The Unsung Gifts of Adversity

No one wishes to have had a difficult or painful childhood. Such adversity scars people for life. Yet if you
grew up living with domestic violence, you were forced to develop skills, awareness and abilities that
can set you up for immense success now and into your future.

I call these the “unsung gifts of adversity,” and here I want to explore how growing up with domestic
violence can also make you incredibly resilient and strong. It can even set you up for immense success.

So while post-traumatic stress has become a familiar term, I want to talk about post-traumatic growth
and the unsung gifts of adversity, because trauma can become the engine of transformation.

In fact, according to Professor Stephen Joseph, growing up living with domestic violence really can have
a silver lining. “Adversity, like the grit that creates the oyster, is often what propels people to become
more true to themselves, to take on new challenges, and view life from a wider perspective,” he says.

In other words, those who suffer change the world.

If you consider those leaders, inspirational heavyweights, athletes and artists who create the most
impact, you’ll notice that nearly all of them have stories of trauma, challenge and pain that they
endured in their past. Their anguish propelled them forward and inspired them to create something
meaningful out of their pain.

Those who always had it easy often take it easy.

Too often, however, those who grew up with domestic violence believe the lie that they are forever
doomed to feel unworthy, unloved, angry and helpless. They think that their past will continue to
sabotage their desires for the future – that they have been ill prepared for the life they want to live.

What if the truth was this: that growing up with domestic violence actually fuels your ability to succeed? What if it truly can be your engine for massive transformation?

I want to let this idea sit with you, and I invite your insights. Please share in the comments below what
kind of gifts or growth you have discovered, that came from your childhood experiences with domestic

Thanks for sharing.


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