Have You Learned From The Marks Adversity Has Left On Your Journey?

Coaching is an interesting field because it demonstrates how much people don’t know about themselves. Many times, the solutions clients seek are within their reach in their environment, and it is during the coaching process that the client becomes aware of those very tools and how to refine them to serve themselves best.

There are countless times where the client doesn’t know where to look or what to consider. They may doubt themselves or become unsure of their abilities because they compare themselves to other people. One can’t help but look for what is going on in the lives of others, but the thing is that they compare themselves to the apparent and obvious achievements of others.

Most of us don’t take into consideration everything that might make another person who they are, whether it’s in their career or life. We see the highlights, but not necessarily the setbacks. Our attention is often drawn to the positive in the spotlight, center stage, but not the negatives encountered on the way to the stage.

This is what tends to happen when we admire other people’s situations while questioning our own.

“Life and career shouldn’t only be about what you have to show for today but also what you overcame in the past.”

But we should always seek out, consider, and analyze setbacks, the things that didn’t work out. If others can share their stories with us, we can learn from the obstacles they overcame in their lives using their own perseverance.

We should also look at our own setbacks and negative experiences. We may not feel like we gained anything from those experiences, but there’s plenty there to see, take, and utilize.

Consider a negative experience or result you may have experienced. That instance may involve something dire like a life-changing event or something less sever in the day-to-day like someone saying no to a proposal (let’s keep this light and say a work proposal, not a marriage proposal). These can be hardships and hiccups in the path of life or career, but they demonstrate that if we’re standing here today telling that story, we survived, overcame, and continued on.

Related Post: Yes, Don’t Dwell On The Past. But Do You Get What You Didn’t Get?

Yes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. You can survive and learn from adversity.

But it’s up to you to figure out what the lessons are that can be learned, how you’ve absorbed them or not, and how they have served you—or can.

So, how do you look at adversity?

Has it shown you what you want?

Have you paid attention to how your priorities shift after something hasn’t worked out?

There are times we find something better along the way and times we don’t. In the former, we might have wanted something, it didn’t work out, and something better comes along. Or, per the latter, we realize that even though that desired goal didn’t work out, we’re still standing and the negative outcome wasn’t as tough as we thought it would be.

That realization of a harmless outcome should teach and allow us to take more risks.

Has it shown you how much you want something?

Have you noticed how much your drive for something you want might have increased after something else hadn’t worked out in your past?

Sometimes we’re able to tweak our approach and attitude because we’ve seen how not achieving our goals impacts us.

So, we work a little harder after each experience to make sure we sharpen our focus and avoid those experiences.

Has it shown you what you expect of others?

Has it opened your eyes to those around you, allowing you to assess people differently and make sure they don’t strip you of value?

Some adversity might show us the true colors of who we have around us. It can make people shine brighter in our lives while showing the ugly and selfish side of others.

Hopefully, going forward, our threshold for keeping out negative and/or detrimental people is lower so that our chances for success are greater.

“Adversity doesn’t need to leave an adverse stain on your experience and record.”

Has it shown you how to develop your own opportunities?

Much in the way it might show you how bad you want something, has adversity driven you to more proactively seek out opportunities?

When things don’t work out, it heightens our awareness of our environment. Hopefully, we realize how much is in our control and we become more proactive in positioning ourselves to make sure our next goals work out.

You need to wake up to the fact that you can’t wait for life to bring it to you but you need to take it to life instead.

Has it shown you how to walk away without regret?

Have you been able to realize opportunities may be all around you so that each time there’s a miss, you realize the effort was not in vain because you’ve learned for the next time?

In working toward a goal, regardless of whether or not it works out, there’s a good chance you’re learning along the way. If that is the case, then you didn’t waste your time because you were working toward something positive and in the process, you probably did acquire some new knowledge about yourself and your resources.

That work, effort, or fight you put up against a challenge will sharpen you for the next goal and challenge and was not in vain.

Has it shown you how you stand apart?

Based on the fact that you moved forward to this point, hasn’t it shown you what you’re made of and how resilient you may be?

We always need to take into account how much we can take and how we survive each of our challenges in life. We tend to forget what kind of strength it takes to move on from adversity to the next challenge.

Resilience is a powerful attribute for success. It demonstrates how much grit you have because you’ve taken your share of disappointment but continued moving forward regardless.


It’s important to keep in mind how much you’ve either endured, survived, or risen above.

Life and career shouldn’t only be about what you have to show for today but also what you overcame in the past. Those experiences may not be tangible, but the lessons learned, which you can take with you, can be powerful if you open your mind up to utilizing them.

“Much in the same way we can learn from all leaders, both the good and the bad, it’s important to learn from ALL your experiences – again, both the good and the bad.”

Much in the same way we can learn from all leaders, both the good and the bad, it’s important to learn from ALL your experiences – again, both the good and the bad.

Realize how resilient you are.

Adversity doesn’t need to leave an adverse stain on your experience and record.

Keep pushing because you never know what’s on the other side of the next obstacle.

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