5 Reasons Going Through Hard Times Makes you Stronger

What makes us strong?  If we are honest with ourselves, we all know it’s not the good times.  Our challenges are our greatest teachers.  When we accept this, it is easier to recognize that going through hard times makes you stronger.

I believe that everything in this life comes down to balance.  Where there is good there is bad, darkness/light etc.  This is simple.  We cannot see the good without the bad.  Our happy moments are only enjoyed because of the ability to recognize them as happy.  In other words going through hard times makes you stronger because it is part of the balancing act that is life.

Don’t Let the Silver Linings Detract from the Lessons

Many of us are taught gratitude through the ‘there’s always someone worse off than you’ mentality.  The problem with this approach is it causes us to focus on the other persons situation.  Think about it.  How can you take the lessons of your own experiences if you are focusing on the experiences of others?

This diversion tactic creates a kind of resentment.  Being reminded of how bad everyone else has it leaves you feeling like you aren’t allowed to want better for yourself.   You feel guilt for having good things happen to you because you are so aware of the struggles of others.  You turn your attention away from your own experiences.  If, instead, we focus on our hardships and work through them, we can be grateful for the lesson instead of ‘grateful’ that is could have been worse.

We need to reframe the way we look at things.  If we understood that going through hard times makes you stronger, we could embrace the lessons.  And, we can acknowledge our own struggles and celebrate our own wins.  We wouldn’t feel bittersweet about our blessings.

It’s time to look our own hard times straight in the face and process what is happening in our lives, instead of using another’s experience as our lesson.  Your experiences are there to teach you a lesson, specifically designed for your needs.  Focus on that.

What Kinds of Lessons are We Being Taught?

Life has so much to teach us.  Lessons on patience, perseverance, boundaries, self-worth etc.  The list is endless.  What we need to do is look at our challenges and make sense of why we are facing them.  Having trouble getting through to your teens?  Maybe this is a boundary issue or a lesson in patience.  Struggling to speak up for yourself and getting frustrated?  Look closer, is this a lesson in self-worth?

Any kind of frustration that we experience has an underlying lesson.  Take the time to really think about your past and present experiences and consider the lessons to be learned from them.  I firmly believe that all of life is one big opportunity for growth, that means lessons at every turn!  Don’t shy away from them because they tend to be rather persistent.  Rather, try to really tune in to your experiences because that way you will give yourself the space to absorb the lesson.

The 5 Reasons

1) Recognizing your Support System

One of the ways going through hard times makes you stronger is that it helps you to identify your core support network.  Those people that are there for you no matter what.  The hard times are a true test of your friendships.  And these friendships become like a foundation for your strength because you know who you can rely on through life’s most challenging times.

Although this may be a tough lesson to learn, especially if you lose some friends along the way, it will result in stronger relationships with those that matter the most.  The hard times have a way of breaking up the weak relationships and cementing the strong ones.

When you go through hard times together you are tested.  When you come out the other end, you know you are stronger than you were when you went in, and that truth sits like gold in your heart. Whether you are going through financial struggles or the sickness of a loved one, those that stand by you can be relied on for life, and that is priceless.

2) The Lesson of Compassion

There are no hardships that do not provide the lesson of compassion.  Going through hard times makes you stronger, and compassion is a strength you will carry with you for life.  Tough experiences help you to understand and put yourself in the position of others that have been through similar.

The hard times stay with you forever, and so does the strength in your heart.  You have grown in understanding of others, and with that you have developed compassion for them.  This is one of the greatest lessons from hardships because it brings people together.  It makes you both stronger and kinder.

3) Equips you for Future Hardships

When you get your heart broken for the first time you think the world is going to end, that you’ll never face another day.  But, you do.  Life goes on and you learn to ride the wave.  It isn’t easy, but you pick yourself up and put the pieces back together.  The next time you will be wiser, stronger and more resilient.

Like it or not, we learn from the hard times.  They provide us with the tools that we need for our future experiences.  The good news is, once you’ve acquired the tools you manage better the next time life gets tough.  It’s like having an emergency kit handy at all times.  You bandage up that broken heart and face the world again.

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4) You Gain Appreciation for What you Have

We all know there is nothing quite like the threat of losing something to put things into perspective for us.  This could be going through a health scare, financial hardships or conflict in a relationship.  Whatever the situation, going through hard times makes you stronger because it puts life into perspective.  When you realize how quickly things can change, you really learn the value of your friendships, financial security or your physical health.

I’d like to suggest trying out a different version of a Gratitude Journal, just an exercise for today.  Write out a list of Lessons you are grateful for!  Lessons you have learned from the hard times, the toughest times you have been through.  Let’s say 5 lessons that prove that going through hard times makes you stronger.

I believe if you look at your Gratitude Journal from this perspective you will be surprised at how it encourages you to think deeply about your life and reflect on how strong you really are.  If you’d like to share them, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

5) Feeling your Emotions is a Sign of Strength

One of the greatest lessons I have learned is that emotions are our guides.  Learning to embrace and process them is a massive part of being a whole and balanced human being.  If you process your emotions then going through hard times makes you stronger because you allow the lesson your emotions are there to teach you.

Never bottle up your emotions.  Rather, sit with them and let them seep through you, releasing the pain as they go.  If you hold the emotions in, the lesson is lost.  But, if you process the emotions you come out stronger and wiser from the experience.

I have lost loved ones, sat beside sick beds and gone through financial struggles and every one of these hardships has shown me how strong I am.  Through every experience I learn more about myself and trust in myself and my capabilities more.  This lesson gives my courage and faith in myself.  Remember, you are stronger than you think.

Experience and Curve Balls 

You will almost certainly not understand the lesson while it is being taught, but every experience is there to teach you something.  When you have been through enough of them you begin to understand this, and that is when you become more accepting.  You see life’s ebb and flow and learn to relax into it.

Life has certainly thrown me some curve balls.  But, you know what?  I’ve realized that these curve balls are signposts for good things to come.  Have you ever noticed that when things get really bad and you feel like you’re about to lose your mind completely, that is when everything falls into place?  I guess the lesson is, enjoy the ride!  There will be highs and lo’s, but what kind of a ride would it be without them?

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it and it got you thinking about the blessings hidden beneath the lessons!

Steph x

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