Facing Adversity is the Testing Ground For Our Self-Esteem

We generally have adversity thrust upon us. One minute, life is smooth and easy, and, in the flick of an eye, everything changes. The main component of life is change. Yet, we often spend much time with ‘how could this happen”. Spending energy on why is a waste of time in the throes of upheaval. We’d do much better to begin going over solutions. A part of me is thrilled that I get this opportunity to spread my wings at the same time a part of me says, “oh, no”.

How some other authors faced change:

1.   From Allison Mac on Think Simple Now:

“The thing about life changing events is that they tend to leave you feeling naked and (more than a little) fearful.  If you try to squash that fear on your own you may be left feeling very alone and vulnerable.”

“In my experience, the best way to deal with the fear of adversity is to openly talk about it with others.  Although by nature I tend to be a fairly private person, I will admit that there are times when keeping things to just yourself are simply detrimental to your health and your mental state.”

“In a case such as a huge loss or a major life upheaval, it is very important to ask and accept the help of those who love you.  In this circumstance, I knew that if I had allowed myself to be buried away, I may never see the light of day again.”

“For this reason I began doing these three things:

1.  Connect with Family

“I quickly formed closer relationships with the remainder of my family.  My family is small, and consists of two brothers and my father—none of whom live close to me.”

“My older brother was the most emotionally available. We spent hours on Skype daily just talking and checking in with each other.”

“With my other brother and my dad, I had made sure to email more often and be open about what I was experiencing.  This also allowed them to be more comfortable with opening up candidly with me.

2.  Stay Close with Friends”

“On days when I felt like seeing no one and doing nothing, I forced myself to call a good friend and talked—even if it was about nothing.”

“Just having that social connection is vital to keep from losing your mind.  If a friend offers to take you out… GO.  On several occasions I went out to dinner with friends when I didn’t feel like going, but found myself feeling much better—better than I had felt in months.”

“I’ve learned that it is extremely important to stay close with friends and accept any help they may offer. It will help you move forward at a faster rate.”

3.  Write in a Journal

“I have always loved to write but never been much into journaling.  That all changed the day my mom died.  I have written in a journal every single day since her passing and it has become my biggest life saver.”

“I used to speak to my mom daily.  After she passed away, my journal became my avenue for expressing my thoughts, feelings and daily life.”

“I realize that not everyone likes to journal, but if you can force yourself to start, you may find yourself getting addicted to it like I did.”

2.   From Addiction Recovery Basics: “Self-Sabotage and Self-Defeating Behaviors in Addiction Recovery”:

“For people in recovery, thinking about using alcohol or drugs, or actually returning to their use is the ultimate in self-sabotage and self-defeating behavior. I mean, talk about shooting yourself in the foot, what good could possibly come out of a return to the use of drugs and alcohol?As we go through this module I cannot imagine anybody in recovery not having several ‘Aha moments’ or ‘light bulbs going off over your head’. OK, let’s get to it.”

“A pretty good working definition of self sabotaging behavior is this:

“Self sabotaging thoughts, behaviors, and feelings create a block in the road to success even when there is no rational or logical explanation as to why you cannot achieve your goals.”

“An interesting thing about self sabotage is that it is not a lack of knowledge, effort or even desire that keeps you from achieving your goals and out comes.But rather, it is the committee in our head, or our own inner self-dialogue that confuses the issue.”

“Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics in attitudes of self sabotaging behavior. Daniel G. Amen, in his book, Don’t Shoot Yourself In The Foot came up with the following characteristics and contrasts.”

Sabotaging Behavior  vs.  Successful Behavior

“Lack of personal responsibility   vs  Taking personal responsibility
Lack of Awareness   vs  Taking initiative to be informed
Poor communication skills  vs  Positive communications with others
Negativity  vs  Setting and working towards goals
Poor choice making   vs  Making good living choices”

“If I took those contrasts above, and labeled the left side ‘engaging in addictive use’, and the right side in ‘engaging in recovery’, it would fit like a glove. The deeper I get into this, the more realize that engaging in your addiction is the ultimate in self-destructive behavior.”

“So, self-sabotage can lead you to, and position you in the middle of, “relapse mode”. For us, that is the ultimate danger. Self-defeating behavior can make you frustrated, bring up that feeling of being trapped again, and be very discouraging. Don’t get me wrong, everybody makes a poor decision or does not get the results they want all the time. But this idea of self sabotaging and self-defeating behavior is really problematic when it becomes insidious and a pattern rather than an exception.”

3. From Deborah Khoshaba: “Get Hardy”:

The HardiAttitudes are the 3 c’s of commitment, control, and challenge.

Commitment: To be strong in commitment means believing that being involved with tasks, people, and contexts is the best way to find meaningful purpose in life.You will be infinitely curious about what is going on around you, and this will lead you to find interactions with people and situations stimulating and meaningful. Feeling alienated and isolated will seem like a waste of time.

Control: To be strong in control involves believing that, through personal struggle, you can usually influence the directions and outcomes going on around you. Lapsing into powerlessness and passivity will seem like a waste of time.

Challenge: To be strong in challenge means believing that personal improvement and fulfillment come through the continual process of learning from both negative and positive experiences. It will seem not only unrealistic but also stultifying to simply expect comfort and security to be handed to you.

Together, the HardiAttitudes put you into a coping mindset that motivates you to transform the stressors you have into opportunities for new learning, growth, and living the best life possible.

Photo credit.


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