Photo by Joe Beck on Unsplash

I was recently watching football and Coach Bill Cowher, the former Super Bowl Winning coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, said:

“Adversity does NOT build character, it reveals your character.”

Bill Cowher – Super Bowl Winning Coach

Do you agree with this quote from Coach Cohwer?

Adversity is defined as “a state or instance of serious or continued difficulty or misfortune.”

Character is defined as “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.”

Athletes often face adversity in the sports they play and must learn to work with their teammates to win games.

You will personally face adversity many times in your own life.

“Adversity typically comes within the chaotic energy of change.”

Stephen Lesavich, PhD

You can face adversity in both the chaotic energy of unwanted, involuntary change and wanting to make voluntary changes in your life.

Unwanted change, includes a breakup, divorce, death, loss of a job, accident, injury, illness, chronic medical condition, change in a living situation, etc., that have caused change to enter your life on an involuntary basis.

Wanted change, includes a new relationship, marriage, birth, new job, new diet, new exercise regime, new living situation, new apartment, home, etc., that you have caused change to enter your life on a voluntary basis.

 I wrote an e-book on successfully handling any type of change that is occurring in your life you can download for free.  I also wrote a blog post and did a podcast about successfully breaking old patterns to voluntary initiating change into your life.


PODCAST: Does Adversity Reveal Character?


What does the adversity you face in your own life reveal about your own character?

How can you express positive personal character when you are facing adversity?

  1. Define your mental qualities.  Your mental qualities include your feelings, emotions and your emotional triggers. Emotions are defined as “bodily reactions that are activated through neurotransmitters and hormones released by the brain.” Feelings are defined as “a conscious experience or conscious state of emotional reactions.” When you are faced with a person, situation or event in your life, you create one or more emotions, based on your current attitudes, beliefs and physical perceptions. The emotions that you create are a complex experience of behavior, subconsciousness and physical sensations you receive from your 5 senses of the sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. Feelings form when your brain assigns a meaning to the emotional experience that you are having and integrates and acts upon emotional data it is receiving into a conscious thought. An emotional trigger “is anything including memories, experiences, or events that sparks an intense emotional reaction, regardless of your current mood.” Emotional triggers include thoughts, feelings, events, people, opinions, situations, or environmental situations such as sights, smells or sounds that invoke such an intense emotional response in you.
  2. Define your moral qualities.  Your moral qualities include your boundaries and your comfort zone.  Your boundaries include a set of beliefs which include rules and principles you live by, including what you will, or will not, say, do or allow others to say or do to you. Boundaries allow you to separate what you think, do and feel and separate who you are, from the thoughts, actions and feelings of others. Your personal boundaries include your own individual internal and external physical, emotional, psychological, sexual and spiritual boundaries. Your personal boundaries are actually a set of behavioral constructs that define and predict how you will react to every situation you encounter in your daily life. Your comfort zone is a major boundary inside of which you feel safe, secure, at ease, in control, without stress and where all things are familiar. 
  3. Face adversity with responsibility, confidence and empowerment. Your personal character while experiencing adversity depends on you being responsible, confident and empowered within your own mental and moral qualities.  Being responsible in your own life depends on your state of responsibility.  A positive state of responsibility includes being answerable or accountable for something and having authority, control and courage over your decisions. In contrast, negative state of responsibility includes blaming others, being a victim, being at fault, culpable or the primary cause of something without admitting it.  Which state of responsibility governs your life?  Your state of responsibility is a reflection of your current emotional state, your current set of boundaries and your current set of beliefs.  Confidence is a belief in oneself, the conviction that one has the ability to meet life’s challenges and to succeed—and the willingness to act accordingly. Being confident requires a realistic sense of one’s capabilities and feeling secure in that knowledge.  A big component of confidence is being empowered. Being empowered is being in direct control of your own life, setting intentions, living from an active, pro-active state and making decisions based on positive emotions for what you want to achieve and then being responsible for the outcomes of your decisions.

Facing adversity with an understanding of your own personal character will allow you to make a positive impact in your own life.

Out There on the Edge of Everything®…

Stephen Lesavich, PhD

Copyright © 2022, by Stephen Lesavich, PhD.  All rights reserved.

Certified solution-focused life coach and experienced business coach.

 191 total views,  3 views today