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He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior!

As a business owner, it is inevitable that at some point on our journey we will hit that T-junction or worse the ‘Brick Wall’. This ‘life happening’ and ‘what to do now’, is not taught at Business School. At this point, most throw in the towel, but there are some who dig deep and keep moving. This is what makes a true entrepreneur. The ultimate success factor is overcoming adversity and bouncing back.

Remember that there are always positives that are borne out of adversity. Hard times can:

• give us a life wake-up call
• expose our weaknesses and strengths
• increase our willingness and highlight the importance of doing good
• strengthen our faith
• strip us of pride, arrogance and self-centeredness
• prepare us for a meaningful future
• enable us to have empathy with others who are facing adversity, and
• allow us to seize new and meaningful opportunities.

As I have learned and grown through the years, I have found a few key survival strategies that have allowed me to get through tough times.

Adversity is unavoidable. Don’t fight it, accept it. There is nothing you can do to change it. You are where you are meant to be. Everyone goes through adversity at different times in life, no one is immune to pain and hardship. Your turn is now. Learn from the past, but don’t linger on it or regret it.

Avoid assumptions:
Don’t assume the worst in the road ahead. Focus on the ‘now’. Ninety percent of what you assume will happen, never does.

A positive attitude:
Pain and death are part of life. Although pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. We can choose to be strong. It is not misfortune that produces suffering, but an improper reaction to it. Even under the worst circumstances, we can choose to focus on the positive rather than the negative. Be positive, exude happiness, build self-confidence, be energised and make today and tomorrow important in your life. Yesterday is gone forever!

This might be the hardest of all, but it is one of the first things we must develop when faced with adversity. The key to developing patience is to know that in the end everything will work out the way it’s intended to. Surrender yourself to the fact that there is a time frame for everything. Importantly, it is just a matter of time and everything will be okay for you.

Forgive others for wronging you. By not allowing yourself to forgive, you utilise a great deal of negative energy as you harbour old thoughts and feelings. Forgiveness is a breakthrough action and will allow you to be clear-headed in your road ahead. It makes a better person out of you. It takes away bitterness and anger. It takes special people to forgive unconditionally. Become that someone special and you will get a kick-start in your new life.

Give yourself the space or freedom to be you. Accept that many people, places and things in your past and present are irrational, unhealthy and toxic influences in your life. Label them honestly for what they truly are and stop minimising their negative impact in your life.

Quiet time:
Allow for quiet time to reflect. Take some time out on a daily basis to relax your mind and humble your heart. You will find your answers in the silence.

Do things:
Eliminate boredom or it will lead to frustration and depression. Take up a hobby, do some writing, volunteer or spend time with friends and family. Any, or all of these, will make you feel good about yourself, allowing you to want to move forward.

Keep perspective:
Count your blessings. Look around you. Read the daily newspapers. Get exposure to other people’s suffering through various charities. You will see that it could be a lot worse.

The opportunity:
We need winter to appreciate summer, rain to appreciate the sunshine, and adversity to be thankful for the calm after the storm. Adversity is an opportunity to lift yourself to a higher level. A smooth sea never made a skilful mariner.

Just keep moving and never give up. You have to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that your situation is only temporary. Have the strength to become the victor. Clear your head of the past and focus on the now. Only you that can choose the path ahead and you can decide on whatever you want.