The path to agency prosperity is laden with obstacles. Use your challenges as stepping stones to success.  -  IMAGE: Getty Images

The path to agency prosperity is laden with obstacles. Use your challenges as stepping stones to success.

IMAGE: Getty Images

Every person will struggle with hard times and adversity at some point in their life. Agents are no exception. You can develop the best strategies and work your hardest, but things still may not go the way you planned. When adversity comes, we have two choices: Accept it as failure or pause to adjust your plans and move forward. Imagine you are training for a marathon. That training requires a strict schedule that includes long runs with hills to help build your stamina. While the hills are difficult, they are a necessary part of training to ensure you can finish the marathon successfully.

Adversity may seem like a setback, but it can actually be an opportunity to gain wisdom and understanding. Just as running hills helps you get stronger to complete the race, adversity gives each of us a chance to become stronger and achieve our goals.

Focus on the Positive

One of the best things you can do when facing adversity is to focus on the positive. Look for the positive potential that could come from your situation and find the opportunities.

Rather than focusing on how hard the situation is, look for the benefits that allow you to adjust your plans and gain the success you desire. Problems often provide a necessary shift in perspective that ultimately improves your plan.

Take Inventory

Adversity is the best teacher, giving us the opportunity to take inventory of our strengths and weaknesses, while also shedding light on characteristics we may not have known needed improvement. Adversity helps to develop a stronger willpower, giving you more self-discipline and confidence. Going through setbacks can have a refining impact and deepen our ability to have compassion for others.

Adversity can also humble us. Success without humility only provides temporary satisfaction, compared to the deep fulfillment of being humbled by adversity and still achieving your goals. Finishing a marathon wouldn’t feel nearly as good without putting in the blood, sweat, and tears of training to get there.

Don’t Give Up

For many of us, difficulties can appear to be a sign that we should quit or give up on our goals. This is only true if you choose to believe it.

Every highly successful person has been met with a level of adversity comparable to their level of success. We often can’t control the challenges we face, but we can always be in control of how we react. Giving up and seeing adversity as defeat may be our first instinct, but viewing it as an opportunity and a stepping stone in your success will ultimately make you stronger.

Every agent experiences adversity at some point. Learn to welcome it as a way to push yourself higher. Just as training for a marathon allows you to succeed in your race, choosing to see the benefit of adversity allows you to achieve a greater level of success.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Ibarra is a managing director for Portfolio, a leading provider of reinsurance and F&I programs, and a nationally recognized leadership consultant, entrepreneur, speaker, and author.