Explore training and development through the lens of adversity.
Today’s guest post is by Jennifer Schielke, author of Leading for Impact: The CEO’s Guide to Influencing With Integrity.
What is your superpower?
This question has been used as a common icebreaker. Instinctively, for me, various comic book superheroes come to mind, then something practical like a laundry wizard. But the ones that impact me are those I don’t even think of on my own. Maybe an extension of that is something obvious right in front of me that I just see as ugly and want to ignore.
So, who chooses adversity as a superpower? Well, someone bold enough to take unwanted reality and refine it into a badge of GRIT – Gratitude, Resilience, Integrity, and Tenacity.
The worldwide population of people has this one hurdle in common: Everyone wrestles with adversity in different areas of life and with various magnitudes of impact. Each waking day ushers in a playground of obstacles to obstruct our paths in our personal and professional lives. Some difficulties are inherited from the world or environment(s) around us, while other challenges are created all on our own by the choices we make, attitudes we have, and actions (or inactions) we execute.
I admit that the world is not an easy place to make our way, but a simple mind shift can transform how we approach adversity: We can embrace it and use it as a catalyst for growth. Adversity is our ally for achievement.
No one needs to remain in a state of serious or continued difficulty and/or misfortune; there is always a way out. Times of affliction and hardship are valuable for building confidence in our ability to overcome any barrier. Adversity becomes an asset as we approach it with GRIT, looking expectantly to the growth that we experience in the process.
Gratitude is a powerful state of mind and a necessary tool for working through the battles we face. Receiving adversity in readiness to reshape it for productive good is a useful life discipline. When we build thankfulness into our life practice, it is contagious.
The individual impact we can appreciate is lowering our stress in those situations and celebrating our ability to harness every opportunity for growth. Gratitude effectively recasts adversity as an ally to our career path, to developing healthy relationships, and to fostering overall well-being.
Resilience evidences the capacity – physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional toughness – we are equipped with (and continue building) to withstand, overcome, and be renewed by the obstacles that intersect with our lives and careers.
There are many things in life that only we have the control to effect change in. The risk or fear of blame is far overshadowed by the ability to show accountability and leadership for an outcome we own and embrace or change. Growing in resilience strengthens character and the foundation you draw from in times of adversity.
Integrity embodies your full commitment to who you are and the principles that establish your success. It’s the pattern and approach you bring into being for every obstacle and challenge that presents itself. It builds security for yourself and those you lead in knowing that you will indeed find a way through the storm and be better for it.
Integrity holds fast to both intention and influence. Whatever the circumstance, you will navigate a plan toward success and that very behavior will become the beacon of hope for others to develop the same for themselves. People around you learn by what you model. Integrity is being mindful of your own growth through trials, in order that you might also influence others well.
Persistence outpaces adversity for the win. Tenacity is gained not in things gifted, nor in times of ease and simplicity. It is molded and strengthened through challenges, discomfort, and times of trouble.
Determination and hard work are foundational to achieving success. The growth you experience when faced with life’s obstacles – whether physical, mental, spiritual, and/or emotional – is character defining. When you decide for yourself that you hold the courage and resolve to overcome adversity, you become a well-suited warrior for success. The triumphs you are assured of are set in motion by the tenacity that becomes your way of life.
Hero in Action
We can approach every situation through a different lens. The way we view our circumstances can either be paralyzing or propel us forward. Some disruptors we see coming, some catch us by surprise, and some – let’s be honest – linger longer than we might want.
The common thread, regardless of what lies before us, is that we have the power and authority to shape the outcome for the better. Next time someone asks you for your superpower, tell them Adversity is your Superpower!
Jennifer Schielke (www.summitgroupsolutions.com) is the author of Leading for Impact: The CEO’s Guide to Influencing With Integrity and the CEO/co-founder of Summit Group Solutions, LLC, a relationship-focused IT staffing and recruiting partner. Her company is a multi-year Inc. 5000 awardee and a 2023 Inc. Power Partner. Schielke’s 30 years of business leadership experience also includes 20 years of life-on-life ministry, which advanced her commitment to serve others generously and to lead with integrity. Her passion overflows into leadership development and team engagement.
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