What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

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In yesterday’s post, we examined the concept of change and why we often find it so scary. One of the points I hit upon was that there are actually a number of benefits that can come from periods of transition. The same can be said for challenging times. Some of the greatest lessons can be learned from the obstacles life throws at you, and you will usually find that you grow as a person when the going gets tough. They say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Let’s examine some of the ways in which this can be true. 

Self-Reliance

It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

During times of struggle, you learn to rely on yourself and that; ultimately, you’re the one who has to change your current circumstances. Sometimes we need help, and that’s to be expected. Even on these occasions, it’s usually you who needs to determine whom to ask for assistance and to actually reach out to make contact. Challenge can be a catalyst toward learning to take the initiative to do what must be done in order to get back on your feet. 

Gratitude

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.”

– Henry Ward Beecher.

Challenges often take away something that we once relied on or cherished. A job loss, for example, can lower your income, crush your spirit and strip away your identity. Dealing with such losses can be devastating. It can also teach you what’s most important in life. You’ll see who your true friends are and come to appreciate the loved ones in your life. Material things you once enjoyed may no longer hold the value they once did, as you begin to focus on rebuilding or restructuring what you’ve lost. 

Self-Improvement

“Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement.”

Anthony J. D’Angelo

Let’s face it, sometimes bad things happen to us through our own doing. Even good people are human. We have flaws and make mistakes. Perhaps your job loss occurred because you missed deadlines or failed to keep up with key skills. Now you understand the importance of these things and will likely work to avoid such an error in the future. It can be an incredibly humbling experience to have to face our own faults, but it’s one that usually leads us to be better in some way. 

Attitude

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.

Brian Tracy

It’s natural to experience anger, pessimism, resentment or any other host of negative emotions when things go wrong. You’re not expected to be happy about tragedy, setbacks or problems. However, getting stuck in despair will never move you toward a solution. If you want to improve your situation, it’s absolutely imperative that you develop a positive attitude. It doesn’t matter if that attitude is one of determination, optimism or sheer stubbornness doesn’t matter. As long as it’s used in a way to move you forward, you can count it as an asset. 

Challenges are unavoidable in life. How you deal with them is what’s important. By taking on the tough times, you’ll gain a lot more than you ever expected and truly will become stronger.

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