As weapproach the end of 2019, these last months of the year are an excellent timeto reflect—to think about all of the ups, downs, highs, lows, victories,losses, experiences, and memories from this past year.
It’s a lot of fun to reflect on and show gratitude for all of the amazing victories, biggest wins of the year, and awesome moments spent with loved ones. But it is equally important to take a step back and reflect on the hardships that you have been through and the struggles you are currently dealing with.
Winning is an incredible thing, but success does not teach you as much as failure does. You don’t learn as many lessons from accomplishments as you do from the hardships.
So aswe plunge forward into this new year, this is an important time to reflect backon the losses, heartbreaks, downswings, failures, struggles, and hardships thatyou went through in 2019.
Thishardship will be the key to taking your life to the next level in 2020. Thesesetbacks, and everything you’ve gained from them, will be your stepping-stonesto your greatness.
The Following are 4 Reasons Why Your Hardship Will Take You to the Next Level in 2020
Asyou read this post, make sure to break out a pen and pad and jot down someideas after you read each section. As the new year approaches, you can start toput these ideas into action.
Your HardshipWill Show You What Doesn’t Work!
We’veall had moments, situations, tragedies, disasters, and living nightmares wherethings just went completely wrong.
Baddays. Bad weeks. Bad months. Bad years.
We’veall had them before. But here’s the silver lining that will help you climb tothe next level in 2020: falling flat on your face, stumbling into a disaster,and watching everything go wrong in your life is the only way to realize what doesn’t work!
High achievers and legends like Denzel Washington (see Denzel Washington quotes) and Phil Knight (the founder of Nike) often use the phrase “Fail Forward.” Failing Forward means using your mistakes as stepping stones to propel yourself in the right direction. Failing Forward means using your setbacks and rejections opportunities to shine a light on what’s not working so you can make course-corrections, learn form the past, and avoid making those mistakes ever again.
Theonly way to Fail Forward—the best way to learn what doesn’t work—is by goingthrough hardship.
Strugglingwith your job or getting fired teaches you what career options are notcompatible for you. Getting dumped teaches you what kinds of boyfriends orgirlfriends to stay away from. Losing money teaches you what kinds ofinvestment mistakes to avoid. Taking the dead-end route shows you how to getback on to the right path.
Hardshipis a huge blessing because it teaches you what paths NOT to take!
So aswe plunge forward into 2020, keep in mind that all of the hardships you arestruggling with at the moment are going to be the stepping-stones thatilluminate your path forward into prosperity and success—by showing you what doesn’t work.
If you couldn’t get to the gym consistently this year, learn from your mistakes. Try going to sleep with you workout clothes on or take your gym bag to work with you to help eliminate your resistance. If you struggled with waking up early enough to work on your passion this year, try doing your passion-work in the evenings instead. If you didn’t manage to read any personal development books in 2019, try reading just 5 pages per day in 2020. Break the work up into small chunks. Just 5 pages per day can add up to roughly one full book per month!
Ifyou suffered from an injury that hurt your ability to play sports or dophysical activity, try using the discipline, work ethic, and drive you learnedfrom sports to succeed in other arenas like business. If you attempted to quitdrinking or smoking in 2019 and couldn’t manage to stay sober, reflect back oneverything that you did wrong the first time around. Make a list of everymistake you made the first time and use that information as motivation to picksobriety back up and try it again.
Inthe end you will realize that there are no true failures in life. Only lessons.
Ifsomething did not work out the first time around, Fail Forward. Use what youlearned to come back stronger in 2020.
YourHardship Will Show What Your Flaws Are
Everysingle one of us has flaws. No human is perfect.
Everybodymakes mistakes. Everyone messes up. Everyone has negative tendencies,addictions, selfish behaviors, egotistical mentalities, areas that needimprovement, and aspects of life where we struggle.
That’swhy hardship is so crucial, important, and valuable. Without that suffering, wewould never be able to figure out what our flaws are.
Manypeople go through their lives oblivious and unaware of what their weaknessesare. Maybe it’s a coping mechanism. Maybe they are subconsciously trying toavoid confronting their flaws. For whatever reason, lots of people fail to cometo terms with, understand, confront, and overcome their weaknesses.
Without any self-awareness of what your flaws are, you will never be able to improve your life, overcome your obstacles, and grow as a person. So you have to fail, struggle, and deal with pain. Because that pain illuminates the weak areas that you need to confront.
It isonly through hardship, failure, embarrassment, humiliation, disaster, tragedy,heartbreak, and heartaches that you can truly pinpoint the areas where you needto improve. Even though it’s hard, identifying weakness is a crucialstepping-stone to moving your life in an upward direction.
Admittingthat you aren’t good at something, that you have selfish tendencies, or thatyou have limitations in some areas can be painful, upsetting, and embarrassing.But in order for you to climb to a higher level in 2020, you are going to need toidentify your flaws.
Createa strong sense of self-awareness. Try to take an objective look at yourself. Pinpointyour weaknesses.
Becausebelieve it or not, understanding and embracing your flaws will lead you to moregrowth, success, relationships, prosperity, and well-being. There are a coupledifferent ways that embracing your flaws can make you stronger.
Onceyou know what your weak-points are, you can try to avoid projects in the areasin your where you struggle. You can hire people who are talented in all thecategories where you stumble and who are strong where you are weak. And in yourpersonal life, you can strive to create relationships with people who make upfor all the qualities you lack.
