“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” – Rosa Parks
Our lives are full of ups and downs, with adversity playing a considerable part in our experiences. The challenge with adversity is that we often fail to see it as a positive experience that develops and leads us to new opportunities. One of the greatest lessons I’ve personally learned is that changing my attitude about adversity expanded my perception of my untapped potential.
Truthfully speaking, we all share the same sorrows, hopes, and potential despite the challenges we face. The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us how interdependent we are: what happens to one person can also affect others. It is normal to feel worried and fear at a time when so many are suffering. But only by developing calmness and clear-sightedness can we help others and, in so doing, even help ourselves.
In my own life, I am continuously discovering that it is through the most difficult challenges – whether people, places, or circumstances – that God strengthen me and empower me to be that rainbow in someone else’s cloud. As I look back over the last year, the challenges I faced due to the pandemic were paramount as they created stress, mainly due to a cycle of uncertainty and rapid changes. These changes left many of us feeling powerless as we came to an awareness that we were not in control of our own lives as we possibly thought we were. Many of us discovered that there were aspects of our lives that we couldn’t control. How long we would be subject to endure a situation, or what may happen in the future?
Being very transparent, God heightened my perception of adversity and the hidden opportunities that often await us in the trenches. Although the challenges we encounter might leave us feeling helpless, changing our thought-life allows us to discover that in reality, there are still a lot of things we have power over in our lives, even during trying times. Redirecting our thoughts towards these things tremendously helps us deal effectively with the situations we face.
Our Attitude Changes the Game
One of the essential action steps we can take toward not simply playing the game but changing the game is to master the art of positive thinking. You’ve probably heard it numerous times, but I’ll repeat it; ‘It’s not about what happened or happens, but our response to it,’ that changes the game. We have the choice to respond positively or negatively. A positive response can potentially open doors and create windows of opportunities that were previously hidden from us. On the flip-side, an adverse reaction can be limiting, resulting in your feeling stuck or trapped in a dead situation. In essence, this makes it very clear that adversity has nothing to with what we experience but rather our attitudes accordingly.
A Paradigm Shift to Change the Game
Sometimes you can become so overwhelmed with the adversity you face that you unintentionally diminish your power with negative emotional responses. Often, this results from the story you are telling yourself about what is or what has happened. I challenge you to consider shifting your attitude and focus on what truly matters by:
- Change your perception of the obstacles you are facing.
- Increase your awareness of how you are responding to the obstacles you are facing.
- Become creative in visualizing a positive outlook of the obstacles you are facing.
When we become intentional in our desire to learn the tough lessons, we often gain the clarity we seek to change the game.