Adversity – A Master-Class in Being Your Best Self


Most of us have been involved in doing our own work for years. We’ve been acknowledging our childhood wounds, learning self-compassion, forgiving others, practicing gratitude and a host of other methods we’ve adopted over time to become the very best version of ourselves possible.  That said, and granting that none of this work is easy, (although it may seem simple) there’s a layer of learning that comes from adversity which we commonly miss.

Adversity, in whatever form it shows up, is by definition, difficult to deal with.  It may come as any life circumstance you cannot control. Examples might include a reorganization at your workplace that alters or eliminates your job, a natural disaster the devastates your home or community, or an illness that complicates your own life or someone in your family.  Adversity can be a setback, or even a series of setbacks, OR it can be a launch-pad for an even deeper extension of your own personal work – incredible? Read on.

Imagine yourself progressing through life, with all the typical ups and downs.  Some days your happy, satisfied with your progress, learning a few new things, sometimes easily, other times learning the hard way through trial and error. You set goals, you note your gains, you hit a bump in the road and before you know it, you’re pushing the re-set button to start all over.  Yes, we’ve all done that journey!

Now, imagine all that, and envision it over a considerable period of time, likely years.  All your hard work and diligent learning has led you through solid change and even some amazing transformation. You’re a more confident person, you have a sense of achievement, you like who you’ve become and who you’re becoming.  And suddenly, adversity hits.  It creates all the havoc in your life that you let it.  You regain your balance quickly or slowly.  You gain perspective on it right away or over the course of a year or more.  We’re human; we respond to chaos at our own pace.

But now, you find yourself at a curious intersection.  Your awareness has enabled you to recognize that the adversity (or its net effects) is here to stay.  You’re learning to live with it but, you see it as a disturbance that has altered your intended life-trajectory or worse yet – knocked you completely off your path.  Ouch! 

Now, let me offer an alternative view. Imagine that your adversity is here to kick you UP a notch. Now, you’re still learning to be YOU, and of course still aiming for your BEST YOU, but now there is a lasting and, possibly visible and daily obstacle to manage around or through.  Now, you are becoming your BEST YOU in spite of adversity – and believe me, THAT is powerful. 

Believing in yourself, that you CAN be the YOU who you are intended to be, even WITH that adversity in your life, that is a choice you must make consciously.  It will not come by passive acquiescence. It comes through the realization that the adversity is not the adversary – it is the teacher.  It makes you stronger, asks you to dig deeper and enables you to be seen as someone who, just like all of humanity, suffers a flaw and still rises to their full potential.

What is the adversity plaguing you? How has it tried to stop you in your path and derail your growth and success?  Are you still fighting it, or have you begun to notice that in acknowledging its presence in your life, you are changing, growing, transforming into an even stronger version of your best self? 

I know that’s how it works for me.   

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Paula

I help other caregivers – both professionals and family caregivers – acknowledge their pain and learn to practice the many small skills of self-care that can sustain them through the challenges of wholeheartedly caring for others.

Recent Posts

Woman enjoying the scenery on her road trip

Taking Advantage of a Long, Holiday Weekend. . .

Even as Americans discuss the advantages of the four-day work-week, thanks to Representative Mark Takano, D-Calif., who introduced legislation which, if it passes, would reduce the standard workweek to 32 hours instead of 40, we’re also working more hours than ever.

The Guardian reports that compared with other countries, the American workplace record is not good. “In 2021, American employees worked 184 more hours than Japanese workers, 294 more hours than British workers, and 442 more hours than German workers. Unbelievably, in 2023 there are millions of Americans who work at jobs with no vacation time” (The Guardian).

Read More →
You'll never walk alone song lyrics

You’ll Never Walk Alone. . .

Since its first recording, by Frank Sinatra in 1945, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” has been reinterpreted by many musicians, perhaps most recently by Josh Groban in 2015. Its lyrics are formed by a relatively short, 17-line poem, written as a song by Rogers & Hammerstein for musical Carousel.

This song reminds me so much of the nature of my work – certainly, when clients come to me they often feel VERY alone and completely overwhelmed by the caregiver roles they fill. This is true whether they are parents of a special-needs-child or the sole caregiver for a spouse with dementia. That sense of being alone is, in itself, depressing.

Read More →
Women running past finish line at marathon

Measuring Progress Can Help. . .

I’m working with a Health Coach myself (yes, even coaches need coaches!) who seems to appreciate my need to measure things. I’m one of those people who likes to see measurable improvement – to choose metrics that allow me to demonstrate progress, if not full completion, of a goal.

Sometimes, especially if we’re working on goals that feel particularly difficult, it can be important to at least see movement in the desired direction. Most of us can appreciate the fulfillment of getting to the finish line of a quick sprint, like the 100-yard-dash. But when you’re in a marathon you need benchmarks along the way to remind you that you’re actually doing it, and that the end will come, even if you can’t see it from your current spot on the route. That’s where metrics come in handy!

Read More →
How Can I Help You?

Through Co-Create 4 Life, you will learn a range of well-being strategies from skillfully implementing self-care to holistic approaches to well-being, rebuilding resilience, and battling burnout. Book a free consultation call today to discuss your options.

How Can I Help You?

Through Co-Create 4 Life, you will learn a range of well-being strategies from skillfully implementing self-care to holistic approaches to well-being, rebuilding resilience, and battling burnout. Book a free consultation call today to discuss your options.