2 min read | Positive Psychology

How Is Adversity and Personal Growth Linked?

Matthew Buckley

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Adversity is something that we’re guaranteed to encounter periodically; and there’s no getting around that. We’re all prone to encountering various challenges, stresses, and frustrations; and we shouldn’t pretend this isn’t the case because what’s most important is how we react when we encounter these situations.

As tempting as it can be to run away at the first sign of adversity, it’s better for you to get into the habit of tackling it head on because that’s better for your personal growth and development. Just because you may panic initially at the first sign of adversity, it doesn’t mean that you’re obligated to react that way. You have the power to choose to see adversity as a challenge and as an opportunity for growth rather than as a threat to your well-being. Allowing yourself to be taken out of your comfort zone is the best way for you to advance and further develop. Moments of adversity provide some of the best opportunities to learn through experience.

Although it’s tempting as it is to reach out to others to ‘rescue’ you from your adversity, you should push yourself to learn how to overcome these challenges on your own. That’s not to say that I’m suggesting that you never reach out for help, because you can’t be truly successful as a loner; but there are times where it’s better for your long-term development to figure out how to do things on your own and to not rely on others to ‘save’ you. In every moment of adversity there is a lesson to be learned.


Keep in mind that there is no need to fear failure, because we all lose sometimes. As much as you might covet the idea of perfection, the truth is that it’s better to try and ‘fail’ than it is to not try and all and stay ‘perfect’ because you didn’t ‘fail’. Not even trying guarantees you of failure. Remember, we don’t need to be perfect, we just need to be successful in the end. Moments of adversity aren’t the end of the story; they’re simply bumps in the road.

Overall, the world is less scary when you change your perception and begin to perceive adversity as an opportunity for growth and not as a threat to your well-being, and it’s amazing how much more you can accomplish under this mindset and perception. Even the most successful and confident people in the world have their moments of doubt and insecurity. Learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, because in order to grow and advance you need to be able to embrace discomfort and adversity. Instead of folding at the first sign of a ‘threat’; choose to persevere, to be resilient, and to continue to move forward as you tackle the challenges in your way.


Matthew Buckley is an Organisational Psychologist.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the State University of New York at Brockport in 2010, and received his master’s degree in Organisational Psychology with a concentration in Conflict Management from the University of New Haven in 2015. His main areas of interest include career counselling, conflict management, emotional intelligence, employee retention, leadership and management, morale and motivation, personnel selection and recruitment, and self-promotion.