Whether we like it or not, we will all face adversity in our lives.
This is something we can’t avoid. We do not live in a perfect world, we must accept the rough with the smooth.
Adversity can be too much for some people to deal with. They end up burying their head in the sand and waiting until the trouble blows over.
This is all good and well, but it doesn’t achieve anything. When you remove your head from the sand, adversity will be still be there. You will still have to face it.
We all want to become the best version of ourselves, but we cannot do that if we do not grow.
Adversity may be uncomfortable, but ask anyone who has faced it in their lives, and they will say they came out the other side a better person.
If we want to grow, we must learn to accept adversity and use it as a vehicle to grow into better people.
Lobsters and Adversity
It may seem weird to use lobsters as an analogy on adversity and growth, but I promise I’m not going all Jordan Peterson on you!
There is a good reason why I am choosing this example.
Lobsters are interesting creatures. But, perhaps the most interesting thing about them is what they have to go through during their lives.
Like most animals they mature throughout their lives. They do not remain the same size from birth to death.
They continue to grow throughout their lifespan.
This would not be an issue with most animals. However, lobsters are not most animals.
Lobsters are a soft and mushy creature, who live inside of a hard and inelastic outer shell.
You’re probably wondering how a lobster can grow in this situation if it is inhibited by a rigid outer shell?
Well, the lobster must shed their outer shell in order to grow.
This process leaves them vulnerable to predators. So, the lobster must hide itself under a rock until it’s new shell has formed around its larger body.
Once the process, which takes a week or two, is complete, the lobster returns to its normal duties with a more comfortable shell.
However, that shell will not remain comfortable forever.
As the lobster continues to grow, it will feel uncomfortable and pressurised inside its rigid shell.
The process must repeat itself again, and the lobster returns to its burrow and grows a new shell.
The lobster will undergo this process numerous times. It has no choice. If it does not shed the shell, it will die and cease to exist.
The lobster must react to the stimulus. That stimulus is feeling uncomfortable. The lobster does not hesitate and bury its head in the sand, hoping it will stop growing.
It faces up to the situation and takes action in order to grow.
If a crustacean can do this, then why can’t we?
In times of stress the lobster does not shy away from its responsibilities. It faces up to them and takes charge of the situation.
We, as Humans, are not so forthright in our actions.
We over think and over analyse situations, which lead us to running away from anything we find too uncomfortable.
This is not a good recipe for growth.
It is by being uncomfortable in situations and learning how to handle them that we learn we to grow.
Growth cannot come from your comfort zone. You must extract yourself from it in order to grow.
Adversity is not easy, and is something we should not wish upon ourselves, but when we are faced with it, we must react.
Inaction cannot lead to action. If we react to adversity in the right way, it can be a powerful tool to help us grow.
If you think back to the last time you faced a difficult situation, it will no doubt bring back uncomfortable memories.
However, with the clarity of hindsight, you will be able to look at the situation objectively, and see how you were able to handle it, despite it being difficult.
This should give you strength going forward. Knowing that you faced adversity in the past and conquered it, will allow you to do the same going forward.
If we want to develop, we must realise that times of stress can also be times of growth.