How People Can Choose How Adversity Shapes Them

Adversity is a constant throughout our lives, and there’s no avoiding it. However, there’s one thing that we can choose when it comes to adversity, and that’s how we react to it. I’m not just talking about in-the-moment reactions, either: I’m talking about the way adversity shapes our personalities. Whether it’s a health problem or abuse from a person you care about, you can take steps to insure that adversity does not shape your personality in a negative way.

You Can Either Be Very Strong or Very Bitter

People who have suffered through a great deal of adversity tend to fall into two camps: people who have chosen to be strong, and people who have chosen to be bitter. And it’s really that simple! It’s a choice. No matter what the situation is. So how do you live the choice to not be bitter? First you have to forgive. You have to forgive the person that wronged you, or the situation itself if it wasn’t caused by a specific person. Forgiveness gives the power back to you; if you hold a grudge so long that it changes the way you look at the world, you are not in control of the situation or your life!

Retrain Your Brain

It’s normal for people to dwell on things that hurt them. However, if you’re stuck on a particular situation in the past, it’s nearly impossible to move forward with your life. Luckily, you can retrain your mental behavior as easily as you can retrain any other aspect of your life. Be solution focused, and make a clear plan on how you will rebuild your life and move forward. The more time you spend thinking about solutions, as opposed to problems, the better.

Don’t Forget to Seek Help if You Need It

If you’re still dwelling on a traumatic episode, don’t forget to seek help from the Lord, your friends and church congregation, or even a therapist. Prayer is a great place to start, and when you’re in need, there’s no greater reassurance than the reassurance God gives you. Prayer not only strengthens your bond with the Lord, it can improve your mental health in numerous areas. However, don’t be afraid to seek help from a professional therapist if you need it. They’re trained to help you work through life’s problems as long as you’re honest and open with them.

My name is Jessica Cox, and I chose to let being born without arms make me a strong person as opposed to a bitter one and I hope I’ve inspired you all to do the same.

About the Contributor

Jessica Cox has famously eliminated the words “I can’t” from her vocabulary. Although born without arms as the result of a birth defect, she has never allowed that to be a limiting factor. While she suffered from self-esteem issues early on and physical challenges throughout her life, Jessica managed to overcome and achieve — earning a college degree and a Taekwondo black belt, learning to drive a car with her feet, type with her toes, and in 2008 fly an airplane. That feat landed her in the Guinness Book of World Records and led to an audience with the Pope, meetings with heads of state, and a great deal of media attention. Recently married, Jessica continues her journey. In the present, she has turned the tables on her so-called “disability”, allowing it to enable her as a motivational speaker and advocate in the USA and beyond. In the future there is no telling where her feet will take her.

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