Bad things happen. Bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen without rhyme or reason. It’s simply reality that we all have to accept. Bad things come in degrees – minor daily annoyances, more significant roadblocks or tremendously impactful things like the loss of a family member.
On a recent episode of That Bad Review, I spoke with Tash Maguire – someone who knows all too well what real adversity feels like. Tash lost her daughter to childhood cancer and endured the struggle of fighting it. She wanted to take the pain she’d suffered and turn the memory of her daughter into something that would help others and make them happy.
‘It all started when Maya was deemed palliative,’ Tash told me. ‘We felt the strong desire for families with seriously ill kids to have a place retreat to and feel at home – this is what Maya’s Rest is.’
Tash’s approach was to not let the sad part of a story be the defining part. She’s since built Maya’s Rest, a place that offers all-inclusive holidays for families with seriously ill kids or those that are dealing with bereavement. Tash has won awards, she’s garnered huge community support and created a wonderful place for families going through their hardest times. She’s faced down adversity and come out the other side standing strong.
Overcoming adversity is a learned skill and one that is incredibly valuable whether you’re facing down life’s most difficult experiences or simply maintaining a good attitude through the normal trials and tribulations of life.
Here are a few tips that I’ve learned from speaking with Tash and my own experiences that may prove useful to those looking to overcome adversity.
Honour the struggle
Honouring the struggle is a critical mindset to sustaining success in life. Accept that you ultimately don’t have any real control and learn to identify things you can influence and those that you can’t. Knowing this can help you feel at peace. Adversity is also a natural part of life and, in some contexts, provides the impetus for healthy growth.
Ask for help
As soon as adversity strikes, you should be asking those closest to you for help. Particularly in Western countries, people try to do things on their own. Fall back on your support network and let them help you to power through.
Reframe failures or defeats
This can be very tricky sometimes, but by simply using different ways of thinking about a problem can change your whole attitude and way of being. Reframe more often and you’ll quickly become more of a ‘glass is half full’ type of person.
The power of belief is strong, and to get past some challenges you’ve got to believe. For some people, this will be a belief in a god, others will believe in the universe, and others will maintain the confidence in themselves they need to make it. It takes more energy to live a life full of fear than to live one full of faith. Choose the latter.
Don’t always accept ‘no’
Sometimes, the key to overcoming adversity is a simple doggedness and an unwillingness to give up. Got rejected? Get up and try again. Business failed? Figure out why and start again. We can’t control everything, but some people make it by sheer force of will alone.
Check out our entire conversation for other great advice here.