What Is Adversity And How You Can Overcome It

What is adversity?

Adversity is often defined as a difficult or unfortunate event or circumstance. As humans, we all face some form of adversity at one point in our lives. Some of us face adversity more than others. It’s important to understand that our challenges don’t define us, however, the way we decide to handle them does.

For that reason, we should always be aware of the many forms of adversity we may face in our lives. And more importantly, understand what can be done to overcome them. Here are a few forms of adversity you may encounter in life, and what you can do to get past them.


1. Physical

The most obvious example of physical adversity is a physical disability. Physical adversity could be something you’re born with, such as an abnormality, that can certainly make it more challenging while growing up. It could also be caused from a traumatic event, such as becoming paralyzed in a car accident or sporting event. Going from being able to walk to suddenly stuck in a wheelchair presents a number of challenges and requires a new way to live.

physical adversity

There are other forms of physical adversity. Challenges such as chronic pain, fatigue, diseases and obesity can all force people to struggle in order find a sense of normalcy in their lives. Speaking from experience, the most difficult part of dealing with physical adversity is coming to terms with your limitations. Whether you have to monitor your health more carefully or can no longer exercise the same way as before, you’re faced with barriers that are not easy to overcome. Check out this post for tips on how to turn your chronic pain into daily motivation.

Accepting your condition is the first step in overcoming physical adversity. You need to accept that these limitations, at least for now, will be part of your life. Instead of obsessing over how unfair your situation is, learn to accept it. Accepting your situation doesn’t mean you’re giving up. It simply means you’re not going to let it bring you down any longer. It also means that you’re ready to move on and conquer it! Here’s a few ways to change your perspective.

Consistently taking good care of yourself should become your top priority. A healthy diet, exercise (even in the smallest amount) and a positive mindset are all necessary components to overcome physical adversity.


2. Emotional

Learning to express our emotions without letting them overcome us is something many of us struggle with. Emotional adversity can arise from many sources: negative experiences from your childhood, the death of a loved one, a toxic relationship. Emotional maturity evolves from the combination of experience and an effective state of mind. Those who don’t have that maturity often face more difficulties in life.

Unfortunately, learning how to deal with emotions such as rage, depression and anxiety are not taught in schools. However, how you handle emotional moments is a critical part of life. Sadly, there are events in life that we’re unable to prevent, but you can’t let those events take control over your emotions. If you do, they eventually take over your life.


Practice letting go. It can be devastating when you’re going through a bad breakup or lost a loved one, but you can’t let it consume you. Grieving is natural and should be expected when someone you love is no longer in your life. But you can’t let it be all that you think about. Nothing lasts forever, and you have to find ways to move on. No matter how fierce the emotions are, they can be tamed. Here are a few tips:

  1. Find things that make you happy
  2. Surround yourself with positive people
  3. Talk to a consoler
  4. Try meditation
  5. Practice positive affirmations

Find out what works best for you.


3. Financial

Society today focuses so heavily on the collection of superficial items as a measurement of success. Due to the heavy societal pressures, many of us stray outside of our financial means in order to live a certain lifestyle. We rack up our credit card bills just so we can have the same pair of shoes as the model on TV. Here’s why you can’t buy happiness. Going from rags to riches will not happen overnight, but there are steps you can take to reduce the burden of financial challenges.


need money


Set a budget: Start setting a budget. Setting a budget allows you to live within your means without breaking the piggy bank (aka putting yourself in debt).

Don’t focus on debt: What you focus on, grows. Don’t spend time focusing on the amount of debt you have. Set up a payment plan each month and over time the debt will go away (as long as you’re sticking to your budget too).

Learn a new skill: Learning a new skill doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Get a library card and make use of all of the resources available at your local library (In fact, I write most of these articles at my local library). There are also plenty of other free online learning sites where you can learn a new skill too. Learning a new skill can help you make more money.


4. Social

Social adversity can really limit your ability to feel comfortable in life. Social problems can prevent you from achieving your dreams and the success you’re looking for. How we interact with people is critical to our success. Not feeling accepted or able to voice your opinion is not an enjoyable way to live. And life can become quite lonely without the comfort of friends by your side.

social adversity

People who lack certain social skills are at a major disadvantage, even though it’s not always their fault. In many cases, life events such as a dysfunctional household have played a role in these social challenges. On the other hand, there could be an underlying medical condition. Regardless, being considered “awkward” can present a barrier between you and your personal or professional goals.

Don’t worry! There is always hope. There are many ways to handle social struggles. Self-help books are one the best options because they can help you improve your social game in the comfort of your own environment. Alternatively, social programs, such as workshops to improve public speaking skills are excellent ways to get out of your comfort zone. Either way, almost anyone can benefit from a little study and practice on improving their people skills.


5. Mental

Mental adversity (probably the most important) is the last form of adversity we will cover. Just like a physical disability may limit you, so can a mental problem. Your mental health is very important and being properly treated (if needed) is critical when attempting to overcome mental struggles.

mental adversityFor less severe cases, there is help too. Creating routines and sticking to them are very beneficial in these situations. Getting into a pattern of waking up and exercising each day can also help your well being. The first step in overcoming any form of adversity is by becoming mentally prepared, therefore taking care of your mental health is important.

Never give up on the idea of getting better. Keep trying different meditation, positivity and mindfulness techniques until you find something that works for you. Things might get rough for awhile, but keep your head up and always know there is something new you can try to help. If something stops being effective, then try something else. Keep looking, you will find the antidote. If you need a pick me up to keep you going, check out these 10 reasons to never give up!


Many of us face more than one form of adversity during our lives and in most cases we face more than one at the same time. It’s no surprise that a physical problem can cause you to face other forms of adversity. My problems began as physical. As my symptoms grew I quickly faced mental, emotional and financial challenges as well.

Regardless of your situation, the first step in overcoming any adversity is by becoming mentally prepared. It’s important to understand that you will have setbacks, but as long as you have a good mindset and the willpower, you can make any situation better. You just have to find what works best for you and your path to recovery. We’ll talk more about this in the next post!