Overcoming adversity… something you will need to do at some point or another. Especially when it comes to goal setting. And while it’s often hard to do, it’s a necessity on your road to success.
So to start, give yourself a huge high five, or hug, or cocky wink in the mirror.
Because if you’re reading this post, you have more than likely tried to achieve something challenging and have come up short. And that’s a reason to celebrate.
Because at least you tried. Because you took a look around and said: Enough is enough, I’m going to change my circumstances. And then you took action.
Whether or not you succeeded with your goal doesn’t matter. What matters is that you actually put in effort. You stopped doing what you’ve always done and set a course to some new destination.
And that’s a win in and of itself.
Goal Setting Struggles: Overcoming Adversity On The Road To Greatness
Along your journey to a bigger and better life, you are going to fail almost constantly.
You are going to fail and fail and fail until, one day, things start to click. Your failures will start to become more and more spread out. Maybe a week goes by since your last missed checkpoint. Then two.
You’re on the right path.
A month goes by, 6 months go by.
You’re moving ever faster towards your goal, you can almost taste it! And then…
You make it. You achieve your goal.
But that’s not in spite of your failures, it’s because of them. Because of the lessons you learned, the experiences you gained, the challenges and obstacles you overcame.
You will succeed because of the hard times you have to go through; through the lessons learned and changes for the better.
And as you continue to experience and inevitably overcome them, you will become smarter, stronger, and more prepared to take another step forward.
What is adversity?
We’re going to talk about adversity a lot in this post. To start, then, it would be helpful to explain what adversity is.
Adversity is anything that stands between you and your goal. See adversity as the:
Plus frustrations, disappointments, and other negative emotions that you will face along the way.
Sometimes others will play the role of adversity – they’ll tell you no or that you can’t or that they don’t believe in you or that they don’t want what you’re selling.
Other times you channel the voice of adversity within yourself through negative self talk, worrying about missed opportunities or things not working out, or questioning yourself into paralysis.
And then there are the things that happen outside of your control – the shipment that comes in too late, your contact that falls through, the item you need that’s backlogged.
Adversity is the thing preventing you from moving forward at a given moment.
You’re going to face a lot of it along your road to success. And while you may not appreciate it right now, you will looking back.
Goal setting and overcoming adversity
I believe that you can create your ideal life by fully utilizing your 24 hours each day. That by spending your time wisely, you can learn to harness and master it.
When I say ideal life, I mean one where you can do whatever you want with your time – traveling the world, starting a business, you name it.
And when it comes to utilizing your time, often the best place to start is with goal setting.
By setting goals for yourself you are looking at who/where you are today, deciding who/where you want to be in the future, and then plotting steps to help you get there.
If you’re new to the world of goal setting, I recommend starting with these 2 posts:
Or if you’re looking for more detailed, step-by-step lessons on goal setting (plus productivity and time management), I highly recommend you in enroll in our Super Course.
You can learn more and enroll in the course < there.
If you want to try out the course before enrolling instead, you can sign up for our free 6 day bootcamp where I’ll email you 1 lesson from the course each day over the span of 6 days.
The lessons in the bootcamp don’t touch on goal setting too much, but they do give you a good idea of how I do things.
You can sign up for the bootcamp right here:
Either way, how you spend your time will directly determine how soon you can reach that ideal life of yours. One thing is for certain, though, you are going to face obstacles. And when you do, you have to ask yourself…
Is failure real?
Will you always reach your goals? No, even with the best system in place you will come up short time and time again. Does that make you a a failure? No, because more often than not your shortcomings will come down to 2 things:
- That your goal requires a longer timeline than you initially set for it
- Or you don’t quite know enough to get to where you want to go
To give an example, image you’re on a ship. You’re the captain and you’ve charted a course towards your goal and you set sail.
But, you’re in a canoe.
As you start rowing, you soon realize that the 3 month timeline you set for yourself may not be realistic. Maybe pushing it out to a year may make more sense considering your circumstances.
