5 Ways to Respond to Adversity

I’ve written six SEVEN books on mental toughness and in NO FEAR: A Simple Guide to Mental Toughness, the concept of respond, don‘t react was a huge component of mental toughness.

NO FEAR is an acronym for Mental Toughness and strength. I often speak about mental toughness is simple, but it’s just not easy. 

I was caddying in a professional PGA Tour event and I caused my golfer a two-shot penalty. My golfer was the one who was able to respond to adversity and the situation and didn’t react.

Think of a reactor, and you get a vision of a nuclear power plant or a chemical bond. A reactor is someone who can’t keep his or her cool under pressure. Picture a responder on the other hand, and you get a first responder, someone who has been trained to handle adversity.

We need to be a responder, not a reactor.

When we respond to setbacks, it is devoid of emotion and we usually make good decisions. However, when we react, it is full of emotion and many careers and mistakes have occurred due to a bad reaction.

Adversity is sneaky, it shows up when we are most vulnerable. Just remember that life isn’t fair and you don’t need it to be in order to overcome!

Use these five tactics to respond to adversity. 

1. Breathe and Remain Calm. 
2. Walk Away.
3. Make a Play. 
4. Use a Time-Out.
5. Slow Down!
  1. Breathe and remain calm– Nothing good is achieved when we overreact or panic. Choking in sport means thinking too much, but panic is not thinking at all. 
  2. Walk Away- Do not make any immediate replies to email or texts or posts when upset or angry. 
  3. Make a Play- Channel your frustration into the next play. USE that energy! 
  4. Use a Time-Out- Allow yourself some time to ease the frustration, and re-focus on the solution, become a problem solver. This is the best way to slow down.
  5. Slow Down- Everything appears to speed up after a mistake. When under pressure, be sure to walk slowly, talk slowly, and eat slowly

These are the five ways you can respond to adversity and not react. Here is an amazing infographic! 

My ultimate mental toughness strength is not in this skill.

In fact, I write about it extensively, because I’m poor at it and strive to improve upon it all the time. 

5 ways to respond to adversity



dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens.