Even top leaders encounter adversity in their life at some occasion or the other.

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

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

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

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.


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 difficult 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 feeling 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 make leaders different are their strong 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 gets going:

1. Determination

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

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

The one quality that will guarantee you success is the willingness to stick with it, and to 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, there is no power that can stop you.

2. Take Responsibility

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

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

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While the situation might be something that you could not have prevented, responding to it in a positive manner 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 is a response 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 passing a judgment on your abilities. It may feel like a personal attack and can evoke a whole host of 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 a continual growth, it is your innate strengths that will come to rescue and help you survive during struggling times.

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

An honest introspection will reveal the true reasons of losing it.

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

Take stock of the situation, you might just be more grateful for the freedom of thought and action that you enjoy right 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, work to achieve them. That’s what leaders do.

How Do You Handle 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 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.