3 Ways to Remain Driven Through Adversity

3 Ways to Remain Driven Through Adversity


The names Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Walt Disney aren’t ones you usually associate with failure, but before these successful leaders made it big in their respective industries, they too experienced career failure.  These entrepreneurs and many like them went on to global success, choosing to learn from these experiences and move forward with their goals. An article written for Business Insider by Dr. Travis Bradberry explains that success ultimately lies in how you handle defeat. Therefore, here are 3 important notions to keep in mind through times of adversity.

1. Mindset is key

Psychologist Carol Dweck believes that a person’s attitude will fall into one of two mindsets: a fixed or growth mindset. A fixed mindset is when you believe you are unable to change and grow. With this mindset, challenges may leave you feeling overwhelmed, hopeless and as if you cannot progress with the challenge any further.

“Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, this didn’t work, and I’m a problem solver, so I’ll try something else.” Carol Dweck.

People with a growth mindset who experience challenges embrace them, as they believe there is something to be learnt from every situation. Growth mindset people strive to succeed, do not see failure as an option and believe that they can improve with effort, regardless of their setbacks. While having a particular level of intelligence can inspire confidence, Bradberry and Dweck strongly believe that mindset is most critical, as it determines how you handle setbacks and strive for success.

2. Don’t let failure deter you

There are many successful leaders in the world that would never have made it if they let their past failures control them. Iconic leader Walt Disney was fired as a cartoonist because he ‘lacked imagination and had no good ideas’. Now, Walt Disney is ranked 11th on Forbes’ World’s Most Valuable Brands list. Similarly, Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a TV anchor for being too emotionally invested in her stories. This is exactly how she went on to make her fortune, and now sits 5th on Forbes’ Self-Made Women’s list. Walt Disney and Oprah were both resilient through failure, and did not allow these experiences deter them from reaching their goals.

3.   Look for alternative paths

Dr. Bradberry states that people with a growth mindset understand that anxiety is a paralysing emotion, and the only way to escape that emotion is to take action. By doing so, you can channel your worry and concern about failure into positive, focused energy. Be as flexible as possible, as plans don’t always work out as expected, and make adjustments to your plan where required. By actively searching for alternative paths when challenged, you can continue to work towards your goals with a positive outlook.

What do you think?

Did these 3 strategies make you think about your own setbacks and how you dealt with them? I would love to hear your thoughts on remaining driven in the face of adversity, and whether these three points apply to you. Comment below and share your views.

This article was written by Ashlee Gerrard on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to compile this article: Business Insider; Forbes World’s Most Valuable Brands; Forbes Self-Made Women; Brain Pickings

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