7 Ways to Overcome Adversity

7 Ways to Overcome Adversity

Life, at times, is filled with uncertainty. We live each day not knowing what is ahead of us. You watch the news or read a newspaper and see tragic events covered, along with stories of someone overcoming an obstacle or challenge that seemed impossible.

Adversity affects us all during our lifetimes. So how do you handle adversity when it comes knocking at your door? To answer that question, we will review seven ways to overcome adversity.

I hope this article will inspire you to persevere and be determined not to give up when faced with adversity.

Here are the seven ways of overcoming adversity:

  1. Find the strength to face adversity head on
  2. Use inspiration to keep you going
  3. Learn the lesson from your experience
  4. Turn your story into a purpose
  5. Take time to heal
  6. Imagine a brighter future
  7. Never give up

A group of people helping a person up a hill

What is Adversity?

Adversity is a calamity, misfortune, or distress that happens in life.

While adversity comes in many forms, here are some common types:

  • Physical adversity
  • Emotional adversity
  • Mental adversity
  • Spiritual adversity
  • Social adversity
  • Financial adversity
  • Relationship adversity

Now let’s review how to handle adversity in your life.

1. Find the strength to face adversity head-on

Life is not always fair, and we will face adversity from time to time. When trouble comes into our lives, sometimes we tend to want to avoid it or ignore it. However, ignoring adversity does not make it go away.

Deep down within each of us is a desire to thrive and survive.

Instead of ignoring adversity, acknowledge it by writing down what you are feeling or experiencing. Then, talk to someone you trust who can listen and provide support. More importantly, seek help from a professional who can provide a plan of action to move forward.

The critical thing to remember is not to allow it to take permanent residence. Instead, develop a mindset to overcome whatever life throws at you.

2. Use inspiration to keep you going

Life is unpredictable and sometimes takes us to a breaking point where we want to give up. Therefore, it is wise to have the inspiration to keep you motivated during these times.

Inspiration is found in God, within yourself, and in others. It can also be found in books, poems, and music.

I recall an experience speaking to a woman who had lost her husband. They had been married for a long time, and she felt that her life had no meaning after he had passed away. However, one day as she reflected on their time together, she remembered how much they loved to attend operas and music concerts. They enjoyed listening to music together.

She began listening to music and singing some of their favorite songs, and in doing so, she had a discovery. She discovered that it was hard to cry and sing simultaneously. However, once she focused on singing and listening to music, she found the inspiration to keep going.

Your inspiration may not be music but art or other activities. Focus on overcoming adversity by pursuing those things that inspire you to keep going one day at a time.

3. Learn the lesson from your experience

Life can be thought of as a school of learning. Therefore, as we progress through life, we will be tested on the things we have learned to move to the next grade level.

The lessons may become more challenging at each grade level and make you want to quit. However, the challenge to you is to see the lesson as a part of your personal growth. If you do not complete the lesson, it may still occur later in life in a different form or fashion.

Instead of avoiding the lesson of adversity, learn from it. Ask yourself, what is God trying to teach me in this experience? Then, use life’s lessons to help you develop into a better you with more wisdom, knowledge, and strength.

4. Turn your story into a purpose

When faced with adversity, change your focus. Let this be a moment of moving from discomfort into growth. This entails viewing your life goals and plans to overcome adversity.

By focusing on your goals, you develop the mentality to move toward accomplishment.

During the 1992 Olympics, Great Britain runner Derek Redmond suffered a torn hamstring while running in the second heat of a 400-meter race. After he falls to the ground in agonizing pain, with tears running down his face, he realizes that he will not be able to win the race.

Redmond begins to pick himself up and run with a limp to continue to the finish line. Although in pain, he has a look of determination to keep going. His father comes down from the stands, places his son’s arm around his shoulders, and continues to help his son to the finish line despite field judges and others trying to stop them.

The story’s irony is that his father was wearing a hat with the Nike logo that says, “Just Do It.”

As the father and son walk across the finish line, the crowd is cheering them on and standing to their feet because, at that moment, Redmond had transformed the focus of adversity into triumph to complete what he started.

Just as this story illustrates Redmond’s determination to get up, it also is an example of how to face challenges in life.

Whatever knocks you down, the loss of a loved one, losing a job, divorce, or a medical diagnosis from your doctor, do not let it keep you down.

Reach deep within yourself to rise and move forward to complete the mission ahead of you. Turn your story into purpose and use it to help others.

5. Take time to heal

Just as eating a well-balanced meal is good for your body, taking time to recover from adversity is good for your soul.

Healing does not always happen immediately; it is a process. Each recovery may be different. A physical injury may be based on a doctor’s recommendation. Mental healing may involve a therapist or other steps based on a plan.

Yet, healing can also be done by reconnecting with nature. Re-ignite your passion for doing those things that bring you joy and peace.

Take time to replenish your soul. Remember that you can not pour from an empty cup. To be able to help others, you will need time to take care of yourself.

6. Imagine a brighter future

It becomes unbearable when life overloads you with setbacks, pain, and suffering. However, you can use your imagination to focus on your dreams and hopes for a better day.

Walking by faith and trusting in God to strengthen you will help you proceed one day at a time. First, focus on your goals and do what you can to work toward them. Then, ask God to help you with those things you can not do alone.

7. Never give up

As with dark clouds, there is a silver lining. Whenever faced with adversity, remember that this is a test to prepare you for more incredible things in life. Learn to see the positive in your learning and use this experience to grow.

Developing into the person, you are destined to be will take time and practice. When the lessons get tough, seek help but do not quit.


We started this article with a question on how to handle adversity when it comes knocking at your door.  Seven ways of addressing adversity included finding the strength to face adversity head-on, using inspiration to keep going, learning the lesson from your experience, turning your story into purpose, taking time to heal, imagining a brighter future, and never giving up.

This article aims to inspire you to live a life through perseverance and determination when adversity comes your way. I hope this helps you in your growth and development. Please share your comments and your ideas of what you have used in your life to overcome adversity.

Thank you for your time and for reviewing this article. I wish you the very best.

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