How To Stay Strong In The Face Of Adversity

By BetterHelp Editorial Team|Updated July 8, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC

One way or another, each one of us will face adversity in life. The nature, extent, and significance of adversity often vary; however, the great equalizer is the importance of maintaining resilience in the face of adversity.

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

Why Should You Stay Strong in the Face of Adversity?

Want To Become More Resilient, But Not Sure How?

It sounds great to preach about staying strong and resilient even when confronted with adversity. While this is certainly important, it’s also equally critical to understand that developing resiliency is a process, and it’s more than simply resolve to “stay strong”.

For most people, adverse situations don’t last forever; accepting that most things are temporary can be helpful.

You Can Grow from the Challenge

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

You Could be Inspiring Other People

In life, you never know who is watching or observing your situation. Your ability to face adversity could very well inspire someone else. This, in turn, can ripple out and impact countless other lives in the future.

For better or for worse, each and every decision we make impacts other people, whether directly or indirectly. The ability to be resilient in the face of adversity can teach someone else who may also be dealing with challenges in their own life.

You’ll Be Better Prepared in the Future

Each of us can learn and grow from past experiences. Overcoming an adverse situation isn’t easy, but can help you develop strength, knowledge, and wisdom.

Six Ways to Stay Strong in the Face of Adversity

The ability to face adversity and remain strong is one that will serve you well. With that being said, having real strategies for developing resiliency matters. Many people are told to remain resilient when faced with challenges; however, it’s important to have the necessary tools to make this happen.

Depending on a variety of factors and circumstances, some of the following suggestions may prove to be more helpful to some people than others. Nevertheless, just about anyone should be able to learn and draw inspiration from the following six ways to stay strong in the face of adversity.

Understand that Perception Impacts Reactions

Psychology Today details the significant impact that perception of adversity has on reactions to adversity. Some people view adversity and obstacles as indicators that they can’t make it in life; on the other hand, certain individuals perceive adversity as an opportunity to grow, become stronger, and rise to higher heights.

One of the greatest ways to become resilient when confronted by adversity is to view this confrontation as an opening for personal development. No matter who you are, where you come from, or what your situation is, room for improvement is always present. Believe it or not, some of the most pivotal growth comes from dealing with obstacles, not just times where everything is smooth-sailing.

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

Determine Your Next Move

Sometimes, people freeze when they are confronted with adversity; it’s often challenging to determine how to react when these times arise. During moments like these, determining your next move is 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…and that’s OK. This particular way to face adversity and remain strong is all about focus.

Want To Become More Resilient, But Not Sure How?

Determining your next move to overcome the challenge you’re faced with is ultimately a productive use of your mind and energy; furthermore, choosing this course of action allows you to get creative and develop strategies for future clashes with adversity. You’ll often find that keeping a clear head works wonders when figuring out what you want to do next.

Have a Support System (When Possible)

There will be certain moments in life where resilience in the face of adversity is something you must maintain on your own. With that being said, having a support system when possible can be extremely beneficial. The presence of loved ones always comes highly recommended, but people who care about you can especially make a difference when you’re faced with adversity.

The people who love and care for you may not be able to fight your battles. What they can do, though, is provide you with moral support. Being reminded of your strengths and capabilities from folks who have your best interest at heart can work miracles; it can also help to lessen the strain that adversity inflicts upon your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Remember Previous Times You’ve Defeated Adversity

Just about everyone has defeated adversity at one point or another in life. Remember, adversity can come in many sizes and forms, but a win is a win. When you find yourself facing adversity, remembering previous times that you’ve overcome adversity is paramount. This can help to foster confidence; remembering your previous victories is furthermore a great way of determining whether or not past strategies can benefit you in the present.

Conquering adversity builds a sort of character-based muscle memory. You may not face the same type of adversity, but you can remember that you’ve beaten challenges before.

Don’t Give Up

Adversity has a way of increasing the temptation to throw in the towel and give up. Sometimes, the most effective way of staying strong is simply not giving up. Tough times never last, but tough people always do. Troubling times, adversity, etc., will 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, making 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, keep pushing and don’t give up, you can get closer and closer to the other side of what you’re dealing with.

Ask for Help

The National Institute of Mental Health explains that adversity can come in various forms, with some of them being immensely extreme and crippling. For this reason, asking for help can be one of the best and most effective ways to stay strong and ultimately overcome adversity. Knowing when to seek outside help has saved many lives and given opportunities to countless people who needed them.

The Path to Professional Help and Guidance

Reaching out in times of adversity for help and support from friends and family can be very beneficial. Counselors are very helpful in supporting you in changing your perspectives, making changes to become more resilient, and processing difficult and adverse moments in life.

Online counseling is a form of support that has changed many lives and continues doing so to this day. If you choose to work with a BetterHelp online counselor, you can count on a professional who has your best interests at heart along with great qualifications.

Many individuals who have used online counseling have experienced personal growth and development; additional benefits linked to working with an online counselor include relief from mental health conditions, better interpersonal skills, and a better understanding of one’s life experiences.

Working with an online counselor is not a quick fix; however, online counseling does have the ability to help you develop long-term solutions and strategies for going forward in life. Unlike more traditional forms of counseling, help online allows you to get in sessions no matter where you are or what your schedule looks like.

BetterHelp looks forward to providing you with professional guidance and support.

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