Does that mean you’re a failure? No way! You’re clearly heading in the right direction, you’re doing all the right things, but just reaching your final destination is going to take longer than you had initially planned for.
So you adjust your timeline, but keep moving forward towards your goal.
To continue with that same example, you have your adjusted timeline, you have your direction, and each day you move closer to your goal, but you find that the same problem keeps happening.
Whenever it gets too windy, large waves form and knock you out of your canoe. Day after day you tip over. You fall into the water and are stuck spending the rest of that day just trying to get back in.
You don’t know how to navigate choppy waters.
So what do you do? Give up and head back to shore? No, you need to observe and learn. You need to figure out what you don’t know and create a plan to deal with it.
You need to watch how the obstacle continues to knock you off course, to be aware of the things that are happening, and then create a strategy to counteract.
So you do just that and learn how to navigate those waters and continue onward.
When you become aware of these 2 factors, you can start to understand that there really is no failing. As long as you continue to learn, you will be making progress.
You may feel like you’re failing, but the only person you’ll actually be letting down is yourself. And more often than not, that’s just a result of your expectations not being in line with your circumstances.
That considered, the only way you can truly fail is by refusing to learn from each situation. As long as you’re learning, you are heading in the right direction.
What does it mean to overcome adversity?
At this point, adversity isn’t an if but a when. Roadblocks are guaranteed to happen and when they do you will need to overcome them.
But, what does it mean to overcome adversity? What is the overcoming adversity definition driving all this?
Let’s break it down.
As you know, adversity represents the challenges, roadblocks, and obstacles you face. It acts as the problems holding you back from where you want to go.
And to overcome is to succeed in spite of those challenges; to prevail in the face of opposition.
So when we combine these two terms, we have our definition of overcoming adversity:
To recognize the problems in front of us, work through them, and succeed on continuing onward past them.
To add some context, adversity is coming up short on a goal. Overcoming that adversity is to see the shortcoming as a learning opportunity, learning from it, and then continuing onward towards that goal with a new plan and understanding.
Overcoming adversity examples
I have failed time and time again. I have set goals for myself, worked incredibly hard towards them, and have come up short more often than I like to remember.
But, I always learn from those “failures.” I always take something away from the experience and use it to be better the next time around.
There are 2 examples I want to share with you that describe my journey of encountering adversity, “failing” at a goal, and then inevitably overcoming that hardship.
1. Overcoming adversity: weight loss
I had always wanted to be a little bit trimmer. But whenever I would stand on the scale, the numbers would always seem to go up.
And for every pound my weight increased, my self confidence would decrease by the same factor.
So one day I set out to make a change. I wanted to lose 15 pounds over 6 months. That seemed like a fair timeline.
I put a plan into place and got to it. I started doing things that I thought would help me get to my goal and I saw a little bit of progress. Not a ton, but enough to make me think I was on the right path.
A month went by, 2 months went by, and then finally that 6 month mark came around. And… I was down around 5 pounds.
5 pounds was great but I had failed at my goal of losing 15 pounds and I was at a crossroads. I could give up, throw in the towel, and conclude that the process was a waste of time.
Or, I could learn from my experience.
I could figure out what aspects of my plan were working and what weren’t and apply that to a new timeline. Same goal, just with more time and a better plan.
And that’s what I did.
When things changed
I figured out the things that I didn’t know, realized I was on the right path but needed more time, and adjusted.
It took awhile, nearly 3 years of working towards my ideal weight, but I got there. I initially wanted to lose 15 pounds, but ended up losing (and keeping off) 30.
I hit my goal and then some.
But, I had to overcome the self doubt, the temptations to quit, the scale telling me I wasn’t good enough. I had to learn what was and wasn’t actually helping me and had to focus on the good over the bad.
And I inevitably succeeded because of the adversity and experiences I had to go through to get to my end result.
