Overcoming adversity is one of the most important topics in personal development.
What is overcoming adversity?
Overcoming adversity is the ability to face challenges in life and overcome them through grit and determination. Overcoming adversity is about tackling life’s problems, not matter the size, and surviving hardship.
What happens when tragedy strikes?
“Why me?” is a question so many of us ask when tragedy strikes and our life path suddenly becomes rocky.
Instead of cruising along, it seems as though we are now stumbling with each step. Every day we question why we are being tested—trying to overcome adversity while seeking a way out of this mess—but sometimes it is not humanly possible to come through the situation by ourselves.
I learned this lesson after nearly dying on the interstate.
On June 15, 2000, my 13-month old twins and I were hit in a nightmarish head-on-collision. Another driver was trying to evade capture by police by purposely going the wrong way on the interstate and intentionally crashed into our car.
The doctors did not expect me to live, but they proceeded to operate on me in an attempt to save my life.
I was unconscious and on a respirator for seven days. They told my husband that with my severe head injury, I would probably not awaken, but if by some miracle I did regain consciousness, I would be a vegetable, and I would most likely never use my left arm or walk again.
After twelve surgeries where the doctors rebuilt me with metal parts, coupled with years of physical therapy, I am now a published author, motivational speaker, and child passenger safety activist.
To provide some insights into ways to transform a tragedy into a triumph, let’s start with one evening a few months after the wreck when I was sitting in my wheelchair with three non-functioning limbs.
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My father-in-law told me that I should become a motivational speaker. He said, “Ginny, you have been through a test and now you have a testimony. You are going through a mess and you will have a message. You need to get out there and encourage others who are going through challenges.”
In the coming months, I focused on healing, and he helped me learn the art of inspirational speaking. On May 17, 2001, I gave my first motivational talk to the founders of the hospital where I had re-learned to walk.
There’s an acronym to help you remember the ways to overcome adversity and transform tragedy into triumph: T.R.U.S.T.
How Do You Overcome Adversity and Hard Times?
1. Turn around.
First of all, the “T” reminds us to turn around when we are faced with a difficult situation. Look at your problem from a different perspective. You need to rely on your support system, both spiritual and human, for help with working through the challenge.
Secondly, the “R” stands for resolve. When I teach audiences how to overcome challenges and reach their goals, I emphasize the importance of gathering the resolve to make it through the hard times. Focus on why you need to do it.
Next, the “U” stands for understand. You need to seek understanding of your situation and become aware of answers that may be as near as right in front of you.
Share your story with others. There will be times when you feel called to tell your story to other people who need to hear it for inspiration to work through their challenges.
Finally, the “T” reminds us that we are meant to thrive, not to just exist or survive! We are being called each day to stand up and stand out for who and what we believe in…to smile and be a ray of hope in someone else’s life.
When traveling a rocky path in life, seek to find ways you can use your situation to inspire someone else. It will help you mitigate your own tragic moments while you try to re-focus. Share your story with others who need to hear it. I am here for a reason. You are here for a reason. We are all spiritually gifted and given opportunities to use those gifts to help others. Call it purpose. Remember: it’s not what happens to you that matters, but rather what you do with what happens to you.
On June 15, 2000, Ginny Frings survived a head-on car collision, when another driver was driving the wrong direction on the interstate evading police. Her 13-month old twins were in the back seat. This experience inspired her to encourage others experiencing tough times. Ginny is the author of the recently published Blue-Eyed Ruse. It is an inspirational book written about the pains and triumphs of a newly widowed mother, who discovers her late husband was not the man he said he was.
Photo by Fredrika Staf