Navigating the Fog of Adversity
This week’s blog is by our guest blogger, Courtney Baron of Revitalizing Hope. Courtney is an active blogger and supporter of women in recovery.
A year ago I found myself laying on my living room floor staring blankly at the ceiling as tears ran down my face. I was defeated. I was less than six months into the official launch of my marketing business and I had already failed, or that is what I told myself at least. I fell into the trap of negative self-talk and repeatedly told myself all of the lies that I used to believe, some of them being my own and some being the lies of others. I began questioning everything about myself. Who was I to think that I could ever be a successful business owner? Who did I think I was to ever believe I could amount to anything when I came from nothing?
As I laid there motionless questioning every aspect of my life, I had a breakthrough. I had this plan all laid out for myself, I would graduate college in three years, launch my company and build a six-figure business in three years. When I set those goals for myself I didn’t have my sobriety or my story, all I had was a dream and a business plan. At this point I knew I had a story to tell and already announced publicly that upon me celebrating four years of sobriety I would publish my book once and for all—Destined for Failure: Overcoming Adversity—but still had no idea how I wanted to tell my story.
In moments like these it is so hard to see through the fog, especially being in recovery. It was tempting and almost seemed easier to revert back to my old ways of numbing the pain of adversity with alcohol. Instead, I formulated my vision that I wanted to help others like me be able to overcome adversity and addiction by sharing my story and encourage them to share theirs. I didn’t know what that would look like but I knew what I wanted to do moving forward, and by the end of the day Revitalizing Hope was born.
If recovery wasn’t hard enough, lets just keep getting kicked while we are down! I will be sharing with you five ways to navigate the fog of adversity during recovery, keep reading below to find new techniques to get through the difficult times when it feels all hope is lost.
5 WAYS TO NAVIGATE THE FOG OF ADVERSITY
1. STAY DOWN.
Shortly after feeling like a failure in my business and life, I had the privilege of attending Live2Lead where John C. Maxwell spoke about failures as part of his keynote. This was a message in particular that I needed to hear—talk about a divine appointment! One of the things he said that really stuck with me was ‘Stay down’ and ‘Don’t get back up until you learn’. This couldn’t be more true! When faced with adversity our resilience takes over before we ever give ourselves a chance to learn, we get knocked down and get right back up without ever taking inventory to learn and grow from the experience.
In my situation, as I laid on my living room floor I didn’t find all the answers I was looking for, but what I did find was clarity. I was only able to do so by staying down and taking time to process what happened and how I can move forward. I was able to see that when I created the vision for myself as a successful college graduate and business owner, I didn’t have my sobriety or my message to share.
2. RECOGNIZE WHAT IS BEYOND YOUR CONTROL
If you’re anything like me, you are probably way too hard on yourself and accept responsibility for things that are beyond your control. When I felt like a failure in my business it was because I was accepting responsibility of outside forces. Were there things I could have done or said differently—absolutely! But at the end of the day there were more factors involved that were beyond my control. By recognizing the outside forces at play I was able to come to terms with the situation and take some pressure off of myself. Moral of the story is, stop beating yourself up! Forgive yourself for the things that are within your control and let go of the things that aren’t, you are not accountable for the actions of others, only yours.
3. ASK YOURSELF–’WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO SEE HERE?’
It may sound cliche but everything happens for a reason, and I firmly believe that we are all where we need to be when we need to be there. Take this as an opportunity for growth to look deeper into the situation. I don’t mean over analyze the situation—easier said than done, I know!—but rather look beyond the situation. When faced with adversity it is far too easy to ask yourself ‘Why is this happening to me?’. Why is this happening to me is more of a rhetorical question, one we will never get the answer to. Instead, ask yourself [or your higher power], ‘What am I supposed to see here?’. By asking yourself this question it gets you to positively look beyond the situation and find clarity.
Last fall, I attended a goal setting workshop lead by a Zig Ziglar certified coach. One of the key takeaways from this workshop was recognizing that when we formulate a vision for ourselves we can only see so far and that it is okay for our vision to change. The timing of this message was another divine appointment as it was grooming me for that moment of defeat. I also learned that setting goals isn’t about achieving them as much as it is about who you become along the way and that is why it is okay for your vision to change. You are no longer the person you were when you set those goals for yourself!
3. TAKE ACTION
Once you have determined you are ready to get back up and have decided how you want to respond to the situation, take action! Set goals for yourself, write your vision for yourself down on paper, brainstorm, read a book, listen to a podcast, do what you have to do to move forward and grow as an individual! Do not just do busy work either, make sure what you are doing is creating traction to getting you to where you want to be and who you want to be!
Periodically take time to check in with yourself, if you find yourself off track to reaching your goals take the time to get realigned and adjust accordingly. Ask yourself questions that will create a deeper level of thinking. Maybe you need to adjust your goals to make them more attainable or shift the direction you are going as new opportunities present themselves. As you get closer to attaining your goals, take time to formulate new ones. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you are asking yourself ‘now what?’, that lull can be dangerous! Trust me I’ve been there!
Maybe in your season of adversity you realized that you were putting the needs of others before your own. Taking that time to reflect can be eye opening if you’ve fallen back into saying ‘yes’ too much and need to take a step back, by doing this it will help you reset boundaries before you get burnt again. Forming new habits and new ways of thinking doesn’t happen over night. It takes time and discipline and using reflection helps keep you on the path of where you want to be.
In my situation I was able to go through this process quite quickly, however it could take days or even weeks to get passed the adversity you are facing, and that is okay. If you need three days to cry on the couch in the same pajamas—go for it! Take the time necessary that you need to fully process the situation and your feelings, but do not camp out there. Look at the bigger picture and try to find clarity as to what this adversity is offering you, a season of growth. Ask your self ‘what am I supposed to see here?’, even if it is a hard lesson to learn or you don’t necessarily find all the answers you are looking for. Take action into becoming the best version of yourself you can be, so that when adversity strikes it becomes easier to manage—focus on you and practice self-care! Always take time to reflect back on the situation and your growth since then, maybe that season of adversity was grooming you for something on the horizon that you couldn’t see before! Don’t wait for the fog to lift—navigate yourself through it! You are a fighter, a warrior and are meant for great things!
“The fog of adversity should never out-weigh the clarity of triumph!”