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The Ruby Group | Akron and Columbus, OH

It’s natural to want to avoid adversity. Life would be easier, right, if we just didn’t have so many problems/challenges/issues? But, avoiding all adversity would actually impede your ability to grow, to learn, to live!

So, instead of avoiding adversity, we need to fight it. We need to fight THROUGH adversity, so we can come out on the other side better because of the experience.

In a recent Sandler President’s Club training session, we discussed 12 ways to fight adversity:

1. Don’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself. Wallowing in self-pity only distracts you from what you should be focused on. You have a choice: to feel sorry for yourself or to figure out how to deal with the adversity and move on.

2. Don’t shy away from change. We often see change as adversity. Rather than taking that approach, look at change as an opportunity for growth, a chance to learn something new.

3. Don’t focus on things you can’t control – focus on what you can DO. Adversity often comes in the form of things you can’t control. Recognize those as out of your control and release them from your mind. Ask yourself: What can I do about this? We can’t change the weather, but we can choose to wear a coat if it’s going to snow or leave the layers at home in the middle of summer.

4. Don’t worry about pleasing everyone. Actor and comedian Bill Cosby once said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” Adversity sometimes comes from the people we work or live with, and we get anxious or worry about making everyone happy. Stop worrying about pleasing everyone…it’s a surefire path to failure.

5. Don’t fear calculated risks. There’s a difference between “Let it ride” risk and calculated risk. All risk does not necessary equal adversity. Prepare for what’s ahead. Do the research. Weight your options. And then take calculated risks.

6. Don’t dwell on the past. Although many of us wish we could go back and change something in our past – personal or professional – it’s 100 percent not an option. The same goes for the future; worrying about the future is just as useless as dwelling on the past. The only thing you can truly control is this very moment, so focus on RIGHT NOW.

7. Don’t make the same mistakes over and over again. Without dwelling on the past, we can still learn from our past mistakes and the mistakes of others. By uncovering the cause of the mistake, we can then address that cause and make changes to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

8. Don’t resent others’ successes. “He’s so lucky.” “I wish I was as successful as her.” “He only got there because of his family’s money.” I could go on and on. There’s no need to resent the success of others. Instead, examine their successes and learn from them.

9. Don’t give up after the first failure. We all know the stories of the many failures of those we now know to be extremely successful – Thomas Edison and his 10,000 attempts before inventing the light bulb, Michael Jordan not making the high school basketball team, J.K Rowling (of Harry Potter fame) getting rejected by more than 10 publishers, and more. Don’t give up; something great is on the other side of your adversity.

10. Don’t fear alone time. Alone time is often when your best work comes out. Alone time allows you to focus without distraction. Alone time is best for strategic-type work that requires longer periods of focused energy. Take advantage of alone time, don’t fear it.

11. Don’t think the world owes you anything. Call it “entitlement.” Call it “justification.” Call it whatever you want, but don’t fall for it. No one owes you anything.

12. Don’t expect immediate results. We often believe we’re facing adversity when something doesn’t happen within the expected time frame we had in our mind. Hardly anything happens immediately, so understand that things take time, change takes time, and results take time.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford

When we look at adversity as something to avoid, we miss out on the chance to learn from the difficult experiences we go through. Think back to a time when you faced adversity. Can you see now that what you thought you’d never get through, you in fact did get through, and you came out a better, stronger, smarter person?

Interested in learning more? How you perceive adversity can affect your sales performance. If you need help dealing with adversity in your sales career, please give us a call at 330-929-9449 or send an email to


Contents of this article are based on  "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," author Amy Morin


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