Everybody encounters adversity and, as I’ve mentioned many times, stress is not completely the result of the adversities you face – it’s more about how you interpret and handle the situation. To demonstrate, I’d like to share a recent example from my own life.

Facing Adversity

I was about to board a plane today, heading for the Benefits Agencies’ conference in Nashville, where I would be the keynote speaker. Suddenly the airline notified me that my connecting flight into Nashville was cancelled because of the large snow storm.

This unforeseen adverse event is similar to unforeseen market free falls for advisors. As I’ve mentioned, the events that happen to us only represent about 10% of our stress. The other 90% comes from how we choose to deal with those events.

Reacting to Adversity

There were many ways that I could have reacted to this series of events. In this case, I chose to call the meeting planner and offer to do a webinar for the attendees, in lieu of my not appearing in person.

As an alternative, I could have worried and overanalyzed the situation. But what good would I have ever accomplished by worrying about not making the conference, how the meeting planner and attendees would feel “cheated,” and all the other inner dialogue that would have caused me stress?

The Moral of the Story

As advisors, there will always be adversity to deal with. How you choose to deal with adversity makes all the difference for your stress level. By choosing how you interpret the situation and react when you are dealing with adversity, you can lower your stress and also pave the way for better outcomes.