[BLOG]: How To Learn From Adversity?

[BLOG]: 'How To Learn From Adversity?'by Tony de Bree on www.tonydebree.com.

You never want to face adverse situations. Unfortunately, they will happen. It’s not a matter of if, but when. The good news is that you can learn from all of them. That is if you are willing to listen & learn.


The deeper the adversity you face, the more it tests your resolve. You will learn much about yourself in how you deal with your situation. Of course, if you are not willing to admit you have the situation to deal with in the first place, then you won’t draw from those lessons learned.

But if you are smart and you are prepared to listen, then here are a few things you will be able to learn from adversity you might face during your life and become more resilient on the way:

1) You will learn to reassess your priorities. Suddenly, you will discover what is truly important in your life. For instance, you may think your career or your work is the most important aspect of your life. Then, you face your adverse situation and realize that your health and your family and friends for instance are much more important.

2) You will learn that change is the one aspect of life you can depend on most. Some people have a difficult time accepting changein different aspects of their lives. The trouble is that change continually happens. When you find yourself in a situation where you have no choice but to deal with something, you will accept the change. If you don’t, the problem may not correct itself. You will become miserable by not allowing change to occur and you might feel ‘a victim’ for a very long time.

3) Seek the opportunities that may exist from your adverse situation. You may find that you are good at something you hadn’t realized. The situation forced you to use skills you didn’t know you had. It’s difficult to think in this capacity because you are dealing with your situation. But, try to recognize the opportunities. If you ask other people that know you personally what you are good at according to them, that is a good way to seize the right opportunities at the right time.

4) You are going to meet people as part of the process. Some of these people may be key in helping you through your difficult period. More importantly, a few of them may become close friends. Adversity has a way of bringing people together if they have experienced or are experiencing similar situations.

But be carefull that you choose the right people to spend your time with. If people are feeling victims or if you run into untrustworthy advisors, trainers, mentors or coaches, they can do more harm that good.

‘After leaving ABN Amro at the end of 2011, I had to particate in ’50plus’ sessions to receive my unemployement money. Most people attending the first meeting were complaining all the time and were ‘victims’ if you believed what they were saying. I decided to stop attending those meetings because these people drained my energy’. 

And I know from my own experience during my burn-out period that if you are really going through a bad period, you have to be extra carefull in choosing who to turn to. In your private life and looking for professional help. I was lucky to have selected a great personal coach, a great doctor and a very good friend that all listened to me and helped me. I was resilient by nature, but I still could not have done it without those people helping me.

5) Some adversity lies in dealing with others who don’t agree with you. That allows you to learn about how others approach a situation. You will see what kind of ‘profile’ those people possess. Try to learn about their feelings and their motivations if they do not drain your energy too much. When you do, you can see their perspective on the issue. Although you may see their point of view, it doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, nor does it mean you should back down. However, you will be in a better position when dealing with them under the condition that they have your best interest at heart and they really are able to listen to you and your story.

What’s next?

Ok. Well that was the second blog I wanted to share with you around ‘how you can deal with adversities’. In the next blogs I will mainly share ideas & tips from personal stories around category 3: adversity in your professional life. If you do not want to miss any blog & tip, on ‘How to deal with adversity’, bookmark these blogs, ok?

Want to share your personal stories?

If you want to share your personal story around dealing with different types of adversity, then send it to me using this form, ok?

Warm regards,
Tony de Bree

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