10. Shaun, at Adversity University, I often talk about the value of changing our perceptions in order to deal with adversity. How have you dealt with adversity in your life? Give us specific examples of adversity and what you did to overcome them.
Adversity is a fancy word for difficulty or misfortune, right? If you asked me this question a few years ago, I would have said that the best way to deal with life’s difficulties is to simply not deal with them, because that’s how I used to live my life. If something was challenging, I’d look for a way out of it — and do something that I thought would be easier. If I was struggling to overcome something, then I would purposely avoid it — and leave it unresolved. If I came across something new, then I would be reluctant to try it — because I was afraid of being embarrassed if I wasn’t good at it.
The thing is, with this approach I ended up doing nothing most of the time: I did nothing to advance my career, I did nothing to increase my skills set, and I did nothing to improve my life — all because I was terrified of failure. I avoided life for a few years under the belief that “If you don’t try, you can’t fail.”
Unfortunately, applying the brakes in this manner resulted in something worse than failure: Since I put a ceiling on my potential for life, the only direction I could go was down — and down I went.
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