You will face adversity. Don’t let it own you.

Yesterday I wrote about my wife and her songwriting journey.  If I were to tell you she simply declared herself a songwriter, then found a mentor (the very next day), and has been doing a lot of the stuff you need to do as a songwriter, you’d think she’s had an easy journey, right?

In fact, it hasn’t been easy. At all.

She has faced adversity almost every step of the way.  And at every step she has had a reason to quit, or postpone, or pause (and pausing usually means quitting for a long time).

She has faced adversity from family, friends, acquaintances, our bank account (not having money to do certain things), lack of knowledge, lack of skills, and unfortunately, from me.

You have a short list of people who are going to be really supportive of things you do – especially good things.

And then each one of them, somehow, lets you down.

I let her down, and for a while wasn’t able to support her.  I regret that, but I had to share it because too often we think there will always be that one person who won’t let you down.

Having them let you down could be devastating.

Fortunately, she was able to continue to do what she needed to do without my support (yes, it is hard to write that).

I’ve had similar experiences with JibberJobber.  I was counseled to not do it.  I was counseled to not invest my retirement/savings into the business to finance it.  I was counseled to get a real (traditional) job.

I know many successful people have faced adversity that we almost can’t imagine.  It might be getting disowned.  It might be lost friendships.  It might not turn out well, and result in bankruptcy or loss of something valuable.

Adversity happens.  You have already faced it.  You will face it again, probably every single day.

Here are two things I’ve learned by watching my wife work through the adversity she faces:

  1. Just do it. Even if you don’t have the support, go to that next network meeting.  Take the class.  Start the business.  Lift up the paint brush.  Write that sentence.  Try it out.  JUST DO IT.  Even if you don’t have supporters, or cheerleaders, just do it.
  2. Don’t tell friends and family.  I love this concept… I think my wife picked it up from a workshop she went to.  The speaker said it is hard for family and friends to imagine us doing ____ or being _____.   They think of us as _____… why would we ever try something different?  Telling family and friends is an almost sure way to get a lot more reasons why you shouldn’t do what you want to, or need to do.

I’m ashamed I could not be as supportive of my wife as she has always been of me, and my ambitions.  I had to go through something – not sure what it was.  I hate that I was the perhaps the worst adversity she had to face.

You too will face adversity.  The source of adversity might shock you.  But work through it.  The people who work through it are the people we have heard of – they are the Lincolns, the Fords, the Trumps, the ______.

Those who let adversity own them… well, we really haven’t heard of them, have we?