One Bad Minute: Dealing With Adversity

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about how attitude is everything, and how you’re 100 percent in control of it. How you process and respond to adversity factors heavily into how successful you’ll be.

Cracked phone - Dealing with Adversity

I can hear you saying, “That’s easy for you to say, Dew; you’re always so positive!” Don’t give me that excuse. I wasn’t always this way, and neither were many of my clients. How can working on your response to adversity change the way your world works?

Snapshots of Confronting Adversity

I taught the Catastrophe Scale lesson at a client event recently, and the team really enjoyed it. I got an email about a week later that said, “Dew, you’re not going to believe this, but my car just got broken into! And instead of freaking out like I usually do when things go wrong, I stopped and thought, ‘OK, they didn’t take anything. My car still runs just fine. They just rifled through everything,’ and I was able to make this no big deal. Instead of letting it ruin my day, it was back to business as usual.”

Just a few weeks later, I got another email from someone in that same group. She said, “I was on my way to work this morning and went to take a sip of coffee. The lid wasn’t on tight enough, so it spilled down my blouse. Thankfully, the coffee wasn’t hot anymore, but I was too far from home to turn around. Once I got to work, instead of letting it ruin my day, I heard your voice in my head and just said to myself, ‘It’s gonna be a great day!’

She also mentioned that she had an event she had to go to that same afternoon, so she decided to go to the mall over lunch and buy herself a new shirt. Instead of making it some huge deal, she let it go. She even joked that she made it a positive experience by entertaining the ladies at the store with the grand tale of why she was there in the middle of the day looking for a shirt.

I can tell you stories all day long about how my positive attitude has made a difference in my life, but I want you to know it’s not just me! These two stories reminded me that yes, we face adversity all the time, but how fast we can bounce back from it matters so much. How can we put into practice the tools that help us survive the crappy bits of life, both big and small?

Lifestyle Change

Whether it’s gaining perspective through the Catastrophe Scale or returning to Business As Usual after a setback, responding effectively to difficult moments in our lives is not just an exercise. It involves a complete change of lifestyle and outlook.

The connecting thread here is not to let negativity seep into your days, because it will slowly ruin your life. Bad things will happen; there is no avoiding it. But let one bad minute be just that—a minute. Not a day. Or a month. Or a year.

Don’t dwell on those bad moments and allow yourself to spiral out, wasting your day (or even longer) on being upset about something you can’t undo. There is such power in self-control. Getting a grip on your emotions and choosing to remain positive are actionable changes that can transform your life. The more you practice, the better it works!

Positivity Is Infectious

The client I mentioned earlier said that when she walked into her office with coffee on her shirt, she made the active choice to not throw her hands into the air and say, “Can you believe what happened to me?!” Instead, she walked in and greeted her team by saying, “It’s gonna be a great day!”

The power of showing that positivity and ability to bounce back to your team can’t be overstated. It is so impactful for leaders to model those resiliency traits. Looking at things in a positive light and moving on quickly from bad moments can create a happier work environment not only for yourself, but your whole team! And it’s been proven time and time again—happier people make better, more productive workers.

It’s important to remember that even when we think, “Today stinks,” what we say to other people—whether with our smile or our attitude—matters so much. Sometimes you even have to fake it, but I promise, your smile, your attitude, your hug given to a friend can make a tremendous difference—in your day and in theirs.

Adversity is a constant, and it’s waiting for all of us, just around the bend. But by keeping things in perspective, bouncing back from setbacks, and not allowing yourself to wallow in the bad moments, you can take that control back. This is your life—don’t let external factors write your story for you.

Until next time—go sell some stuff!


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