Why What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
June 19, 2016 12:00 AM EST | 5 min read
This is a saying that you have undoubtedly heard many times.
You may think it is cliché of untrue, but that simply is not the case.
There are a few sayings here that fit this concept.
The first is that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime, nothing could be truer.
We have something to learn from each person who comes into our life, even if it is very brief, and even if it is very painful.
We have to be willing to take a step back and figure out what the purpose and the message of them being in your life was.
Why What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
The other is the quote of what does not kill you makes you stronger.
Some people do not believe this, or they have a very hard time believing as they are going through, and many for quite some time afterward.
The fact of the matter is that from every failure, mistake, or utter embarrassment, there is a lesson to be learned, there is a skill to be gained, and there is strength to be built.
If you are able to learn from these valuable lessons, you will be stronger, more successful, and far wiser and more content for it.
Post traumatic growth
There is something that occurs to a certain percent of people who have experienced trauma is called, “Post Traumatic Growth.”
This is the idea that the person embraces what has happened to them and instead of choosing to be brought down by it, and let it control their lives in a negative way, they choose to use it to take control of their lives.
They decide to become strong, powerful, and unafraid.
To not give the perpetrator of the trauma the power that so may give them, and instead to take that power back for themselves by living a strong and successful life.
One where they are not afraid and push forward to achieve their goals.
Soul crushing suffering
Jerry Seinfeld jokes about the growth that takes place through “soul crushing suffering.”
This is looking at failure, being made fun of, being put down, being told what we are doing is not good enough.
IF we are able instead to listen to what is being said and decide if there is any merit or feedback to what is being said.
If there is, take it in, change and grow from it.
If it is just said to be in a mean spirited nature, let it go, and learn from that as well.
Learn what it means to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, realize that everyone is dealing with something, and that many times people saying mean things to you has little to do with you.
It has to do with them grappling with something and taking it out on you.
If you are able to meet people with kindness, you learn a valuable lesson in the strength you have to forgive, out yourself in someone else’s shoes, and to not internalize others negativity.
Use what is useful for growth, but let the rest go.
Do not internalize it.
Putting it into perspective
The pure idea of how someone chooses to take with the thought of what does not kill us making us stronger says a lot about the character of the person.
Some people will go to the automatic extreme and point out horrific cases where an individual was not allowed to grow from the things that have happened to them.
I read one person say, “Tell that to a quadriplegic.”
I happen to know one who became one when I was in college and they were in high school.
They could have become angry, they could have dropped anchor, they could have been angry, sick and stuck, instead they chose to embrace their life as it was now and became a huge advocate for the cause.
They have done motivational speaking, written a book, led Special Olympics sports, and just really used what many would view as insurmountable to show others that you can be a huge motivator and success no matter what.
To me, no one has an excuse for not achieving what they set out to do.
Always move forward
So many people waste so much energy trying to prove that this is not the case.
That there are things that cannot be done when they should be thinking how can I move past this obstacle or failure and grow from it.
If people are able to reframe things I this way, they can have tremendous growth, and develop a great deal of strength.
They can take the hits and use them to toughen them up instead of letting them beat them down.
We have choices before us all the time.
Life is never going to be a cakewalk where everything is handed to us, or everyone is pleased with the choices we make.
What we do have control over is what we decide to do with that information.
Do we allow it to emotionally cripple us, or do we allow it to make us stronger?