Machen MacDonald: Be your rock during times of adversity |

Machen MacDonald: Be your rock during times of adversity

Machen MacDonald

Life seems to come in cycles of goodness and, what can appear to be some not so goodness.

The cycles vary in size, shapes and emotional volume. Some of those cycles last longer than others. The cycles where things are going our way we certainly want to last longer than the ones that seem to be going against us.

The truth is they are all going our way. We just may not realize it at the time.

The cycles we imagine are going against us are there to test us, teach us, grow us, and to thereby increase our functional dimension for living and experiencing a fuller life.

No one person is ever immune from times of adversity. It’s part of the cycle of life. It’s a time that challenges us and continues to build our character and capacity to grow and handle more.

When we shy away from the fear and potential pain we associate with a situation, our experience of it grows and it can become overwhelming to the point where we may feel shut down. However, when we step up and into it and shout, “Bring it on!” and begin to move forward through it, mistakes and all, that cycle of pain and fear will spit us out onto the other side of the freedom we seek. This cycle is often the pressure that forms the diamond out of our coal. There is no other way.

The sooner we learn and condition ourselves to really embrace the hard cycles and pull all the goodness from them we can, the sooner we start to experience bigger and longer cycles of pure goodness.

If we are in sales, we must learn and grow from rejection to become better. If we present to others, learn to improve from criticism. If we run a business, we must learn and grow from the people we manage, disgruntled customers, flaky suppliers or subs, and shifts in the markets or economy.

The answers we seek for becoming better and enjoying a more fulfilled life are in the problems and challenges we are faced with every day. They are there to grow us. Develop the ability to see the opportunity for growth that may be hidden in the current dilemma.

Below are four points to help become and stay ROCK solid during times of adversity.

Realistic: Avoid awfulizing and overreacting. Evaluate what is actually going on currently rather than projecting fear of what isn’t.

Optimize from full potential: We may not have control of the current situation or circumstances within which we find ourselves. However, we always have the power to choose the most healthy perspective from which to operate.

Compassion: Have compassion for others as well as ourselves. Find a way to see that whatever is going on is happening for our benefit and not to our detriment. Situations can be hard and feel bad. We must allow ourselves to feel what is. Feel it. Digest it. Don’t wallow in it.

Know our strengths and Keep on Keepin’ on: It is always a good idea to identify our strengths, talents and blessings during both good times and bad. Build on them and recognize they are always with us. Remember to hold the vision of where we are headed as it creates a vacuum that pulls us through the tough times.

Find and remember the ROCK inside. It’s what has gotten us to where we are through the good times and the bad. It always has and always will.

Make it up, make it fun and get it done!

#1 bestselling author Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at and 530-273-8000.

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