overcoming adversity

Instilling the Qualities in Overcoming Adversity

In the darkness surrounding Mount Everest, Beck Weathers was left for dead. Attempting to summit the world’s highest mountain, he was struck with snow blindness. The sun’s UV rays in the thinned air had burnt his cornea. It was May 10, 1996. He was part of an expedition working its way down the mountain when a fast moving and ferocious storm swept up from the valley. It produced hurricane force winds and the temperature dropped to a hundred below zero. The climbers were trapped in a perilous situation.

Out of bottled oxygen, exhausted, and freezing, Weathers’ condition was deteriorating quickly. Making it worse, he had gotten separated from everyone. He sat there waiting. No one was coming for him. He didn’t feel any more pain. The easy thing for him to do would be to drift off to sleep and die.

Suddenly he had a vision. He could see his family in front of him. Coming to his senses he mustered all of the energy he could and started walking. He decided that he was either going to reach the camp or fall off the side of the mountain. Driven by the love for his family, he staggered, stumbled, and fell…but eventually got there.

Life is filled with adversity. These 7 characteristics are commonly found in people that have overcome tremendous adversity. It is important to instill these in our children to prepare them to triumph when trouble rears its head.

A Powerful Inner Drive.

I don’t know if this can actually be instilled, but rather found. This comes from passion. Everyone has something that lights their fire. Help your kids find what gets them excited and encourage those desires.

Faith and Hope.

Model a spirit of optimism and confidence in their future. They are going to do what you do. Teach them the beauty of things not coming easily and the opportunity that comes in challenging times. Praise them when they overcome difficulty no matter how small.

Ability to Visualize the Goal.

Teach them to keep their eyes on the prize. They need to learn how to picture the end goal. This takes a level of focus and creativity. Help develop those skills in your child.

Resilience and Tolerance of Pain.

Endurance for pain is built through experience. Don’t shield them from life’s difficulties. Instead, help them respond well when difficulties come.

Lack of Self Pity.

Having self-pity will make it difficult for them to accept the situation and move forward. Balance the amount of attention you give when they experience pain. Choose times where you back off and let them work through the situation. Pay close attention to when they are overly dramatic and give them proper perspective like Rocky does in the video below.


Teach them how to delay their gratification. Gauge their present ability with the marshmallow test. Make them earn money by doing chores. Give your kids daily responsibilities to manage.


Teach them to keep their promises and hold them accountable when they don’t. Help them weigh through the consequences when they are contemplating quitting.

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Sound off: Who’s your role model when it comes to overcoming adversity?

BJ Foster

BJ Foster is the Director of Content Creation for All Pro Dad and a married father of two.

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Huddle up with your kid and ask: “What is something difficult that you have had to deal with?”

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