Your Disadvantage Is Actually a Valuable Asset
What is your disadvantage in life? Were you brought up poor? From a broken home? Did you suffer a serious illness or injury?
We all have an achilles heel in life, you see.
There are some areas in life where we come up short. That’s just how it is because we’re not all cookie cutter replicates of each other. The variety between us means that sometimes we have less than others.
Today, however, I’d like to suggestion something radical. Perhaps your disadvantage is actually the best thing that ever happened to you.
Let me explain from my perspective.
A personal story:
While I have been blessed in many ways, when I graduated high school I found myself at a disadvantage in my position in life.
See, I grew up with parents who were not the “coddling” type. My parents were of the belief that once I was out of high school, I was old enough to take care of myself.
So, while many of my friends received a lot of help from their parents after high school, this was not my reality. My parents were quick to push me out of the nest. My parents believed it was up to me to fly, not them.
Now, the VERY good news was that I could have an education. My parents valued education, so throughout my childhood they saved a nice chunk of money to help me attend the University of Michigan. Beyond that, though, I was on my own. If I needed money for things like groceries, clothes, furniture, textbooks or healthcare, I had to work for it.
For example, though they had the money and the credit to do so, they would not help me when I needed to purchase a car to get to work. At the very least, I needed a co-signer to purchase a reliable car, but they refused. Without any credit or financial assistance, I had to figure out how to buy a car just so I could keep a job. Obviously, this took some innovating on my part.
So by the age of 18 I was well-aware that my life was 100% my own responsibility. What had been saved for my education was a done deal and was a limited amount, and beyond that-it was up to me.
I wasn’t able to call home for help. I wasn’t able to lean on my parents to pick me up if I was short on bills or in a jam. Ultimately, I had to figure it out on my own.
A clear, comparative disadvantage:
Now, at the time, I considered this a HUGE disadvantage. While I was taking 18-21 credit semester hours and working nights and weekends as a server/bartender, my college friends got to take it a lot easier. They were able to join sororities/fraternities, go to the football games every weekend in the fall and take spring break vacations.
Their parents stocked their bank accounts with spending money for clothes and fun diversions. The vast majority of my college friends received cars to be driven around to class, cell phones to stay connected and they knew if they needed money all they had to do was ask.
As for me, it didn’t matter if I got sick or injured or if I had finals. I had to work long hours every week to make it to the finish line. Making things even more challenging, I had to graduate early to make the money my parents had saved for college stretch as much as possible. I wasn’t on the four-year plan, instead I graduated in 3.5.
Now, though I realize most people in the world aren’t blessed as I was to have the opportunity to receive such an education, at the time I didn’t see my situation as a blessing.
After all, I was competing at a prestigious university where most other kids either came from families with money or were on full-ride scholarships. I had to work twice as hard just to keep up. Getting through college, for me, was a real grind, and I felt quite alone in my situation.
Privately, I bemoaned my “first world problem.”
A blessing in disguise.
However, today, I see that disadvantage in college as one of the biggest blessings that has ever been bestowed upon me.
Since those years, there hasn’t been a day gone by in my life where I’ve questioned my ability to pay my bills, take care of myself or reach a goal I’ve set for myself. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that no matter what happens to me I will figure it out.
Even better, I’m not one to worry about playing it safe, not even a little bit. I knew that going to the University of Michigan wouldn’t be easy for me, but I learned that I could take a big risk and be successful.
My experience in college paved the way for me to take other risks that have tested my abilities. I don’t know if I would have had the courage to start my own business if I didn’t learn so young that I had what it took to make things happen in my life.
My parents, in the end, were right. It was the best time for me to learn how to fly on my own.
Related Article: The Key to Your Success Is in Your Fear
It was a difficult situation back then, but one that has helped me so dramatically in my life I wouldn’t give it back if you paid me big money to do so. This “disadvantage” turned out to be one of the strongest advantages of my life. It infused me with the most valuable asset a person can have: belief in myself.
This is just one of many tales.
In looking over my life, this is just one such story of how a disadvantage of mine was a blessing in disguise. If I’ve experienced this phenomenon time and time again in my life, I bet most everyone else has too.
So, if you are struggling, or if you feel the playing field just isn’t fair, hang in there. What you are working through right now is preparing you for something important in life. Someday you’ll look back and see how everything was really working out in your favor.
Your disadvantage may just be the best thing that ever happened to you. In fact, if I were a betting woman, I’d put my money on it.
Law of Attraction Educator
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My way of thinking as well: the obstacle is the way & I win or I learn.
This is soooooooooooo true!!! I love this. I have a similar situation that is not completely the same but I can totally agree. It can make you bitter or better. I am so proud of the person you are and I know you appreciate all that you have because you worked to make it happen for you! Thank you for sharing! A very humbling story that isn’t “woah is me”! XO
Exactly Ricardo, good philosophy!
I am proud of you too Bobby. Thanks for your kind words!