Overcoming adversity

Life’s challenges and surprises will demand you to stop and reassess your life at every step. However, overcoming adversity is an art everyone must learn to succeed in this game of life. The #1 superpower every human has within to triumph over adversity is resilience.

Let’s understand what adversity is, how resilience can pave your way to success, and how every human can build this superpower.

Understanding Adversity

Adversity comes in many forms—personal tragedies, financial struggles, health crises, etc. Those unexpected twists test our mettle, leaving us feeling vulnerable and uncertain. Yet, it’s important to understand that adversity is universal; it’s something we all encounter at some point in our lives.

Losing a job or a loved one, suffering from trauma and abuse, and various other challenges can be life-changing. However, overcoming adversity is the only way to direct your life toward a destination you have always wanted. Change is inevitable; through resilience amidst adversity, you ensure the change is in your favor.

The Power of Resilience

Resilience is our ability to bounce back from adversity, adapt, and grow stronger through challenges. It’s not merely about surviving but thriving in the face of adversity.

Consider the story of Ronald Steele. He has faced countless hardships since his childhood that he has mentioned in his book, To Be Loved: Ain’t Gonna Be Denied. Yet, he persevered through adversity and paved the way for success. Through his resilient nature, he has touched the lives of many.

When you try and take that first step, you don’t even know, but God will make way for you.

  • Ronald Steele

A common misconception about resilience is that you’re born with it. In contrast, resilience isn’t an innate trait but a skill that can be developed. It involves cultivating a positive mindset, learning from failures, and maintaining a strong purpose even when the road ahead seems daunting.

Overcoming adversity

Building Resilience

Building resilience is akin to strengthening a muscle. The more you practice it in multiple areas of your life, the more resilient you become.

Here are some strategies to help you develop this vital quality:

Cultivate a Positive Mindset

Building resilience begins with your mindset. It’s about training your mind to see challenges as opportunities for growth rather than insurmountable obstacles. Optimism is a powerful tool in your resilience toolkit. Here’s how to cultivate a positive mindset:

  • Practice Gratitude: Regularly reflect on the things you’re grateful for. Doing so can help shift your focus away from problems and toward the positive aspects of your life.
  • Challenge Negative Thoughts: When faced with adversity, it’s common to have negative thoughts. Learn to challenge these thoughts by asking yourself if they are based on facts or assumptions. Replace negative thoughts with more constructive and realistic ones.
  • Visualize Success: Use visualization techniques to imagine yourself successfully overcoming challenges. Visualization can help create your desired reality and make it more attainable. Hence, your confidence and motivation increase, and you’re more likely to take necessary action.
  • Stay Solution-Oriented: Instead of dwelling on problems, focus on finding solutions. Understand the problem and then shift your mind to find different ways you can solve it. Moreover, break down larger challenges into smaller, manageable steps and tackle them one at a time.


Self-awareness is a cornerstone of resilience. It involves understanding your emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and how you react to adversity. Here’s how to develop self-awareness:

  • Reflect Regularly: Reflect on your experiences and how they make you feel. Journaling can be a valuable tool for self-reflection. Furthermore, the best times to journal are right after waking up and before going to bed as you wind down.

Morning journaling can set the tone for the day, whereas night journaling can help collect your day’s thoughts on paper. Consequently, you can spend your day with a positive attitude and sleep peacefully.

  • Seek Feedback: Ask for feedback from trusted friends, mentors, or colleagues to gain insights into your strengths and areas for improvement. However, don’t internalize people’s criticism and build your personality instead. Moreover, ensure the people you’re asking for feedback are your well-wishers.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Develop emotional intelligence by recognizing and managing your emotions effectively. Doing so can help you stay calm and composed during challenging situations. In addition, regulating your emotions and fully feeling them is the only way to build this quality.
  • Mindfulness and Meditation: Practices like mindfulness and meditation can enhance self-awareness. These can help you become more in tune with your thoughts and emotions.
Overcoming adversity


Adaptability is the ability to adjust to changing circumstances and embrace new approaches when necessary. In the face of adversity, adaptability can be your greatest asset. Here’s how to foster adaptability:

  • Stay Open-Minded: Be receptive to new ideas and different perspectives. Being open-minded allows you to explore alternative solutions to problems.
  • Learn Continuously: Embrace a growth mindset and view every experience, whether positive or negative, as an opportunity to learn. Continuous learning can help you adapt to evolving situations.
  • Flexibility: Be flexible in your plans and expectations. Sometimes, the path to success may require detours, and flexibility allows you to navigate those detours effectively.
  • Risk-Taking: Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. Adversity often presents opportunities for innovation and creativity.

Establish a Support System:

A strong support system is like a safety net during challenging times. Surrounding yourself with supportive individuals can provide emotional stability and encouragement. Here’s how to establish and utilize a support system:

  • Identify Your Support Network: Identify friends, family members, mentors, and peers who can offer guidance when needed. They can be a listening ear or offer practical assistance during hardship.
  • Open Communication: Don’t hesitate to communicate your feelings and challenges to your support network. Sometimes, sharing your struggles can provide immediate relief and solutions.
  • Reciprocity: Be willing to offer support in return. Building a supportive community is a two-way street; your willingness to help others can strengthen your own support network.
  • Seek Professional Help: In some cases, professional guidance from therapists, counselors, or coaches may be necessary. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you feel overwhelmed.

Overcoming Adversity in Different Areas of Life

Overcoming adversity is important to thrive in all areas of life. Therefore, you will need the power of resilience in different aspects.

  • Career: In the professional realm, setbacks such as job loss or career stagnation can be disheartening. However, individuals who persevere often find themselves in more fulfilling roles or even starting their own successful ventures.
  • Relationships: Personal relationships can also be fraught with adversity. Whether it’s a breakup, conflict with a friend, or family discord, resilience can help repair and strengthen these bonds.
  • Personal Growth: Adversity often leads to personal growth. Embracing challenges as opportunities to learn and develop can lead to greater self-awareness and emotional maturity.

The Transformational Journey

The journey of overcoming adversity and developing resilience is not just about reaching the destination; it’s about the transformation that occurs along the way. When we confront challenges head-on, we often discover hidden strengths and capabilities within ourselves.

Adversity has a unique way of refining our character. It helps us prioritize what truly matters and motivates us to pursue our passions with renewed vigor.

Overcoming adversity

Final Thoughts

In life, adversity is not a question of “if” but “when.” The true measure of our character lies in how we respond to these inevitable challenges. As we’ve explored, resilience does not mean only weathering life’s storms. Instead, it means using hardships as stepping stones toward success.

As you navigate your own path, remember the stories of those who have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Moreover, embracing and overcoming adversity is an opportunity for growth and transformation. Let resilience be your guiding light on your way to success.

About the Author


Ronald D. Steele, the author of To Be Loved: Ain’t Gonna Be Denied, is a writer, photographer, and traveler with a unique journey. From a troubled upbringing in New York and D.C. to a successful federal government career, Ronald shares life lessons and inspires readers to embrace their potential and maintain a positive mindset, no matter their past mistakes.

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