Imagine my chagrin when I was told just prior to an important meeting with a political official, “You don’t have TV celebrity status, so no one will watch you. Nor do you have the political clout in the city to get your project idea approved by the Mayor.” But I continued making my pitch over a number of visits, and the Mayor ultimately accepted my cable TV series project on leadership, resulting in over 375,000 monthly viewers.
Maxcy Filer was thirty-six years old when he earned his law degree. Each time he took the exam he failed. Fast-forward to a time when most people are thinking about retiring. After taking the law exam twice a year for twenty-five years and spending $50,000 in fees for exams and countless review courses, Maxcy Filer took the California bar exam for the forty-eighth time, and he passed. Maxcy was sixty-one years old.
Do you have a similar story about encountering failure without having it derail your goals? What do you do when you meet adversity, whether in your professional career or your personal life? Mentally strong people reach for the deep strengths that reside inside them that can make all the difference. They take advantage of these strengths in coming back from the brink and in emerging out the other side in triumph, despite the mental turmoil and inner conflicts that may arise.
Consider this question: “What is the impact in your personal and professional life when you VIEW adversity as …”
1. A Precursor to Positive Change. This is an empowering statement because the exact moment you say it out loud, you’ve taken charge of how you want the situation to unfold rather than becoming its victim by giving it permission to take charge of your emotions and thoughts. Looking around your home life and work environment, you’ll find numerous reasons why you can overcome adversity. Notice how your performance at work becomes more effective and focused despite the adversity. So stop wasting time whining and allowing the adversity to influence your mental state! As a mentally strong leader, you expect adversity, so respond to it as a precursor to positive change, as learning something new, a chance to see obstacles as open opportunities to new possibilities.
2. A Strength Disguised as a ‘Life Skill’. When confronted by adversity, you’ll do one of two things. Either you’ll disengage from it, not acknowledging its current and future affect, or you’ll view it as a “life skill”, a survival mechanism in improving motivation in response to certain situations. Adversity becomes an opportunity for positive change, helping you work through difficult situations in pursuit of your purpose. Mentally strong leaders know that every situational adversity makes you more resilient. Use adversity as a springboard that inspires resilient thinking because it is your thinking in a resilient fashion that determines the action influencing your final result.
3. Visualizing an Expected Outcome. Adversity brings with it the uncertainty of how your next decision will play out in the final outcome. Envisioning the intended outcome impels you to unfold your own personal powers of intent, creativity, and the opportunity to transform what is to what could be. So don’t pull back or play it safe, taking a wait and see attitude. Why not do what you can do now? The advantage of visualization is that it mentally and emotionally prepares you to adapt to adversity’s unexpected tactics that are beyond your control. You’ll be prepared to skillfully respond confidently and decisively, which in itself is a powerful victory. As a mentally strong leader, retreat often inside your mind to plan how to play out different realities and find new possibilities. When visualizing, focus on implementing your ideas into action, imagine what happens moment by moment, without focusing on the results. If you want to know how to deal with uncertainty on your terms, you can find it in my blog article here.
Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) said “The strongest oak in the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.”
Where are you standing?
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Copyright 2016 Jennifer Touma Mindscape http://jennifertouma.com
I work with business leaders and professionals in making a difference in the people they work with, the clients they serve, and within their organizations. I teach individuals how to provide skilled leadership and stability in uncertain times, in addition to teaching them to respond decisively to setbacks and challenges by demonstrating resiliency, trustworthiness and hope.