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Turn Adversity Into Advantage.


THERE is nothing worse than going through a difficult time in your life and feeling like it was a complete waste of effort. Adversity has a way of defeating us and making us feel used up. But somewhere inside, we want to be able to make sense of our difficulties. We want to make them count for something positive, that all the pain we endured wasn't for nothing.

I used to think adversity was something I had to suffer through to experience happiness. I avoided adversity, for the most part, hoping it wouldn't come. But it did. It came with a force. Ten years of mental and emotional abuse in my childhood left me feeling defeated and broken as a young adult. I wasn't sure how to deal with it. I was often angry, defensive, and in survival mode most of the time. Along my journey, I realised something important. If I could find a way to change the way I saw those 10 years of pain and defeat, then the pain and defeat itself would change.

I found a new way. Sometimes, another perspective is all it takes to give you fresh eyes on your obstacles. Instead of my childhood being something I had to get through, I saw it as a necessary step for me to become the person I am today.

As you work through a difficult time in your life, keep in mind these four mind shifts that will assist you in turning your adversity into advantage:

1. Adversity Is Temporary

Our difficulties have an expiration date. We may not be able to predict when it will be over, but know that it will come to an end. Adversity is not meant to last forever. The sun will come out again to shine in your direction. Remember that.

Even people with long-lasting physical illnesses can help alleviate their pain by making a choice to see the positive in everything, even the pain. When you welcome your temporary difficulties in, they immediately get smaller and more manageable. You get clearer on what action to take next.

2. Adversity Is an Anchor

Going through difficulties humble us. It makes us assess what is important and chart a new course for our life. My negative childhood experiences were like an anchor weighing me down. Until I made sense of my memories and reframed them into something positive, they would forever hold me back.

3. Adversity Is Your Greatest Teacher

If you allow it, adversity can teach you what you need to learn to be the best version of yourself.

4. Adversity Reveals the Good

Author Napoleon Hill stated in the classic book Think and Grow Rich,"Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it a seed of equivalent benefit." The more you are willing to seek a solution, to find the benefit in your obstacle, the more you will find what's good in it.

An easy way to find the good is to practice gratitude. What are you grateful for in your life right now? I find five things I am grateful for first thing every morning. That helps me find more people and things to be grateful for throughout my day.

If you are ready to turn adversity on its head, remember that what you are going through right now is temporary and has an expiration date. Your difficulties are your anchor to charting a new course in your life full of promise and purpose. Adversity is your greatest teacher working for you, and the more you can see the benefit that results from it, the more positive and good you will find in it.

What better way to reach the next level of your life than to turn your adversity into your advantage? Start now!

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Dec 28, 2015
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