The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. –Ernest Hemingway
If I had breezed through my life with no adversity, I would be a very different person today. The first 25 years of my life were mostly carefree, idyllic even, and they made me think that life would always be easy. As I moved into my 30s, with marriage, kids….and then some real grown-up problems, I realized that there were difficult times ahead and I would have to learn to cope and adapt. Although it wasn’t easy during those times, sometimes the hard times seemed unbearably hard, I came through it with some things I didn’t even recognize until quite a while later. I came through with much greater humility, more compassion, a great deal more empathy and yeah, some wisdom. These were things I hadn’t had enough of before.
While you’re going through it, the struggle is REAL! So real and so hard…but once you’re through it, most of the time, the struggle is worth it. Why? Here are some of my favorite reasons.
You become mentally stronger
Struggling can make you stronger. When people have had an easy life, they tend to be mentally soft. However, those who have faced struggles have had the opportunity to build mental toughness.
You learn a lot about yourself
When life is easy, you have a natural tendency to breeze through it. Any struggle can be a real test of your will, resourcefulness, and perseverance. Through this process you learn how you handle hard times and the stuff you’re made of.
You can learn to carry on
For many people, hardships in their lives that last too long will cause them to give up. The good thing about hanging in there is that these challenges we all go through are designed to build up our strength and determination to keep going.
You learn the value of humility
It’s only when we are faced with a situation that’s out of our control, that we truly realize where we fit into the grand scheme of things. Helplessness forces us to reconsider our pride and lay ourselves bare to the unknown. It can be a slap in the face of our reality, and a necessary one at that. Because it is only through humility that we learn to let go and surrender, which carries the greatest powers of all.
Your self-confidence increases
Effectively dealing with struggles can make you feel like you can conquer the world. You feel confident and powerful. You gain self-confidence by dealing with adversity.
You learn that life’s other challenges are not so bad
When people don’t have trouble in their lives, they tend to be overly stressed by small, sometimes insignificant things. Those that have lived with adversity are more likely to take things in stride. A little struggle now and then can remind you to be grateful and see that your life isn’t so rough after all.
You learn the value of experience
Difficult times bring an understanding that life experience is of great value. Knowledge, skills, and experience are powerful and the longer you live, the more of them you have. Draw on these things to be better in everything you do. Listen more than you speak. Think before you make decisions. Lead with empathy and compassion. Let your lessons learned be your guide.
You learn to be grateful
We all have a tendency to look at what is lacking in our lives, but when hard times come, it forces us to look at our stored up resources and endurance to get us through. Through this process, you learn to appreciate yourself more and to count your blessings…because things can’t be good all the time. The hard times make the good times even better. Learning to practice gratitude can change your outlook on everything you do for the rest of your life.