We must overcome adversity and resistance rather than being capsized by it.
If you have read my materials along the way, you know I stay in the realm of interviewing and investigations. Today, we are going elsewhere. This subject applies every time we enter the interview room, but also clearly applies in every area of life. More and more I hear from people who feel that adversity and resistance somehow shouldn’t be part of our daily lives, however if this is the thought pattern, they’re going to have to stop the world and get off. The question isn’t, are we going to face adversity and resistance, but how we are going to handle it. The opportunity exists to grow from it, develop character and gain victory in another aspect of our complex lives.
Adversity and resistance in this life are givens. Although they’ll never escape the picture, we don’t have to see them as negatives. As workers and certainly as parents we must understand the simple truth that sooner or later we will encounter great adversity and resistance. It sometimes feels like paddling upstream, running uphill, or riding into a strong headwind. The challenge is to skillfully overcome the adversity and resistance instead of being overwhelmed by it. We can triumph over obstacles we encounter each day to ultimately gain great experience from them.
According to John Maxwell in his book, Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn: “Adversity can signal a coming positive transition if we respond correctly to it.”
Change and difficulty come and go like the seasons. With change come adversity and resistance – adversity and resistance that can dictate whether we succeed or not. If we react in a positive manner, we have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and grow from them. However, reacting negatively results in more negativity. This cycle perpetuates itself if we don’t learn how to stop it and tack in a new direction.
This is no way a comprehensive list, however, set forth below are nine ways to positively deal with resistance and adversity and end the cycle of negativity before it gains a foot hold:
- Understand that adversity and resistance isn’t present to bog you down, but rather to teach. We can see adversity and resistance as a burden, like a huge obstacle to overcome, or we can see it as an opportunity to strengthen our bodies and minds for future obstacles. We learn from moments of difficulty (adversity and resistance) – and once we reach the precipice of that obstacle, things become much clearer. At this point, we’re better prepared for the next detour or roadblock before us. We will have the skills to encounter, adjust, and adapt.
- When you encounter adversity and resistance, pause, take a step back, assess the situation, and determine next steps to optimize outcomes. When adversity and resistance is running strong, it’s likely that emotions are also high. In order to effectively overcome hardships, we must pause and take a step back from the problem. Removing ourselves from the chaos and as our minds clear, we can visualize the positive aspects of the situation. At that point, we can strategize as to how best overcome the issue.
- Remember why you started on this subject, path, or challenge in the first place. In moments of adversity and resistance, vision becomes clouded and it’s easy to get discouraged and the obstacles become overwhelming. It is of essence to keep goals in perspective and focus on the original motivation to initiate this activity, and then the adversity and resistance will seem like a minor speed bump in your path. Those seemingly minute obstacles can make the resulting success that much sweeter. Stay focused on the goal.
- Understand that motion creates friction, so don’t be shocked or surprised by it. Much like in the physical world, where Galileo determined that when moving objects contact a rigid surface friction occurs. There is a parallel in the realm of human relationships. When you launch forward with motion; decisions, actions, statements; people stubbornly resist that change because it brings uncertainty. The majority of people would rather have familiar problems than be faced with unfamiliar solutions. Knowing this, you can expect a difficult road when attempting to exact change and transformation. Be sure your message is clear.
- Remember the 20-50-30 principle and focus your attention where it should be. In this principle, 20% of people will support your efforts, 50% will be undecided, and the remaining 30% will resist you. Our job is to focus our attention on the 50% that need persuading and the 20% that can be encouraged and will likely help you. Keep that 30% away from especially the 50% who haven’t made up their mind, because that 30% is like poison. Be focused on developing allies.
- Provide a clear target; we all need to see where we are heading. People tolerate a great deal of discomfort in all areas of life in order to obtain a reward or reach a goal at the end. We must make that vision clear to encourage and persuade those to make the journey. Without that target it becomes much easier to quit. Our goal should be to remind them of the benefits ahead. Without that sense of purpose, people tire quickly and lose determination. Make the path clear.
- Promise problems, because guess what? They happen. Back to one of the tenets I speak to consistently to in interview training. Our number one tool in the interview room is credibility. We must be consistent in displaying it…including here. Adversity and resistance brings change, and with change comes rewards, but also difficulties. Don’t gloss over this, be clear and forthcoming. Change’s nature is that often things get worse before they become better. In this way, change is like altering a shooting stance that you were taught in the past, but need to change now. Altering your stance, position, grip, and alignment feels incredibly awkward at first. With that discomfort, it’s easy to revert to your old ways—especially when improvements aren’t immediately noticeable. This is not the solution. You must persevere and practice until that grip, stance, and alignment feel natural, and your shots land right on target. Be persistent.
- Involve your people in the process of change; build rapport, a team, and support. Change often fosters a feeling of having no say or being out of control. It is essential to establish commonality and a team focus to mitigate feelings of helplessness and vulnerability. Being a part of a team makes people feel involved, important, and allows them to contribute their perspective and ideas. Including others may slow the pace of change; however, it inevitably allows that change to happen more smoothly and completely.
- Pause to celebrate successes; fear not showing gratitude. This process of addressing adversity and resistance can be very fatiguing. It requires energy, patience and perseverance of everyone involved. As small strides and victories occur, make note of them, encourage them, and thank them. All of these facilitate movement and further accomplishments. Showing gratitude and appreciation is not a weakness, but a strength.
Overall, “Adversity writes our story and if our response is right, the story will be good.”
Each person’s story is different, but all encounter adversity and resistance over and over again. If we take these 9 tips for overcoming adversity and resistance, and apply them in our daily lives, our stories will be better than we expected. In fact, we may even attribute much of our success to those obstacles that once seemed terribly difficult.
When has adversity and resistance created new learning opportunities for you? Have you ever encountered a hardship in your work or personal life that resulted in a positive outcome? Can you see how this has application in your life? As parents? As investigators? As auditors?
Addressing adversity and resistance in our lives can have an incredible effect on how we view a great much of life. In our work world this should cause us to consider what plan of action we have in place to overcome obstacles associated with them. Have we addressed this in the interviewing realm?
Our training addresses these in the interview and investigation environment. Anderson Investigative Associates is positioned to custom design training to your specific needs. Learn from our 30 plus years of interviewing experience in international terrorism, white collar crime, narcotics matters, and fraud matters. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss this, please reach out to. Additional issues pertaining to interviewing and investigations can be found in other blogs that I have written and are contained in most blocks of instruction that our company presents.
If you have additional questions or comments, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at:
Mark A. Anderson
Director of Training and Development
Anderson Investigative Associates, llc
128 Oarsman Xing
St. Marys, GA 31558