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Imagine this:

You are a 14 year old girl, the middle child, with an athletic older sister and a clownish, popular younger brother. You are shy, smart and quiet in public situations. Your friends know the fun side of you, but it takes you some time before you open up.

Over the past year, in 8th grade, you worked very hard to become a pretty darn good volleyball player. Volleyball becomes your sport and you want to make the freshman high school volleyball team. Just before school starts, you try out and make the ‘A’ team for freshman girls. You are flying high! Your first high school game will be in a week and you can’t wait.

Then, two days before high school starts, you’re playing a game of tag in the dark, run into one of your good friends (literally), and break your nose.

How are you feeling? Never mind the physical pain, how devastated are you? You’ve worked hard, achieved your goal, ready to move into the next phase of your life and BAM, everything changes. Not only can you not play, you’re face is swollen, bruised and tender. Two black eyes are forming. You have to start a new school with all these new people: new teachers, new kids, new challenges. Remember, you’re only 14 and these things define your next four years in your mind.

Can you imagine it?

That is the situation my daughter found herself in this week. She was playing Ghost in the Graveyard on the last hurrah before school started and she collided with her friend, broke her nose and had a huge goose egg bump on her forehead.

And she handled it beautifully. She went to volleyball practice the next day (no playing, but she did the conditioning), and this morning she headed off to her first day of high school.

Nervous? Of course. But genuinely smiling as she walked out the door, excited for the day ahead.

Do you handle your adversity as well?

Of course, I understand that your stakes are higher than my daughter’s. Your career, your financial situation, your dreams and goals are threatened by the adversities you face.

What do you do? How do you handle your adversity?

Do you throw a teenage tantrum? Do you crawl into bed and refuse to come out? Do you run away? Do you avoid it altogether? All understandable responses because it’s hard, it’s scary and it feels devastating.

OR, do you pick up yourself up, lean into the adversity and press on?

If you want to be a leader, that is exactly what you do.

You act like a 14 year old. At least this particular 14 year old, whose father is obviously feeling very proud.

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