Make Adversity Work in Your Favor
In a perfect world, it would be nice to avoid adversity altogether, but unfortunately, everybody has to face unfavorable circumstances at some point. However, dwelling on adversity only leads to dismay, and focusing on the potential positive outcomes in any situation is much more likely to work in your favor.
Positive Thinking Makes Adversity Work for You
Walking home on a dark and icy winter evening in the semi-frozen rain isn't typically an image that stirs up excitement. I remember one such evening long ago and grumbling about the situation to a friend before walking out the front door into the cold. That's when his older sister turned to me and said, "Think about how good it'll feel to get back home, have a warm drink, and get into a hot bath."
As a young boy, this enlightening point of view fascinated me. What she said made perfect sense and opened my eyes to the concept of making adversity work in my favor.
If you've spent any time working on self-help, you will no doubt be familiar with the benefits of positive thinking. When you say to yourself, "I don't want to get cold and wet," your mind has to generate an image of being cold and wet. Whether this is something you want or don't want doesn't matter, the internal picture is the same, producing feelings of gloom and discomfort. If you tell yourself, "I'm looking forward to being snug and warm," you can create internal feelings of those things instead, encouraging a promising and more favorable result that will leave you happy.
The Benefits of Facing Adversity
By learning to use adversity to your advantage, in addition to developing an optimistic outlook on life, you can build and strengthen several other beneficial qualities. I've found these include:
- Resilience: Dealing with setbacks from a positive point of view develops the ability to adapt, overcome, and keep going. It helps you cope better, recover quickly, and prepare for future challenges.
- Personal growth: Looking at problems from a new perspective forces you to examine your beliefs, values, and behavior. Doing so increases self-awareness and brings a deeper understanding of what you consider important.
- Compassion: When you experience hardships, it becomes easier to relate to the challenges of others. Consequently, you become more understanding and supportive of those around you.
- Creativity: As the saying goes, "Necessity is the mother of invention." Confronting challenges motivates you to think of solutions, leading to new ideas, inventions, and innovations.
- Gratitude: When you overcome difficulties, you can't help but feel positive and thankful that you came out on top.
Take Advantage of Adversity
It may be hard to see at the time, but adversity is often the perfect chance to appreciate the good things in life. In the words of the Irish poet Oscar Wilde, "When it rains, look for rainbows; when it's dark, look for stars."1
So whenever the going gets tough, rather than worrying about how to avoid it, try to find ways to be grateful for the opportunities it presents. Look for hidden inspiration, take advantage of the situation, and learn from the experience.
- Wilde, O. (n.d.). When it rains, look for rainbows; when it’s dark, look for stars. . . Quotespedia.org. Retrieved March 17, 2023, from https://www.quotespedia.org/authors/o/oscar-wilde/when-it-rains-look-for-rainbows-when-its-dark-look-for-stars-oscar-wilde/
Brocklebank, M. (2023, March 20). Make Adversity Work in Your Favor, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 2 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingablissfullife/2023/3/make-adversity-work-in-your-favor