February 26, 2017 Meredtih Kessler

8 Tips to Help You Persevere Through Adversity


Perseverance: steady persistence in the course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. The quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it’s hard.

8 Tips to Help You Persevere Through Adversity

Perseverance is not for the faint of heart. It takes total dedication to follow through despite the inherent obstacles, failures you will encounter and the discouragement that you may hear from family, friends, and others. Giving up is easy, but pushing through the obstacles that lie in your path can be tough. Failures are often the keys to success if you are willing to learn from them.

A single event or series of events that impedes your forward progress is a setback. Setbacks are one-time, one-of-a-kind occurrences that may leave you wondering what purpose your work is intended. Setbacks may not exactly defeat you, but they may cause you to pull back and regroup.

Setbacks often need a quick and accurate response, such as when you realize the sprint that you just made on the football field left you with a sore hamstring. Meeting with the teams Certified Fitness Trainer or Athletic Trainer would provide you with the proper rehab and recovery tools, which will allow you to resume strength and speed training.

Adversity is not a distinct one time occurrence, but it is more likely to be an ongoing painful set of events. With difficulty, you need to keep moving steadily forward through the difficult set of conditions. Unlike setbacks, which are usually single events, adversity can last a long time, incorporate numerous events and change many circumstances. Things are ever changing, but the right attitude will create the right actions.

Setbacks and adversity provide an opportunity for individuals and teams to continue to learn and develop. Failures are opportunities to correct mistakes, try new approaches, and move in a new direction.

No one succeeds without effort… Those who succeed owe their success to perseverance.
-Ramana Maharshi

If not handled properly, setbacks and adversity can prevent you from moving forward, and even regress your personal development and chosen career path. Regardless of how difficult life may be at any given time, you must keep moving forward toward your goals, and try to improve your work, training, and function every day. For example, when you are outrun on the playing field, you may need to reassess your training and improve upon your speed and agility training.

When things go wrong, it’s easy to get discouraged and start feeling as if there’s no point to moving forward. When you get depressed, it becomes much harder to work, socialize, see small improvements, or to deal with everyday problems and frustrations. Accomplishing great things in life is a product of hard work, dedication, and consistency, but never underestimate the power of surrounding yourself with a supporting cast that will encourage the right attitude. Remember, “this too shall pass.”

Setbacks and adversity often present the best opportunities for learning.

People learn by experimenting and making mistakes. Failing to make mistakes will impede your progress because mistakes are an inherent part of taking risks. Trouble will find you, whether through your own doing or due to outside forces. Value can be found in learning how to avoid the same or similar situation in the future. Finding a way out of your present situation also leads to learning what will strengthen your core skills in the future. With the right mindset, you will start to see setbacks and adversity as a competitive advantage rather than a weakness.

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.
-Newt Gingrich

How Do You Overcome Setbacks And Adversity to Persevere?

Don’t Panic

This is exactly the wrong reaction. It is disruptive at best and will make it that much harder to reverse, manage, or prevent the damages the setback or adversity may have caused.

Take action

Thinking about your problems will not overcome them, but taking action will help guide you toward a solution. Sitting and feeling sorry about the current situation will lead to more hurt and frustration. It is imperative that you, or someone close to you, take charge and address the situation. Remember, each step toward the solution is a move in the right direction, regardless of how small that step may feel. Whatever step you take, move forward as quickly as possible.


Communication is a skill that can be learned. By letting people involved in the situation know exactly what’s going on and how you feel, you can stop rumors from being initiated. The stories that you fabricate in your mind are usually much worse than the reality. Through effective communication, we can halt the rumor mill and ease the panic that can often overtake our thoughts.

Emphasize the positive

Keep things upbeat and focused on what’s going right, not what’s going wrong. You can’t ignore the problem or the difficult situation, but you can focus your attention away from negativity. Positive thinking will generate positive thoughts and attract positive people and experiences into your life.

Don’t be too serious

Humor is one of the best responses in tough times. Your situation isn’t the end of the world, but only a temporary state that can be overcome. Finding humor in stressful situations will allow you to divert your attention away from your difficulties.

Keep the big picture in mind

When you lose, don’t lose the life lesson that the struggle is trying to teach you. There’s a story about an athlete who reached the peak of their career. When asked what they wished they had learned along the road to success, they replied that they wished someone had told them there is nothing there at the top. Real meaning in life is serving others. Often, when we are in stressful situations, turning and helping someone else thru their difficulties will take our mind off our problems and invigorate our true calling of serving others. This will allow you to re-focus your thoughts on your personal goals and work toward strategies to accomplish them.

Ask for help

It takes a strong person to ask others for help. Often, those closest to us will provide strategies and support that we would not have thought of on our own. Every person has different experiences and ways of thinking that can help guide you through this troubling time. This will not only help your current situation but will strengthen those relationships as well. By asking for help, we are arming ourselves with tools to help others that we may encounter in the future. It takes a lot of courage to allow others into our inner circle, but there is no shame in asking for help.

Never Quit

Even after the situation may be resolved, continue working to ensure that you don’t fall into the same state again. Never, ever quit. Quitting only allows the past situation to be a defining moment in your life, career, and relationships.

With any setback or adversity, remember to staying calm, communicate with those around you who provide emotional and physical support, move forward emphasizing the positives and never give up.

Theses skills will not only help you overcome setbacks and adversity but also can help you reach and maintain personal excellence when times are good.

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