Hello everyone and welcome to the MySelf Builder Digital Forum. Today I'm going to talk about how overcoming adversity can lead to unexpected outcomes. We all face challenges and resistance from time to time, especially when we're trying to accomplish something.
Maybe you've dealt with adversity, or difficulties in school involving other classmates, teachers or assignments. If you play sports or participate in school organizations, perhaps you've struggled with time management or getting everyone on the same page to reach a common goal. You may deal with personal issues at home or at work involving loved ones, friends, or co-workers. Or what about when someone says something about you that isn't true?
There are so many examples of ways people deal with adversity and setbacks. I love watching football. I respect teams like the Commanders and Raiders, and am a fan of the Carolina Panthers (you may already know where this story is going). About 6 years ago, the Panthers seemed unstoppable. They went undefeated for most of the season, eventually winning 15 games and even made it to the Superbowl. Ever since then, the team hasn't really been the same. Player injuries, constant changes with the quarterback position, replacing head coaches and having a frustrated fan base are all examples of the adversity that the organization continues to face. However, notice how that adversity doesn't stop the team from coming back week after week and striving towards winning the next game.
A few years ago, I faced a great deal of adversity. I had an upper respiratory infection and had to be written out of work for a few days. My grandfather was in the hospital, and his health was declining fast. This was also around the time of my birthday, and I didn't feel like celebrating with everything that was going on. Eventually, we lost my grandfather and if you know about our relationship, we were very close. A few days later, I went back to work and hadn't been back long before I was told that one of the co-workers had stated something that was not true about me. I couldn't believe it. I had all of these things going on and now this.
In the face of adversity, it's important to seek clarity and determine the best ways to respond to situations. If we react and respond negatively, waiting to go off and snap and let everyone know who they're dealing with, then we can actually end up making the situation worse.
When I found out about the lie at work, I immediately reported it to my supervisors. I knew that confronting the person directly, in the state of mind I was in, would not be the best idea. "They might tell another lie," I thought, and I wanted the right witnesses who could facilitate the discussion in a safe space. A conference date was scheduled with my supervisors and the liar - I mean the other coworker and me.
All throughout this time, I kept thinking about my grandfather and how calm he always seemed. Nothing ever seemed to phase him. He was cool, calm, strong and persistent. After all, he was a Green Beret, one of the elite special forces in the US Army. While I had him on my mind, it was like a feeling came over me and made me think about my work emails. I couldn't figure out why emails were on my mind and why I needed to check them. I remembered one particular email that the coworker had sent me several weeks prior. It had information coming from them that proved they had not been telling the truth. I couldn't believe it. If I would've stayed upset and not thought clearly, I may have never remembered that I still had the email. During the conference with our supervisors, I remained calm and listened, then at the right time, I shared the email with everyone. The coworker was speechless and literally could not say another word. The meeting ended and it was over, just like that.
Now here is where it gets even better. That person eventually left the job. Before that happened, I also received a promotion with more flexibility, more influence and a larger salary. Spiritually, God allows us to endure adversity and face challenges to prepare and help us reach our destiny. It may not make sense at the moment, but overcoming challenges with a positive attitude, seeking clarity and finding the best ways to respond to situations all help us develop our character.
I keep thinking back to what if I had not relied on my faith during that time. I would have never received that promotion and probably would not have decided to go back to graduate school. I would not have started my own business and would not be sharing this story with you on this platform today.
Facing adversity is very difficult, but we should not let it change us and make us bitter, angry or react negatively towards others. Try talking to someone for good advice, look for examples of people who have overcome great challenges. Stay motivated and encouraged. You have what it takes to persevere, and I hope that hearing this message today will continue to inspire you.