Your greatest challenge is also your greatest opportunity

A surfer prepares to surf a large wave

Ten years ago the challenges you face today would probably not have arisen for you: you were likely in a different role and you probably didn’t have the skills or experience to be able to do what you can do today.

In the same way, situations you found challenging then are probably routine for you now.

This means that

the abilities you have today are a direct result of the challenges you faced in the past.


what seems like your greatest challenge today is actually your greatest opportunity to learn and grow.

The biggest wave is the most difficult to surf. It is also the most exciting.

And even if you’re not quite ready to surf it fully today, that’s still OK. We’ve seen that in any situation there are always five types of outcome you might choose to create and five ways you might choose to learn and grow. This gives you ten different alternatives for how you might choose to move forward, and potentially with several options for each. And you get to choose which option you preferYou get to choose which way forward is the best opportunity for you today.

Realising that your greatest challenge actually brings you your greatest opportunity to become who you most want to become is yet another step to becoming antifragile.

Can you think of a problem or crisis in the past that taught you something or which helped you to grow? Are you treating the ‘problems’ you face today as opportunities to learn and grow again, to become who you most want to become?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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(And remember: you can’t learn to swim just by reading about swimming, you also need to do the practice.)

Photo By Mike Sutherland via

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