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Turn Adversity Into Productivity

Imagine yourself on an extended hike in the mountains. Suddenly the path in front of you has dropped off, totally washed away and you are left on very shaky and precarious terrain. Night is coming and you can’t reach your destination and it is too late to go back. The weather has changed and storm clouds are brewing a hard rain.

You make it through the night, and you decide to go back the way you came, only to discover the path behind you has also been washed away. How do you get off the mountain? You are unfamiliar with the terrain. You have never been here before.

Life altering events can make us feel there has been a stream of washouts on our life paths, leaving us with a future that is uncertain, full of obstacles and dead ends. 

Where do you start?

Taking the example above, the next step is to take a survival inventory of what we have and what we need to get us off this mountain. In much the same way, when we are faced with a life altering tragedy or change, we need to take an inventory and make whatever immediate adjustments are needed.

With immediate survival needs met, we focus on making that transition to a new reality. It is here where we are challenged with our core beliefs and perceptions about ourselves and the world. We have to abandon the path we were on to discover a new one.

We can’t move forward until we are ready to let go of the past and put our energy into the future.

We can sit down and tell ourselves all the reasons why life isn’t fair. We can replay in our mind all the times we failed or screwed up. We can hang on to the belief that even if we make new goals somebody or something will come along and destroy our efforts anyway.

We can choose to start again or remain stuck.

Avoid the blame game

When we get stuck in the “blame game” trap, we become a victim to life, our past, circumstances, events, people, etc. Everything that happens is something or someone else’s fault. We become helpless and without realizing it have given away our personal power. We can’t consider options and choices because we have convinced ourselves there are none. We use our energy to fuel resentment and anger and rebel instead of finding new solutions. Our focus remains on the adversity instead of possibility.

In your Change notebook, start recording all the statements you say to yourself about your situation. It may surprise you how often negative and defeating statements are repeated over and over in our mind. 

Writing them down helps us become aware of thinking that keep us from believing in the power and love of God, ourselves and the future.

We have many resources within us. We can waste them on anger, blame, resentment, etc. Or we can use them to turn any adversity into something productive.

©2013 Marlene Anderson

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