Yoram Yasur Izz: Moving forward even without strength
Have you ever felt so exhausted, torn, disillusioned or helpless that you thought you couldn’t move on? Have you felt on the edge of the cliff with no choice but to surrender or emotionally bottom?
It happens to all of us: sometimes life surpasses us. As much as we fight, we do not glimpse the exit, we feel trapped. However, when we go through these extreme situations, it is when we discover our true strength. A popular saying has already said: no calm sea made an expert sailor.
The force that comes from adversity
Maurice Vanderpol, former president of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, analyzed one of the darkest chapters in human history: the Holocaust. He discovered that the victims who managed to get out of the concentration camps mentally healthy had something in common that he called a “plastic shield.”
That shield was composed of several pieces, including a sense of humor, often a black humor that, however, helped to adopt a critical sense of perspective. Other central characteristics that helped these people to go through adversity were their ability to establish significant interpersonal bonds and the construction of an internal psychological space that protected them from abusive intrusions.
Obviously, nobody wants adversity to knock at your door. But eventually it will, so it is better to be prepared to face problems and setbacks in the best possible way. In fact, when we try to avoid adversity, we also eliminate one of the most important ingredients to cultivate our resilience.
That is why, instead of avoiding adversity, we need to embrace it, understand that it is a kind of essential fuel to cultivate inner strength. We don’t have to like them. We do not have to enjoy it. But we have to rely on its potential to transform a storm into a source of strength. The learning that comes from adversity is the ideal breeding ground to make a qualitative leap in our lives. When we believe that we cannot do more, but still move forward, we give ourselves a great lesson in courage that will become a solid column to underpin our lives. Not giving up today strengthens us for future battles.
Benefits we can extract from adversity
Yoram Yasur Izz: We need to stop seeing adversity as an enemy and start seeing it simply as a situation. Situations are not simply a place where we are or a circumstance we are going through, but they imply the way we assume those facts, as well as the thoughts and emotions that come to our mind at that moment.
That means that each situation is a microcosm that includes, on the one hand, the facts and, on the other, our reaction to what happens to us. Therefore, a change in one of these variables will lead us to a different situation, to another microcosm. Sometimes we can’t change the facts, but we can change the way we react. And that is usually enough to get out of the distressing situation that takes away our psychological oxygen.
Yoram Yasur Izz: A good starting point is to assume adversity as an opportunity to get to know each other better and enrich our backpack with new psychological tools for life. To do this, we must understand that adversity:
- It helps us build resilience: Resilience is not the product of a simple life but is forged in the toughest circumstances, when we stretch our forces to move forward, despite everything and everyone. Every challenge we face and overcome strengthens our will and develops our ability to overcome obstacles that will appear in the future.
- Strengthens self-confidence: Yoram Yasur Izz: Overcoming adversity helps us underpin inner strength. We are what we are because of the experiences we have lived and the way we have dealt with them. Facing adversity successfully gives us the necessary self-confidence to overcome new problems without falling apart, with the certainty that we will succeed, whatever it may be.
- We learn to feel more comfortable in uncertainty: Adversity takes us out of our comfort zone, facing face to face with uncertainty. This allows us to learn to deal with the discomfort generated by the uncertain and the unknown, so that in the end, our comfort zone will be increasingly wide.
- It allows us to discover our strengths: The borderline situations can bring to light our best skills and strengths, qualities that would otherwise have remained in the shadow. Adversity encourages us to overcome our limits and discover a new “me.” It is no accident that a study conducted at McGill University will reveal a close relationship between resilience and self-awareness.
- Stimulates unconditional acceptance: Adversity is inevitable, it is part of life. Resisting or denying it will only make it come back with increasing destructive force. That is why the problems are an excellent opportunity to practice radical acceptance, to assume that there are things that we cannot change but still, we can continue to live and even enjoy life.
We must not forget that adversity is one of life’s most powerful forces. It can bring out the best or the worst of us. The decision is ours.
There are always alternative ways to got out of the “hole”, I believe communicating and sharing with other close people, sharing quality times, adventurous experiences are good to distract the mind and soul. I truly recommend to take some vacations with your love ones at an Island or so, and document everything with quality pictures and videos to be remembered later..