How Embracing Adversity Changes Everything

When you are faced with adversity and trouble, what is your response?  Dance around it? Dance through it & fast? Dance with it?  How you choose to dance, changes everything!

When I woke up two days after my motorcycle accident I was a mess.  My bones were broken, my body was bruised and I was fighting a raging infection that was attacking my body. I wanted nothing more than to get on with this recovery process and get back to doing the things I enjoyed doing and being the person I was meant to be!

When I asked the doctors when I’d be all healed up, they were pretty vague and couldn’t say how long this would take. I asked them when I’d run again and the answers were pretty foggy in that area too.  As far as I was concerned, I’d be back to work in six months or so and through this in no time.  I was going to beat this adversity into submission!

For me, adversity was something you met head on, worked your way through and came out the other side victorious.  It wasn’t something you stayed with any longer than you had to and was something to endure not something to embrace. 

Now, some 14 months into my recovery and living daily with an open ended time frame for full repair, recovery and rehabilitation, I’ve had a change of perspective on adversity.  It’s no longer something to “get through” – it’s something I’m choosing to “be with.”   

What changed? What brought the shift from seeing adversity as something to get through to something to be with?

  1. A belief that God had a purpose in this difficulty and was up to something good somehow.
  2. Seeing changes in my own character (empathy, patience, a deeper love for friends and family) that increased the quality of my life and relationships.
  3. Listening to the stories of others who inspired me to stretch and grow through this challenge not “try to get out of it prematurely”.

One person who inspired me was Aimee Mullins.  She broke a record at the Paralympic Games in 1996 and was born without any shinbones.  Her story of adversity in her life opened up the door and made it possible for her to reach her potential.  She sees adversity not as something to be overcome but as something to be danced with! 
Watch her TED talk here:

“There’s a partnership between perceived deficiencies and our creative ability so it’s not about sweeping under the rug the challenges but finding the opportunity wrapped in the adversity….Perhaps if we see adversity as natural, consistent and useful we’re less burdened by the presence of it.” 

What would “embracing your adversity” mean in your life? What would have to change to make “dancing with adversity” your perspective of choice? 

About Cam Taylor

I'm help people live inspired, focused and tenacious lives. I work as a coach, facilitator, author, and speaker.
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