeling super unmotivated, the solution to your problem may be throwing on your favorite album in the background while you try to get a few things done. If you can’t work while listening to music with words and you do not like classical music or traditional jazz, explore genres like Trip hop, house, ambient, Beach House, JamBand. You may also enjoy artists like Bonobo, Thievery Corporation, and Grammatik.

6. Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To

As a yogi, I’m all about being present in the moment. But sometimes, the present is a little too intense, and being super present is not going to help to improve your mood. In those moments, tapping into the power of positive anticipation can be your secret weapon because “knowing that something good is coming your way pushes you to accomplish those tasks you may not necessarily want to do.”[5]

We all love to be rewarded, especially when we are doing something we don’t want to do. Giving yourself something to look forward to is the way to guarantee that you will be rewarded for the hard work of getting through the day.

The reward doesn’t have to be immense. It can be something small like getting ice cream, going for a walk, spending time with friends, or vegging out with your phone on do not disturb for a few hours. I used to employ this trick a lot when I was in boarding school. The time between semesters in new England would feel so long especially in the winter that my friends and I would let ourselves get excited about little things like drinking lime rickeys at Brigham’s. Believe it or not, it worked.

Try it the next time you get the hit with the Friday funk. Think about something you can look forward to no matter how small, and notice how it shifts your energy.

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Final Thoughts

As the adage says, “this too shall pass.”

Friday is just a day like every other day before it will end. One thing you can count on is that time waits for no one, so despite how difficult it may feel to get through, know that the time is on your side.

No matter what, Friday will wind on. The best thing you can do to improve your Friday motivation is to make sure that your body has the micronutrients it needs to power through the day, identify what’s urgent, tackle low hanging fruit, give yourself time away from the desk, throw on your favorite tunes, and think about the fact that you have the entire weekend to look forward to.

You got this!

More Tips on How to Improve Your Friday Motivation

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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