How To Stay Strong In The Face Of Adversity

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia, LCSW
Updated December 4, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

One way or another, each one of us is likely to face adversity in life. The nature, extent, and significance of adversity often vary, but finding strategies to stay strong can help regardless of the circumstances.

The American Psychological Association states that resilience in the face of adversity can engender both personal growth and the ability to overcome tough times. Being resilient doesn’t mean that you will never face challenges or adversity in life. Resilience is instead about the ability to navigate adversity when it does appear.

Why Should You Stay Strong In The Face Of Adversity? 

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You Can Grow From The Challenge

Not all forms of adversity have to significantly disrupt us. Although it may not seem this way at the time, adversity sometimes serves as a great teacher that can help you grow and learn more about yourself.

You Could Be Inspiring Other People

Your ability to face adversity could inspire someone else. This, in turn, can ripple outward and impact others in the future.

Every decision we make can impact other people, whether directly or indirectly. The ability to be resilient in the face of adversity can encourage someone else who may be experiencing similar challenges in their own life.

You May Be Better Prepared In The Future

Each of us can learn and grow from past experiences. Overcoming an adverse situation isn’t always easy, but it can help you develop strength, knowledge, and wisdom that can serve you in the future. 

Six Ways To Stay Strong In The Face Of Adversity

  1. Understand That Perception Impacts Reactions

Some people may view adversity and obstacles as indicators that they have done something wrong. However, others perceive adversity as an opportunity to grow and become stronger.

You might try to view challenging situations as opportunities for personal development. No matter who you are, where you come from, or what your situation is, room for improvement is likely always present. Some of the most significant growth can come from overcoming obstacles, including trauma.

Perception can impact reactions, especially when you are facing adversity on your path to a certain goal or outcome.

  1. Determine Your Next Move

Sometimes, people freeze when they are confronted with adversity. It can be challenging to determine how to react when challenging times arise. During moments like these, determining your next move could be one of the best ways to remain strong.

Figuring out what you should do next on the quest to overcome adversity doesn’t always happen overnight. However, if you know what to do next or you have a plan to get yourself out of the situation, it can help to break your plan down into steps and move forward bit by bit.

Making a plan for your next step is typically a productive use of your mind and energy. Further, choosing this course of action may help you to get creative and develop strategies for future clashes with adversity. 

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  1. Have A Support System (When Possible)

There may be times in life when staying strong in the face of adversity is something you must do on your own. However, having a support system can make a significant difference. 

The people who love and care for you may not be able to fight your battles. What they might be able to do, though, is provide you with moral support. Being reminded of your strengths and capabilities by people who know you can embolden you during challenging times. It can also help to lessen the strain that adversity can place on your mental and emotional well-being.

  1. Remember Previous Times You’ve Defeated Adversity

Just about everyone has defeated adversity at one point or another in life. Adversity can come in many sizes and forms, but a win is a win. When you find yourself facing adversity, you can take time to recall the previous times that you’ve overcome adversity. This may help to foster confidence in your present circumstances. Also, remembering your previous victories may help you determine whether or not past strategies can benefit you in the present.

  1. Don’t Give Up

It can be tempting to throw in the towel and give up in the face of adversity. Sometimes, one of the most effective ways to stay strong is to simply not give up. Troubling times, adversity, etc., will probably pass, but your willingness to not give up is something that can benefit you in the present and the future.

Not giving up can be as simple as taking another step forward, taking time to regroup, or even pausing and returning to the situation at a later time. The decision to not give up is often easier when you view adversity as an opportunity to grow rather than a sign of your downfall. If you stay the course and don’t give up, you can get closer to the other side of what you’re experiencing.

  1. Ask For Help

Adversity can come in various forms, with some of them being extreme. For this reason, asking for help can be one of the most effective ways to stay strong and ultimately overcome adversity. 

Reaching out in times of adversity for support from friends and family can help to strengthen your resolve. Aside from family and friends, you may find it helpful to talk to a licensed therapist. If you find it difficult to visit a therapist’s office when you’re facing adversity, you might consider online therapy. Numerous studies have shown that online therapy is as effective as traditional in-office therapy, and it tends to be more affordable. 

With BetterHelp, you can discuss what you’re going through with a therapist via audio or video chat at a time that works for you. Also, you can contact your therapist in between sessions via in-app messaging if you have questions or concerns, and they’ll respond as soon as they can.

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If you’re experiencing anxiety or stress in the face of adversity, you don’t have to face it alone. With BetterHelp, you can be matched with a therapist who has experience helping people overcome adverse circumstances. BetterHelp has a network of more than 25,000 licensed therapists, so you’re likely to find someone with experience helping people with the challenges you’re facing. Take the first step to gaining strength in the face of adversity by reaching out to BetterHelp today.
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