Leveraging Adversity

Click here to edit subtitle


The Science Of Turning Setbacks Into Springboards

“A useful, well-researched addition to the self-help genre.”
Kirkus Reviews

What if the obstacles in your way are EXACTLY what you need to reach your goals? What if you can learn to use obstacles to push forward, instead of being held back?

And yet too often we rush to put our difficulties behind us, thinking this allows us to get on with our lives and marks us as resilient. What if the best way forward is not to skip to the end but to struggle for as long as necessary?

Reading Leverage will teach you how to:

*Use adversity to cultivate your unique and creative strengths.
*Uncover new, and previously overlooked opportunities hidden in every setback.
*Learn how to find gratitude in unexpected places and use it to overcome life's challenges.
*Develop deeper and more meaningful relationships.
*Use setbacks to clarify and direct beliefs toward a more authentic and meaningful life.
*Develop a growth mindset that welcomes and uses adversity to ignite growth.

Licensed marriage and family therapist Claire Nana, LMFT, is passionate about the remarkable concept of posttraumatic growth. Having endured the murder of her father and incarceration of her mother, she learned firsthand how battling adversity head-on forces you to look for joy in unexpected places and uncover strengths you weren’t aware you had. By paying attention to the journey, for better or worse, rather than focusing solely on the finish line, you open yourself to opportunities and discover personal depths you would’ve otherwise missed.

Cultivating happiness is a process. Reading Leverage will remind you that sometimes the long way produces the most lasting results—and that you can only reach tomorrow’s triumph by being present for today’s trouble.



“Setbacks are part of life, but rather than admit defeat there is an alternative. Claire Dorotik-Nana draws on the work of the leading positive psychologists and business leaders to show us how to meet setbacks with the new mindset of growth following adversity. Entertaining, stimulating and packed with advice and stories of those who have overcome adversity this book promises help to anyone experiencing challenges in their life.”  

Stephen Joseph, PhD, author of What Doesn’t Kill Us: The New Psychology of Posttraumatic Growth

"In Leverage, Dorotik-Nana provides a concise, alternate view of adversity, one in which our various problems lay before us a path toward growth. Unlike self-help books that offer an overly Pollyannaish picture of life and the issues that might be faced, Dorotik-Nana instead acknowledges the entirety of the struggle, giving the reader a clear idea of how even the most difficult aspects of a trauma can occur concurrently with positive signs of growth. Indeed, our attempts to dampen or even avoid these very aspects may hinder forward progression." 

Krista Schnee, Pacific Book Review 


“The book is well written, concise and appeals to a very wide audience. Claire backs up her words frequently with citations and is very meticulous in explaining how to accomplish the springboard theory. As a psychotherapist, my encounters with clients trying to avoid feeling pain at any cost is common. The book really does a good job of highlighting that adversity can be a positive thing and in so doing reframe pain to be a building block for creating or reinventing various parts of a person’s life. Often, if the discomfort in the adversity is avoided, one can very easily miss the very best opportunities for growth. I will definitely recommend this book to my clients.”

Marsha Evans, MSW


“When overcoming mammoth tasks like world-running, what stands out afterwards isn't completing in itself – but the hundreds of times one falls and gets back up again. It is these setbacks which are the richest 'ore' to be mined for future progress and personal growth. Reading LEVERAGE will not just make you a little wiser about how to adapt each time, but will teach you the most important preparation of all – and that is inner preparation. This book excellently teaches how to become a master of turning setbacks into growth!”

Jesper Kenn Olsen, author, A Runner’s Guide To The Planet, and finisher of two recorded “World Runs”


“The book provides the reader with access to multiple scientific / research summaries, and personal stories, to clearly demonstrate how "well known" people use sometimes unimaginable, real life adversities to make powerful positive changes in their lives which in turn, in many cases, changes the lives of others.”  

Dr. Sal Arria, co-founder International Sport Science Association


“A useful, well-researched addition to the self-help genre.”

 Kirkus Reviews

Full review:



“Setbacks can ignite the desire for connection—to reach out, help others, and give back—all of which helps us heal. As for the 'how to use it' part - that's the point of Leverage, highly recommended for self-help and psychology readers interested in the processes of change.”

Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Reviews


"Dorotik-Nana's book offers research, theory, powerful examples, and practical advice for turning adversity into growth.  Working with adults in jails and prison, I see every day the power of humans turning adversity into growth.  It is my hope that Dorotik-Nana's words can bring this power to more people."

Kevin Pajanauski, Correctional Educator

"The paradox Leverage presents is fascinatingly true. In this well researched book, author Dorotik-Nana shows just how to learn to analyze failure, grief, and mistakes in a way that teaches how to adapt, improvise and overcome. Leverage shows us how ordinary people can become champions."

Tony Mangan, World Record Holder -- 48 Hour Indoor Track, 3rd Ratified World Runner


"With a clear view of where she has been and is now, Claire Dorotik-Nana shares the fulcrum in the lever of adversity: a balance of gratitude, vulnerability [to adapt& empathize], connection, and faith. She includes citations and resources, and with great courage and clarity, plows new ground in the lesson adversity can teach us."

Pam Salem, Owner Equine Assisted Assets

"How do I avoid, by-pass, skip, outwit or completely circumvent the emotional turmoil associated with adversity? It’s a goal most of us have at some conscious level when we confront great challenge—we just want it to be over. Even when we know deep inside the trials we endure may lead to growth, it can be hard to adopt this perspective. Enter Claire Nana’s book Leverage: The Science of Turning Setbacks into Springboards. Claire gives you far more than the outcome of the scientific research about the growth you can experience from a challenge (although you’ll be fascinated by the science). She provides a roadmap to navigate challenges in a way that eases your pain and allows you be present in the experience of “overcoming”. Claire teaches us that resilience is a skill which can be fine-tuned and adopted no matter what our circumstance. If I had ten thumbs, I’d put them all up! Get this book, read it, savor it."

Renee Jain, Chief Storyteller, GoZen.com