One thing that I don’t think my critics realize about me is that I’ve been trained to look adversity in the face. – Reggie White
What does that mean?
I like this quote, and I also like the person who said it. This man played American Football for quite a few years, and was a very prominent defensive player.
He also knew adversity. When you play football, you get banged up. You play hurt. There are also a number of other people trying to take your job.
That was true in High School, College, and for 15 years in the NFL. And that’s just the games. There were also practices, workouts, and so much more.
We all have critics. The question is how good are you at handling adversity? It isn’t pleasant, but adversity in our lives make us stronger, and allow us to look other forms of adversity in the face, and not flinch or shrink away.
Why is strength important?
I am not talking about arm strength, or how far you can run, but how strong you are inside. What can you withstand? What will cause you to run, hide, or cry? We all have different places where we are strong, and places where we are more vulnerable.
This strength is what will help us face adversity. While one form of adversity may not directly translate into another situation, the strength within us is a constant. Developing that strength, that toughness, will allow you to withstand health troubles and financial troubles.
Those without strength often fold up under that kind of pressure. The strong, while not unaffected, tend to hold up better, as well as longer, than their less-strong counterparts. If you had to choose between being in one of those two groups, in which would you prefer to be included?
That was a pretty easy choice, wasn’t it? We all have choices to make. We don’t always want to face adversity, and at times, we might be able to avoid it. But other times, we will find it won’t go away that easily. Those are the times we need the strength. We need to face some adversity if we are to be strong.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Why is it that so many people end up not being as strong as they like? Probably the same reason they aren’t as physically strong as they would like to be. They haven’t done the work. They have found easier ways to get by, and haven’t had to build the strength, either physical or personal.
That is were most of us are. And, to complicate matters, we are each slightly uneven in our personal strengths. Some things we handle well, and others crush us. And no one will ever be perfect in all aspects. The idea I have is to find where we are strong, and try to apply that to where we are weak.
By doing that, hopefully we can train ourselves to look adversity in the eye, and make it blink first. But that takes time, and more than a little effort. But if we don’t try to improve ourselves, what will happen the next time you need that strength? Will it be too late? I hope not.
We have all faced adversity in our lives. It might have been bullies at school or in the neighborhood. It might have been physical issues which you had to endure. It might have been emotional issues at home, school, or in general. You faced something in your past, and overcame it. What was it?
When I was learning how to ride a bicycle, I had a bad problem with target fixation. That is the body’s natural tendency to move towards whatever you look at. In my case, it was a thorn bush in my neighbors yard. By the time I could ride, I had nearly cut it in half.
But I kept on going (although not entirely of my own volition), despite the scratches. Over and over and over, until I had learned to face adversity and win. And that training has served me well over the years. “How can I let (fill in the blank) beat me when I survived the thorn bush?!?!”
What is your battle cry? What have you faced and dealt with, and how much worse was it than the little things you face now? Why can’t you face them and push back? You might not win every time, but if you don’t try you are even less likely, right?
With effort, and repetition, comes strength. Train yourself to look adversity in the face. And make it blink.