“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it”.
If you’ve ever began the journey to a healthier lifestyle, I’m guessing that most of you experienced some sort of setback in your training, nutrition or maybe even a serious life experience. Creating new habits can be incredibly challenging at first, especially in today’s age.
In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, a group of researchers found that on average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic--66 days to be exact. At some point, Adversity will work its way into your life and try to de-rail you from your goals. Sometimes it’s in the form of a persuasive co-worker coaxing you into drinks after work or a big, beautiful box of donuts left in the break room.
Adversity is bound to happen; none of us are perfect. What is important is how we decide to handle it. Remember how I said I love to talk? Allow me to briefly share the ultimate form of Adversity in my life, thus far.
It was pretty recent actually. A beautiful fall Montana morning found me heading to visit my father figure/coach/mentor for some coffee and conversation. It was unusual for him not to answer his phone since I always called beforehand. When I arrived the door was locked and the blinds were drawn. After ringing the bell and knocking repeatedly, I broke down the door and went downstairs to the master bedroom to find Coach asleep in bed. Whew!
As I pulled back the covers to wake him, his cold and lifeless body laid untouched on the mattress. Alone and already in shock, I gathered myself and immediately called for help. I later found out that he had passed several days earlier. How could such a healthy and vibrant human die at such an early age?
But it didn’t stop there…
The next 60 days were the worst in my life. Shortly after his death, I lost my job, my relationship (of 6 years) and my truck (totaled in an accident). In less than two months I had successfully laid the groundwork for an award-winning country song.
Let Adversity Become Your Lobster
The life of these ancient crustaceans is fascinating. Their claws can exert pressure of up to 100 lbs per square inch and their shells were once used to make golf balls. But what is even more interesting is that a lobster will shed its shell roughly 25 times before it gets to our plate. This is no joke!
Here’s How It Works:
As a lobster grows, pressure around its shell (adversity) mounts until it is forced to shed and build anew. This process continues to happen for its entire life. In order to survive, it must do this. For our own personal growth, we must do the same. As we encounter Adversity, it is crucial that it’s handled with care. Do not be defined by Adversity or failure. For most people this creates insurmountable amounts of stress. Those who learn to use it to their advantage hold the key to success.
Learn to embrace failure and Adversity. Always keep in mind that successful people who have accomplished anything really great, have been faced with some major type of failure or Adversity. Don’t fall into a victim’s mindset. Acknowledge what has already happened and make peace with it. It cannot be changed or undone. Failure and Adversity is merely feedback; learn the lesson and move on. Love yourself first, trust the process and keep marching forward!