Overcoming Adversities In Life

Today I met with my first Nairobi landlord and he reminded me about the former version of myself. He was just laughing reminding me of how I struggled raising Ksh 2300 rent for the small chamber I rented at Githurai 45, how he would sometimes give me food and allow me to go into his house to watch news. One thing he said that’s very important was, “I also started like you but you are moving in a very high speed, that tenacity will take you far and you’ll not be moving around the Nairobi streets like me in my age” He commended the fact that I have been born again all through and he admitted that if he changed his life earlier enough he would be having a better life”
He then asked, “Leo hujavaa zile mareflector zako na t-shirts za first aid ulikuwa unavaa Kila siku?”
The discussion reminded me where I have come from and the many adversities I had to overcome to be where I am today.
Why is it that back in our rural homes we were always borrowing fire from our neighbors almost every day? How much was a match box? “Why” would we not afford a match box?
Those people who saw me attend Church services in Githurai 45 and other events in branded organization reflective vests and uniforms, it’s not because of how passionate I was in matters safety(though I have always been), but it is because I didn’t have other clothes and it was easy to survive with a reflective vest even in big events without looking odd.
I remember some years ago we were going through very stubborn problems with my wife that at some point we could go through several days without meals but at least survived with a cup of porridge daily and I remember this day there was no water in our plot and so we were to buy a 20L Jelican at Ksh 20 which we couldn’t afford. At least there was a packet of maize flour, rice, cooking oil, tea leaves and salt but we could not afford Ksh 20 to buy water so we slept hungry.
Adversity is something everyone experiences. It’s a part of life and the quicker we know how to deal with it, the better for us.
Today, it seems as if the successful people don’t have challenges because they have a lot of wealth, power, and status. They can choose to buy anything they want, live anywhere they want to, and possibly do anything they choose.
Yet, I’ve found out that successful people are what they are, because of the way they handle things. They have more challenges than we do because the world is on them to deliver the best services, come up with innovative ideas, portray their best at all times, attend this conference or that, etc. They have to beat all odds to attain success. My book titled ‘Overcoming All Odds ‘ gives you tips on how to handle adversities, challenges, setbacks and stubborn limitations in life.
All successful people have learned to master the art of handling adversity. These people have accepted that life will always give you lemons and it’s up to you to make your own lemonade. They’ve realized that attitude is what determines the outcome of that adversity.
Although we are different people and have different challenges, these four steps are key in overcoming any situation you might face:-

1. Believe you can handle and overcome any challenge.
Believe in your ability to conquer. Be responsible of your next conquest and frontier.
The buck stops with you. You must believe that the situation you’re going through is for a purpose and God has given you the power to overcome it.
It is important to remember that everything that has happened in your life – the good, bad and the ugly – is all shaping you into the person you were born to be. Nothing just happens!
How can we reign if we don’t suffer?
Adversity comes to bring out the best in us and we must begin to realize that.
Failure, obstacles, and adversity are all the ingredients to success. They give you life lessons that no lecture in the world can offer.
Struggles bring experience and with experience comes progress. So, learn to trust in ‘you’ when obstacles come your way.
The first thing to do is to believe…. “I can do it,” “I can overcome…”
By the words of our mouths and the perception we have towards ourselves we can overcome all odds.
Begin to say these affirmations to yourself and gradually your situation will obey your confession.

2.Be a positive thinker.
This is something people find hard to do when they face adversity. It’s human nature to over-react, worry, and complain. But that doesn’t do anything; instead, it causes heartaches and panic attacks. Think to yourself, When last did worrying ever solve a problem? Even the bible asks, Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Read full chapter · Matthew 6:27
Never has and never will. It’s your responsibility to face every adversity with the right mindset and the right attitude.
Positivity will always overcome any negative situation. Thoughts are everything. If you think good, you attract good and it’s important to note that consciously and unconsciously we are constantly evoking the law of attraction.
So, when you face adversity, discipline yourself to see the best in it. Though it may not seem so, gradually your positive thinking will turn your situation around for your good. You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind but you can change yourself.
In my book ‘Dare Not Quit’, I have written about POSSICAN(Possible and Can) and IMPOSSICANT(Impossible and Cannot) mentality. It’s all about your mindset.

3. Surround yourself with “warriors” and not “worriers.”
This is an important thing to consider when facing adversity.
Usually, the first thing we do when we have a situation is to call someone and panic but if that person happens to be a “worrier”, he or she will only dilute your faith and will cause more pain to the situation. You go crying to such a person and leave screaming.
Move with the right kind of people, the high flier caliber. Be careful who you break your personal news to.
That is the same attitude we should have when we face a challenge. Make it your priority of surrounding yourself with the right company and very soon their words and prayers will influence your situation in a positive way.
In my book ‘Behind the scenes’, I have shared incidences where people can make or break someone and ruin your destiny.

4. Let Adversity be your teacher.
Many times when we experience hardships, we take them as misfortunes that have come to mess up our lives and possibly destroy the future we have in store for ourselves. But, what we don’t realize is that they come to help us and teach us lessons.
They shape you into the person you will be five, ten years from now. Adversity is the greatest teacher. It could possibly be the greatest gift on earth. Why? It’s free. We can’t move forward if we don’t do mistakes and learn from them.
Life is made up of highs and lows. You will experience both mountains and valleys throughout your lifetime. You may feel at times you are trapped in a valley (a dark, isolated and lonely place) and will never get out. Remember, a valley is nothing but a mountain turned upside down. As sure as there is a valley, there is a mountaintop awaiting you. Though you may not like it or understand it, it was David who said that in the valley, God restored his soul. Do not fight it. Always allow for your body, your soul, and your spirit to be renewed and refreshed. You will go through it and the end up will be glorious if you do not give up.
So, when you face adversity, take it as a lesson for a brighter tomorrow. David in the bible dealt with the adversities in form of bear, lion and Goliath and they lifted him to greatness.
Sometimes just declare, “May my Goliath show up so that I can use it to bring out the King David in me!”
Arise, face and conquer your adversities!

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About the Author


Amb. Steve Mbugus is an enthusiastic Ambassador of Safety and wellness with in-depth training, safety advisory and Workplace Safety Behavior Change Coaching experience. He is the am the Founder and Executive Director of Makinika Afrika Int’l , a Health and Safety Training Firm in Kenya  and Group CEO  Nairobi Safety Shop Limited, the largest Security, Safety and Health Store in the East and Central Africa and Managing Director, Stewa Safaris Kenya Limited a Premier  Tours and  Travels Company in Kenya.

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