Growing through Adversity, Challenges, and Failures

     I think it is safe to say we all like to be happy, comfortable, content, and to succeed. That all sounds amazing, but life is not always like this. Life is full of adversity, challenges, failures, being told “no”, and having heartache. But during times of adversity, challenges, and failure there is opportunity for learning and growth. The learning and growth can be emotional, mental, maturity, insight, or just a good ole life lesson. Our attitude will determine if we learn and grow or if we shut down and pout. I think any one of us can think back on a time when we faced an adversity, challenge, or failure and we either seized the opportunity or missed the opportunity for learning and growth. It has happened to all of us.

     When faced with adversity and challenges a few things to remember are:

  • Stop making excuses
  • Be disciplined
  • Have a sense of humor
  • Be around positive people
  • Don’t take “no” for an answer
  • Keep the big picture in mind
  • Don’t panic (because this too shall pass)
  • Take a time out
  • Breathe

     Remember that adversity and challenges build grit, create resilience, help you accept who you are, increases humility, increases flexibility, teaches sensitivity and compassion. These are all vital skills we all need throughout our life! So, stay positive and strong when facing adversity and challenges, you will grow and come out on the other side better for it. 

     Let’s talk about failure. Failure at some point in life is inevitable and it is necessary for learning and growth. During these uncomfortable and hard times, we can adapt and grow. So do not be afraid!

Failure is learning.

     Some ways to deal with your feelings of failure:

  • Get some distance
  • Share your experience of failure
  • Feel the disappointment
  • Focus on long-term goals
  • Write down and focus on lessons learned
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Have self-compassion
  • Give yourself some grace

Let’s teach our students to “See adversity as adapting to changes and obstacles. See challenges as building strength and innovation. And see failure as an opportunity to build resilience and learning.”

Martha J. Hollingsworth, Mental Health Therapist and LPC

Martha J. Hollingsworth, LPC

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