5 Ways Top Leaders Overcome Adversity

By Saurabh Tyagi

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

Even top leaders have to overcome adversity in their life on some occasion or other.

However, not everyone is as good at overcoming adversity, but those who turn adversity to their advantage are clearly the winners. Here are some tips to face difficult situations in a better way.

At first brush, you would think that adversity is a bad thing. After all, it has connotations of weakness, hardships, suffering, misery, and sorrow.

However, the most remarkable personalities of our times have asserted repeatedly the good adversity brings in life – best reflected in this quote from the famous American author Napoleon Hill:

Every adversity, failure, and heartache carries the seed of an equal or greater benefit.

Overcome Adversity

The truth is that no one can elude adversity forever. Whether you love to live your life on the edge or are someone who prefers playing things safe, life will never be a bed of roses. It will inevitably and eventually throw unpleasant surprises and challenges in your direction.

Sometimes, it will be your personal life at risk of going berserk while, at other times, you will find it challenging to manage your professional life.

Maybe you missed out on a promotion that you were so sure of achieving, or even worse, the company that you spent years nurturing and building from scratch just went bust. Such situations invoke feelings of despair and self-pity.

While it is difficult to avoid such emotions, leaders make it a point to learn from these situations and move on.

What makes leaders different are their solid values and principles, which they promptly fall back upon when faced with an adverse situation. Imbibe these principles in your life, and you will see a remarkable increase in your self-confidence.

Here are 5 ways the tough get going:

1. Determination

Action speaks louder than words. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

There are a thousand similar quotes that postulate the power of persistence.

The one quality that will guarantee success is the willingness to stick with it and refuse to settle for anything less than your dream. If you are determined enough to make it through the thick and thin, come what may, no power can stop you.

2. Take Responsibility

When people face adversity, they often shy away from owning the responsibility for their actions that has led to the situation.

Instead of blaming others for your professional setbacks or finding comfort in the notion of your misfortune, you should respond to it in a way that favors you.

While the situation might be something you could not have prevented, responding to it positively will help you channel your energy in the right direction.

3. Treat Negative Feedback as a Gift

Failure is not a judgment of your abilities. It responds to your actions, telling you to make better use of your abilities the next time.

Negative feedback is similar. If your manager tells you to improve, he isn’t judging your abilities. It may feel like a personal attack and can evoke many powerful emotions.

However, you must interpret the negative feedback as a learning opportunity, and instead of feeling angry or upset about it, find a way to get them.

4. Focus on Your Strengths

People often work on improving their weaknesses while ignoring their strengths. While improving your weak points is essential for continual growth, your innate strengths will come to the rescue and help you survive during struggling times.

Leaders focus on the positive side of life rather than constantly attending to their weaknesses.

5. Identify New Goals

When you are already at the lowest ebb in life and have nothing to lose, that is the perfect time to realign your goals and establish a new direction to move on. You just lost your job.

Honest introspection will reveal the genuine reasons for losing it.

Maybe you were not hundred percent happy with the way your career was heading so far, or your passion lay elsewhere.

Take stock of the situation, and you might be more grateful for the freedom of thought and action you enjoy now. As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining.

Once you have a better understanding of the situation, have new goals for the future, and work to achieve them. That’s what leaders do.

How Do You Overcome Adversity?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Saurabh Tyagi
Saurabh Tyagi
Saurabh is a professional writer and a passionate blogger. Currently, he is writing content for several websites such as Naukri.com that cover latest trends related to jobs and work related issues in the world, and India in general, as well as other fields.
  • Ray Sobrino Jr says:

    Great article! Thanks Saurabh.
    Adversities are normal. Everyone goes through some challenges and difficulties in life. Sometimes, life can really get you down. However, you always have the choice to whether let yourself down or pick yourself up.
    Please read my blog on 5 Tips on Conquering Adversities
    Hope this will also help.

  • Yogaganapathy says:

    Very very useful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Please keep writing.

  • Viola Tam says:

    Hi Saurubh,

    An insightful post! Love all these key points, particularly the one about focus.

    When one door closes, many people focus so much on the challenges that they miss which windows or doors are open to them.

    This is why I love Dr. John Demartini’s work so much!

    Let’s be real and look at life without bias. Challenges? Yes! Opportunities? Yes! At the SAME time.

    Love this post. I will share!

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