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  • Pam Hassett

How I overcame adversity.

How I overcame adversity...

From Google, the definition of adversity is difficulties; misfortune; "resilience in the face of adversity." I’m tempted to quickly jump to the word resilience instead of adversity. Yet, avoiding adversity is one sure fire way not to overcome it! Believe me, I’ve tried that. I thought, if I just ignore this difficult circumstance, person, or result then it will fade away and I can move forward.

Yet true adversity must be reckoned with. No matter how much I don’t like that reality, adversity doesn’t always have to be a true untenable circumstance that challenges us individually can be deemed adversity. While it may not be so for another, it is for us. And that makes it real.

Like many, I’ve had small failures in my life...those things that seem life-shattering at the time, but upon hindsight you realize weren’t actually that bad and, in fact, they were beneficial to you in unexpected ways. I believe that is the key to overcoming and actually appreciating adversity.

I’m halfway through another book by Shauna Niequest titled “Bittersweet”. Shauna’s concept is that the true sweetness of life can only be truly appreciated when we experience the bitterness of rejection, failure, calamities, difficulties, misfortune or in the case of people, backstabbing, undermining, disloyalty, deceit, unfaithfulness.

I’ve experienced all of this in the past couple of years, much to my shock and dismay. AND, here I am...on the other side of it, writing about it today with a heart FULL to the brim with gratitude. My faith is strong and I find myself believing that I experienced every bit of it for a reason. So that I could better understand, be more aware, more empathetic. Critical skills for a consultant and life new career pursuit.

I’m also grateful that I didn’t completely lose myself in the process. Believe me, it was close...I lost nearly all connection with reality...the truly important things in my life in my pursuit of winning the “battle” I was in. Until all of a sudden, I realized that none of this really mattered in the big scheme of life. (The truly important is self, faith, family, relationships, community). I do wonder if the result would have been different if I had come to this realization sooner and backed up from “battle mode”.

The other critical factor in surviving adversity, aside from my very strong faith, is maintaining a deep connection to your values. If you haven’t done any values mining exercises, it can be a very powerful tool. Without the tenacious commitment to my values, the adversity I experienced could have overcome me.

Remember: If you learn from failure, then it is converted into success!

So today, I say thank you to all of those circumstances and people that created adversity for me in my past. Because I am incredibly grateful for how that impacted who I am today. Better than I was yesterday.

And in that, I have overcome adversity. And so can you.

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