The 3 Secrets to Thriving in Times of Adversity

Life has a way of throwing challenges at us just when we thought we were about to get things on the right track, or just when we thought nothing else could go wrong. While we all want a life full of love, happiness, excitement, and freedom, it is hard to enjoy those things without going through some times of adversity. In fact, it is those periods of turmoil in your past that have allowed you to enjoy the times that you have thrived. Let’s focus on pushing and expanding during this time of adversity so we can enjoy an even greater degree of success once this is over. Here are my three secrets to overcoming adversity.

Secret #1:  Think of the worst-case scenario.

Yes, I am not kidding! People will tell you to focus on the positive and how everything is going to be okay. That is a good idea and it may even be one of my later secrets. But before you do that, let’s get one thing out of the way first. Your subconscious mind is going to do it anyways so let’s take control of it. Instead of letting your subconscious mind browse these thoughts randomly throughout the day and even while you sleep at night, let’s address it head-on and acknowledge that even in this worst-case scenario, things will still be okay so we can put this to rest.

At this moment, while you are reading this article, you think you are the exception, because your worst-case scenario is truly unacceptable. But I can assure you that acknowledging any bad outcome – even death – is a powerful step forward. It is simply a matter of saying even if the worst-case scenario were true, it is still not as bad as worrying about it. In fact, if you think back to the worst experiences of your life, you will quickly realize the worst part of those times was thinking about them and not the actual consequences. Remember when you were a child and you thought life would be over when your mom found out what you did or when the boy or girl you “loved more than anyone in the world” broke up with you. It is no different now that you are an adult. Realize that this too will pass, even if it leaves you with a few scratches, scars, or callouses that will help you be an even more powerful person in the future.

Secret #2:  Focus on the people who love you most.

We all have people in our lives who truly care about us. For some, it’s a friend or maybe a relative. For others, it’s a pet or even a random stranger we’ve met on a few occasions who seems to always have that perfect smile for us. In times of adversity, it is common for us to forget those who care for us and have always been there for us, and instead focus on our problems. Spend some time making a list of those who care most about us or those who have cared most about us in our past and let’s remember them in this time.

Secret #3:  Focus on thriving, not surviving.

We’re taught to make lemonade when life gives us lemons but what about when life gives us rotten lemons? It’s hard to make lemonade so let’s find out how else to have some fun with these rotten lemons. Let’s have a party and throw them at something. Let’s have some fun. Let’s get excited. Let’s get motivated. Let’s make sure that at the end of this ordeal, we are a much better version of ourselves than we were at the beginning. Focus on growth, fun, and success, and think of all of the ways we can have this experience make us even better than we were before.

The greatest human beings who have ever lived have consistently said that their greatness has come as a result of their greatest failures. Our greatest time of growth is that of our greatest adversities. While we would love to lead a life full of ease, happiness, and success, it’s important to remember that none of those can exist without significant adversity. Go out there today, look failure in the eyes, and tell it to bring it on!

Arman Sadeghi is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker, business coach, and CEO advisor to some of the world’s best CEOs. He has started over a dozen successful companies over his 25 years of business experience.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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