Turning Your Disadvantages Into Advantages

Part V in the series Resilience – What Is It and Why Do You Need To Get Yourself Some?

Have you ever noticed how easily your flaws and weaknesses come to mind when you’re not feeling so good?

Then, while you are busy berating yourself for being too this, too that, not enough this or not enough of that, your energy levels sink even lower and any energy you might have left to resist the overwhelming wave of negative emotions is almost completely depleted.


At this point, you might go one of two ways.  You might keep putting any and all energy reserves into resistance or you might give up and resign yourself to the fact that you just aren’t good enough.  Either way, your focus is on your negative thoughts, and while you are thinking negative thoughts, you are going to be feeling negative things.

A thought always precedes a feeling, whether it is positive or negative, so it makes sense that if you want to feel positive, you need to have positive thoughts.  Lots of therapists and personal development facilitators encourage their clients to develop an attitude of gratitude by actively seeking out positive things about themselves and their lives, but what if there was another way to move beyond your feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt?

I once heard that the author Stephen King considered going to a therapist to work through his issues and learn how to conquer his demons, but then it occurred to him that rather than pay someone to listen to him, he could write about his “stuff” and get lots of people to pay him.  Talk about turning your disadvantages in to your advantages.

stephen king

When Bob Ansett opened Budget Rent-a-Car outlets in airports, Avis had 70% of the market while Budget was sharing the remaining 30% with 40 other companies.  In order to build their client base they decided to highlight their lack of clients and turn their disadvantage into an advantage by pointing out how much shorter their waiting queues were.  That took them from obscurity to one of the top twelve most recognisable brands in Australia at the time.


I could tell you so many stories of how people have taken what they considered to be negatives and turned them into positives.  I am a great believer that we experience things for a reason and that reason is so that we can help others in similar situations.  I think it gives great purpose to our lives, and purpose gives our lives meaning.

I wonder how you could turn what you believe to be your disadvantages into advantages?

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