Overcoming Adversity

By Darrion M. Willis, M.Ed.

Bane vs. Batman

At some point in our lives we experience a tragic loss, a hardship, and some sort of defeat. My mom has always told me “It’s not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get up and fight back.”

Adversity is a part of life and it’s inevitable. But we need to know how to deal with it when it comes our way. One of my favorite superheroes is Batman. He is someone we all can relate to. He lost his parents at a young age and had to grow into becoming Batman in response to his adversity.

Growing up, Batman went through a lot of behavioral changes (depression, bereavement, etc…) and like most of us, it affected how we interacted with people.

Here are a few tips on overcoming adversity.

Build strength

When we are faced with something bad in our lives we tend to shy away from the problem and become weak. We need to build internal emotional strength and courage in order to learn from our losses and deal with them correctly. We need to be mentally prepared to take on adversity. For me faith has always paved the way in knowing that everything will be alright. Meditation is good for building the emotional strength you need.

Rounding up the troops: Your family

Once we’ve developed our internal strength, our family and friends are who we should surround ourselves around. They play a big role in getting you back to your normal self. The will support and provide you encouragement to help ease the pain. At the end of the day, your family will be there when no one else will. Also, other support systems like your teachers, pastors and religious leaders are helpful as well.

Engage in new activities

One activity to help me relieve stress and negative vibes is exercising. Some people like taking long walks on a beautiful spring day or simply like to write about their situations. Find your niche and run with it. You may surprise yourself how therapeutic the smallest activities can be.

Learn from others past mistakes and failures

Helen Keller: Lost her sight and hearing around one years old. Over time she overcame her tragedies and became a strong intellectual who advocated for women’s rights.

J.K. Rowling: Grew up poor, she was a single mother trying to make the best of her life. She started writing and her first Harry Potter book was turned down by every published company except Bloomsbury publishing. The rest is history.

There are many stories of people overcoming their challenges everyday and I believe you can do the same. Even on Facebook I read about people conquering their problems everyday (Humans of New York).



By any means keep pushing. As hard as life will be we must not give in and quit. The strongest people I know never knew how strong they were until being strong was all they had to be. Don’t let your current situation determine your future. When you know better you do better. Overcoming adversity will make you stronger and help you help others who were once in your shoes.

“Both Bane and Batman have intimate bonds with the darkness, both have suffered, both have felt the kiss of pain and yet one of them made the choice to rise above it, to transform it and use it to serve and help the world while the other uses it to harm, injure and kill….” -Raymont Anderson, Washington Examiner

Turn your darkness into a light of hope for you and others. We walk among many “superheroes” everyday. And the world will improve if we all develop “superpowers” to overcome adversity and live a prosperous life.