Andif you have negative tendencies that are hurting your relationships with thepeople who are closest to you—such as pushing people away, not communicatingenough, blaming others for your mistakes, failing to appreciate them enough,failing to commit, or spending too much time on the phone when you’re withothers—simply knowing about theseflaws is the first and most important step to overcoming them. Use yourawareness of these mistakes to minimize them as much as possible.
The best option for dealing with your flaws might actually be to work on them until they become your greatest strengths. This is not an easy way to handle it. But make no mistake, the human mind is capable of almost anything. Aside from things that are physically impossible or highly doubtful like learning to sing like Mariah Carey or learning to play basketball like Lebron James, you can learn, improve, get better, make progress, and turn your weaknesses into strengths.
A lot of the most accomplished people actually started off terrible in the areas where they wound up succeeding on a massive level. There are many world famous motivational speakers like David Goggins, Les Brown, or Lisa Nichols who are introverts or who started out with a severe setbacks, struggles, and learning disabilities that made public speaking seem like impossible an impossible task.
EdMylett is one of the most sought after speakers in the world. But when he firsttried public speaking, he was so nervous that he blanked out, didn’t know whatto say, and couldn’t follow through with the speech. In fact, Ed was so nervousduring that speech, that his vision became blurry and he couldn’t even read hisnotes.
ButEd never gave up. He kept at it. He turned the horrible nervousness into animpactful speaking career that inspires people around the world.
ForEd and those speakers listed above, it was never obvious that they weredestined for success. Public speaking was initially a painful flaw, hardship,and struggle for them. But through practice, work, and determination theyturned their flaws into accomplishments.
Withdedication and practice, you can do the same.
Werethere any hardships that you struggled with in 2019 that exposed some flaws orweak-points that you need to work on?
Writea list of all of your biggest flaws. And right next to each flaw, write downwhat you are going to do to convert it into a strength.
2020is your opportunity to embrace those weaknesses and use them as fuel to takeyour life to the next level.
Your HardshipWill Bring Out Your Best Character Traits
Thebest human qualities—character-traits like compassion, resiliency,determination, relentlessness, bravery, courage, tenacity, resourcefulness, andcreativity—usually only reveal themselves through pain.
Thinkabout your best qualities right now. Are you a really caring and compassionateperson? Are you a phenomenal friend always looking out for others? Are yousuper-determined? Are you extremely creative?
Nowthink back to when that compassion, bravery, or creativity first started to showitself.
Formost, if not all of you, I’m sure your best qualities as a human showed up whenyou went through some kind of hardship—when you had a really tough yearacademically in school or college, when you got bullied in high school, whenyou broke up with your significant other, when you lost a loved one, when yougot rejected, when you went through a career setback, when you were fired, orwhen you came down with illness.
Thegreatest human qualities tend to show up when we are going through the worstpain of our lives, during the moments when we need them the most. Times ofcomfort, ease, and laid-back-living don’t bring out our courage, bravery,determination, compassion, or creativity. Only the hard times can do that.
Eventhough it sucks, hardship is necessary because it brings out the best in us.
So aswe move forward into the new year, spend some time reflecting on all of thepositive qualities that your lowest moments have revealed this year. These areall character-traits that are going to help you make 2020 one of your best yearsyet.
HardshipWill Thicken Your Skin
Haveyou ever had a sales job?
Ihave worked several jobs in sales over the years. And I can tell you firsthand,nothing thickens your skin better thanselling. Selling makes you tougher, less sensitive, and more determined, becauseit’s painful.
Beinga salesperson is one of the hardest, most difficult, and most challenging jobsin the world. Believe me. It’s brutal. I used to go door-to-door selling peopleon the idea of sponsoring under-privileged kids in developing countries.
99%of the people I spoke to told me no. That’s the case in any sales job. Most ofthe people you talk to are going to tell you no. You have to work your waythrough all of those rejections just to get a few victories.
Dealingwith that rejection and pain—in sales and in life—thickens your skin. Thathardship of receiving lots of “nos” makes it more and more difficult forsomeone to hurt your feelings, get in your head, destroy your confidence, orbreak your happiness.
Rejections,failures, setbacks, losses, break-ups, pain, tragedies, and hardship in generalthicken your skin. They show you that you are not weak, insecure, fragile, oreasily broken. You are stronger than you ever thought you were. And nothingwill break you.
Soone of the best silver linings of your hardship, is the chance to develop athicker skin. Now that you’ve been told no, got rejected, got sent home, anddealt with a loss, you are going to walk into 2020 with an unstoppable sense ofdetermination that cannot be shaken.
TheNext Level is Waiting For You in 2020
Whenyou’re going through a downswing, it’s easy to beat yourself up for yourmistakes, lose hope, lose optimism, and lose faith. Going through pain caneasily become justification to give up on getting to the next level. If youfeel stuck, you might even fall under the impression that there is no nextlevel and the place where you are is all there is.
Ithappens to all of us. I’ve definitely been there before. No human is exemptfrom those down moments.
Butno matter who you are or where you come from, there is a next level. You canand will improve, get better, get stronger, love harder, make more connections,and accomplish the things you once thought were impossible.
Andyour hardships are the key to making that happen. Your hardships will show youwhat doesn’t work, reveal what your flaws are, bring out the best in you, andthicken your skin. If you look for the clues in your struggles, they will guideyou to a better and more exciting life.
LikeI said, hardship is a much better and more powerful teacher than success. Thereis more wisdom to be gained in a failure versus a win. If you can use thelessons you’ve learned this year as stepping-stones for forward progress,there’s no limit to what you’ll do in 2020.