2. Overcoming adversity: projects
I have started a lot of projects. And when I say projects I mean businesses, but projects is more fun to say.
Before starting QuickBooost I had previously created a couple app startups, e-commerce brands, and even done a little freelancing.
Guess what happened to them? They’re gone. Each one “failed” in its own way. Each project experienced a shortcoming that I couldn’t get past, that I couldn’t get through or beyond.
And one by one, I would shut them down with a lot of sadness, disappointment, and frustration.
But, my overall goal wasn’t (and still isn’t) to be an app mogul or e-commerce champion or freelance expert, it is to help people through entrepreneurship. To create things for people that add value to their lives and help them grow in some way.
And with that big picture goal in mind, I knew that what many would consider “failing,” I considered learning experiences.
So from each project I learned as much as I could. I figured out the things I liked, the things I didn’t, what had worked, and what hadn’t. And from those lessons, QuickBooost was born.
I had (and have) a passion for time mastery and wanted to share that with the world. Owning your time, experiencing your time how you so choose to, doing more with your time, these were topics that I wanted to openly talk about and share.
What came next
I started writing, and writing, and writing. And eventually, things started to move in a positive direction.
And while I am still in the midst of making QuickBooost even bigger and better, and while I still face constant push back and adversity, for the first time I see that I’m on the right path.
That the content I’m putting out there is helping people (like you). That the lessons and experiences I share resonate with others.
And that’s incredibly rewarding.
Am I scared of what challenges lay ahead? Absolutely. I believe that’s a normal fear to have, especially when working on something that you care about so much.
That said though, do I believe that I’m on the right path? That the timeline may need to be adjusted or more knowledge may need to be gained, but overall do I think that I’m heading in the right direction?
I share these experiences with you not to blab on about myself for minutes on end, but to key you in on a human truth: everyone goes through hard times.
Every single person will struggle with something and there will be constant obstacles to overcome, but again, as long as you continue to learn from each experience, to take away the lesson from each obstacle, you will continue to learn and grow and improve.
And as long as you keep doing that, your success is inevitable.
What to do when faced with adversity
Overcoming hardship is… hard. Adversity can take many forms and overcoming it is continuously a new challenge to face down.
But that said, there are things you can do to help you in your journey of overcoming adversity. I’ve mentioned them throughout this post, but I will list them here for easier reference.
Overcoming adversity: what to do when it happens
Credit: Give yourself credit for trying. Your life is better having “failed” than having not tried at all.
Learn: Learn as much as you can from each experience. Remember, every situation comes with the option to learn and grow from it.
Identify: If you come up short on a goal, play detective for yourself to figure out what went wrong.
Were you making excuses for yourself? Were you doing it for the wrong reasons? Or was your timeline or knowledge just not quite there?
Time: Sometimes your goals will take longer to achieve than you hope for. When that’s the case, don’t give up or throw in the towel, adjust your timeline and give yourself more room to achieve your goal.
Evaluate: Consider if you’re missing a piece of the puzzle. If you want to achieve your goal, but aren’t quite sure if you’re on the right path, consider the possibility that there is much you don’t yet know.
Seek out courses, books, materials, and other resources that can help you better fill in the missing gaps.
Overcoming adversity resources
I mentioned above that it’s useful to seek out resources to help you better learn, grow, and conquer obstacles.
When it comes to pushing through adversity and harnessing your time, I recommend the following resources:
- Super Course: For step-by-step directions on goal setting, productivity, and time management
- Productivity tools
- Time management guide
- How to be productive
- Productivity guide
- Time management tips
- Productive things to do
- Goal tracker tools
You will be tasked with overcoming adversity time and time again. When you do, don’t give up! Come back to this post for a refresher.
Remind yourself of the great job you’re doing. How more than likely you need to either push out your timeline or seek out new knowledge.
Either way, there is no failing as long as you keep trying and learning as you go.
To close out this post, I’ll end with one of my favorite overcoming adversity quotes:
Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’ – Mary Anne Radmacher