Thoughts + Articles

Better Ways to Deal with Adversity

The obstacles you face will determine your future, will reveal your character, and define you. Adversity Makes You Stronger. 

2020 has demanded more out of most of us than we thought possible. Regardless of your unique circumstances; everyone was required to sharpen their creativity, flexibility, and patience skills.

We do not grow and improve with the easy times, but with the difficult times. Throughout history, men and women have persevered through adversity to reach success. Now is the time for you to use your adversity, your obstacles, your stumbling blocks as stepping stones to reach your success, (no matter how you define success)! It is only through our struggles that we grow, learn, and improve.

1. Resilient people understand the value of thinking calmly and clearly, and asking themselves revealing questions. For example, “What valuable insights did this adversity teach me?” or “What did I learn from my mistakes?” will get you farther than saying, “Now would be a great time to freak out.”

One exercise that top leaders employ is that they don’t let challenges live in their head. They write down the details of the situation. Once a challenge has been committed to paper, it is a lot easier to separate the facts from the hysteria. This provides a solid foundation for the solutions you seek.

Accept responsibility for what happened and face every challenge head on. View the challenge, the adversity, as an opportunity to move forward to find a good solution.

“Successful people do not give up when faced with adversity, instead they have the resilience, strength of character, courage to find a way or make one.” Fred Stuvek

2. Admit your mistakes quickly and learn from them.

One common trait of every successful person I’ve ever studied is that they accept responsibility for their actions. Don’t try to weasel your way out of situations. I fully understand that 2020 has presented a unique situation that you probably had no control over; but you can control how you are setting yourself up for the future.

Steve Jobs said,“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It’s best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations.”

Mark Cuban, entrepreneur said, “With every effort, I learned a lot. With every mistake and failure, not only mine, but of those around me, I learned what not to do.”

Maya Angelou said, “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. It may even be necessary to encounter the defeat, so that we can know who we are. So that we can see, oh, that happened, and I rose. I did get knocked down flat in front of the whole world, and I rose. I didn’t run away — I rose right where I’d been knocked down. And then that’s how you get to know yourself.”

3. Find humor in the situation.

“Don’t get furious; get humorously curious. Look at every challenge through the lens of curiosity.” Mike Maddock, Forbes

Paul Landraitis loves to exclaim,“Fascinating!” whenever a particularly troubling or unexpected situation arises. What’s inspiring to me is that he does so with a laugh, choosing to look at every challenge through the lens of curiosity and humor.”

Ask your friends totell you “a few things that are ridiculously funny about this particular problem” you are facing!Listen to their answer, for truths and solutions that “you may not have considered.”

Nina Zipkin,staff writer for wrote, “Space X’s blooper reel chronicling all of its mistakes along the way-highlighting instances of failed engine sensors, running out of hydraulic fluid, a collapsed landing leg, a radar glitch — to making aerospace history. several self-deprecating jokes (“look, that’s not an ‘explosion,’ it’s an unscheduled disassembly”) accompany footage of smoking wrecks and explosions in the sky. The score — the jaunty choice of John Philip Sousa’s The Liberty Bell,which keen-eared comedy fans will recognize as the Monty Pythontheme song — is a nice touch.”

What can humor do for you during a difficult time?

Humor clears your head, releases tension, stress and allows you to refocus on the problem.

What do you want most for the outcome to be?

Is there another solution that would also work?

What roadblocks stand in your way?

Do you know of someone who has faced similar obstacles?

3 ½. Take a vacation from your problem.

William Carrier “was working on the problem of regulating humidity for a printing company and decided to give up for a while and take a vacation. While waiting on a foggy railroad platform in Pittsburg, he gazed at the mist surrounding the station and tracks, wondering how late his train was going to be.” The answer to his problem came out of the fog.

” His idea was to blow air through a fine mist that would act like a condenser, drying out the air. Since air’s moisture content varies with temperature- cold air is drier than warm-changing the temperature of the mist would also alter the humidity.” (Michael Michalko’s book “Thinkertoys“) Carrier’s invention was the air-conditioner, that combined “refrigeration and electricity”.

(Do something else, let your problem go for a while, and clear your mind. This way you will be fresh to think about it!)

Rebecca Walser summed it up best this way:”It is in the struggle that we become strong enough to handle what comes our way. It is in the struggle that we will find and fulfill our destiny. It is in the struggle that we become our most refined, strongest, best version of ourselves.” (Rebecca Walser, Wealth Unbroken)

Adversity will come knocking at your door… repeatedly. Instead of hiding from it or chasing it away, consider viewing it as an invitation, an opportunity for you to grow from the challenge.

Madeline Frank, Ph.D., is an Best Selling Author, speaker, business owner, teacher, concert artist, and parent. She helps businesses and organizations “Tune Up their Business”. Her observations show you the blue prints necessary to improve and keep your business successful. Her latest book “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget” is available everywhere books are sold. If you need a virtual speaker contact Madeline at:

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 at 4:09 pm and is filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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