A number of experiences in my life and challenges that I have gone through, from the outside in, seem completely justifiable for plenty of sympathy to be thrown in my direction. After all, I went through a lot and people should feel sorry for me that I had to go through so many ups and downs.
Why me? Why did I have to go through things that others didn’t have to? It’s not fair…
Sadly, this is the way I used to think. Turns out, it is complete BS. The truth is, it is what I have gone through that has shaped me into the person who I am today (which is, quite simply, much better than I used to be).
How To Cherish Adversity
I have learned to cherish adversity. Every adversity I have ever been through has made me a stronger individual. I heard someone at a conference say they pray for failure each day. Now I know exactly what that person meant. If I am living a proactive life, there is a 99% chance that I will fail at something today. That also means I will succeed at something as well. That’s the trade off.
I wrote a post about this called You Miss Every Shot You Don’t Take.
Many people (myself in the past tense included) like to avoid adversity like the plague. They say yes to their boss, their spouse, their children, their clients and whoever else who come into their path so as not to ripple the tide. There is a huge flaw in that line of thinking. If you spend your life avoiding adversity you have zero chance at growing and you will simply be stuck on stupid.
We Are The Byproduct Of Our Challenges
Adversity, challenges and turning weakness into strength goes back to the beginning of mankind. We simply wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the challenges we have gone through.
Over the past year I have gone through dozens of books and countless case studies throughout history of how to turn weakness into strength and challenges into opportunities. Some of the books were ones I had read before that I needed to tackle again with a new perspective, something I find happens every time you read a good piece of content more than once. In my opinion, the best of all the books was Malcolm Gladwell’s newest, David & Goliath.
David & Goliath is a book entirely dedicated to how people have used their weaknesses and disadvantages turned them into strengths and, conversely, how people have done the opposite and used their apparent strengths and turn them into weaknesses.
Over the next months I will be talking about many of these case studies however, for the purposes of keeping this post from reading like a novel, the post is simply an introduction to stimulate your thinking… and to give you a little assignment to help get you started.
5 Ways YOU Turned Weakness Into Strength
So, to get this series started, let’s put the focus on you for a moment… In case you haven’t noticed, the title to this post is 5 Ways You Turn Weakness Into Strength & Challenge Into Opportunity. So I have a small, quick assignment for you which will hopefully provide you with some clarity on how you have turned weakness into strength (possibly without even knowing it). It should also give you a little insight into the idea that growth occurs outside the comfort zone.
Make two columns on a sheet and write down the 5 most difficult things you have ever gone through, business or personal on the left hand side. Then, when you are done, on the right side, write down how each experience made you stronger.
When you are finished, read some of my weaknesses and how I have turned them into strengths. You can find 7 of them in a post I wrote called 7 Things I Suck At That Make Me Great.
After you finish reading the post, share one of the items on your list in the comments section below and let me know how it has made you a stronger person.