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2021-04-21

Adversity and Personal Growth

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Adversity is something that we’re guaranteed to encounter periodically
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Adversity is something we’re guaranteed to encounter periodically, and there’s no getting around that. We’re all prone to encountering various challenges, stresses and frustrations. I learned these lessons after the shock and awe of my schizophrenia diagnosis and its initial impact — or rather, disturbance — in my life.

As tempting as it can be to run away at the first sign of adversity, it’s better to get into the habit of tackling it head-on. For many reasons, but above all, for your personal growth and development. Just because you may panic initially at the first sign of adversity doesn’t mean you’re obligated to react that way. You have the power to choose to see adversity as a challenge and as an opportunity for growth rather than as a threat to your well-being.

Allowing yourself to be taken out of your comfort zone is the best way for you to advance and further develop, in my opinion. Moments of adversity provide some of the best opportunities to learn through experience.

Although it’s tempting to reach out to others to “rescue” you from your adversity, I believe we should push ourselves to learn how to overcome these challenges on our own. That’s not to say I’m suggesting you never reach out for help because we all need people, but there are times it’s better for your long-term development to figure out how to do things on your own and not rely on others to “save” you. In every moment of adversity, there is a lesson to be learned.

Keep in mind there is no need to fear failure because we all lose sometimes. As much as you might covet the idea of perfection, the truth is it’s better to try and “fail” than it is to not try at all and stay “perfect” because you didn’t “fail.”

I believe not even trying guarantees us failure. Remember, we don’t need to be perfect, we just need to be successful in the end. Moments of adversity aren’t the end of the story; they’re simply bumps in the road.

Overall, the world is less scary when you change your perception and begin to perceive adversity as an opportunity for growth and not as a threat to your well-being, and it’s amazing how much more you can accomplish under this mindset and perception. Even the most successful and confident people in the world have their moments of doubt and insecurity.

Learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Personally, the profound impact my illness was having in my life and what my diagnosis meant for my life moving forward was critical. Meaning, to grow and advance from the wake of the diagnosis and its destruction, I had to embrace it radically, along with feelings of discomfort. Instead of folding at the first sign of a “threat,” I chose to persevere. I chose to be resilient and continue to move forward, no matter what challenges threatened to hold me back.

About the Author

J. Peters

Award-winning book author and Bold 10 Under ten award recipient Jacques Peters, LCSW. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Mental health therapist and disability rights advocate Mr. Peters fights for those without a voice in various care systems, such as the New York City Department of Social Services, the New York State Office of Mental Health, or the city's Department of Corrections.

Mr. Peter's battle with Schizophrenia began at New London University in his last semester of college. Discharged from Greater Liberty State Hospital Center in July 2008, Jacque's recovery was swift but not painless and indeed brutal after spending six months there.

He has published several journal articles on recovery and mental health and three books: University on Watch, Small Fingernails, and Wales High School. He is also a board member of the newspaper City Voices. Mr. Peters currently sits on the CAB committee (Consumer Advisory Board) for the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene in NYC and the Office of Mental Health (OMH) as a peer advocate.

Owner of Recovery Now in New York, a private psychotherapy practice, Mr. Peter's approach is rooted in a foundation of evidence-based practices (EBP). Jacques earned a master's degree in Social Work from Binghamton University and worked as a field instructor for master's and bachelor's level students in NYC.

He is blogging daily on his site mentalhealthaffairs.blog, Mr. Peters regularly writes articles relating to his lived experience with a mental health diagnosis.

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