5 Ways To Emerge Stronger When Bad Things Happen


Sometimes it can be hard to be a leader. There are days when things don't turn out the way you'd hoped. Maybe you're even facing a real crisis. 

Leadership is forged in these moments more than any other. But you've got to keep going to benefit. 


What do great leaders do when they face their biggest challenges?

They keep going and you can too. Build a positive frame of mind and stay strong when these moments happen. You can use these 5 mantras when the going gets tough.

1. Be Prepared

The Roman philosopher Seneca said:

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

No-one can have good fortune all the time, and it’s to be expected that from time to time you’re going to run into some heavy weather. The work you do in the months and years leading up to that moment will be what prepares you to turn even the most difficult challenge into something positive. If you choose.

Remember it’s normally the victor who writes the history – so never fail to look for the opportunity in every problem and make this your firm policy whenever problems emerge. Even when things have gone badly wrong, there’s often a way of responding that can turn things into a positive.

Be a person who, when adversity hits, can say:

It’s lucky I’m prepared.

2. Accept Your Situation

Whenever something bad happens, it’s tempting to look for an explanation elsewhere. Maybe that’s true but don’t be afraid to own it if you’re part of the problem. Winners are the people who buckle down when the tough stuff comes. Here’s my advice: Never be passive, and try to not to complain – it won’t change the facts.

It’s actually far better to stand up tall, own it and then take action. If you ever catch yourself feeling sorry for yourself, tell yourself this.

I’m not a victim.

3. Face The Facts

Don’t waste your energy looking for ways to explain the situation away. Focus instead on achieving understanding. Accept what’s happened – it can’t be changed. Explore in a non-judgemental way why something has happened.  That way you will unlock a huge potential to turn something terrible into something better.

Maintain your poise and accept the situation for what it is. This will encourage others to follow your lead. Remember, the situation you’re in is what’s happening now. Accept it and tell your team:

Let’s face the facts.

4. Keep Going

However bad the day’s events have been, every single day until your last will end with an opportunity to start again tomorrow.

It’s worth remembering that progress rarely follows a predictable course. What separates the successful from the rest is often their determination to keep going. There are countless examples of landmark achievements being forged in the despair of the darkest day.

When you’re having a bad day tell yourself this:

We are where we are but it’s only over when we stop moving forward.

5. Make Every Experience Count

When an aeroplane crashes the air accident investigation branch prepares a report. It tells the world what happened and how to avoid it next time.

It’s vital that you spend some time reflecting on why what happened occurred. Talk to your mentor and your colleagues and friends and see if you can work out what you would do differently next time. There’s only one sure thing – there’ll be the next time. So remember to ask yourself:

What have I learnt that’ll prepare me for the next time?

COMMENT BELOWWhat mantras do you use when the going gets tough?

  • Grant Roberts says:

    What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

    • Adam Cairns says:

      Like a lot of truisms there’s more to this one than meets the eye. I agree however — thanks for the comment Grant!

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