Whether it’s depression, financial hardship, health problems, or other struggles, there’s a hidden benefit to overcoming adversity and battling your way through tough times: when you do make it through, the lessons you learned along the way will stick with you and help you become more successful in life. Here’s why the phrase “anything that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” really does ring true:
1. You learn how to ask for help. When times are good, you’re totally fine being independent and never having to ask anyone for help. But sometimes that can hold you back. Asking for help reminds us that an extra hand never hurts, and it reminds us that there’s nothing shameful in that.
2. You never again take anything for granted. One you realize what true difficulty means, you’ll learn to appreciate all of the good things in your life, large and small. That positive outlook and gratitude will take you far.
3. You find out who really has your back. Too often, people you thought you could depend on may disappoint you. But on the flip side, you may be pleasantly surprised by who ends up being there for you and supporting you thought your struggles. This is vital information that will help you move forward in all of your endeavors.
4. You find out what matters in life. And more importantly, what doesn’t. And that’s the first step to success.
5. You understand that nothing worth having is easy. When you’ve had to overcome adversity to get where you are, you know that you have to work hard to get what you want. And you’re willing to. That hard work will pay off in spades.
6. You figure out coping strategies that will take you through future difficulties. Whether it’s taking small steps to having a better day, carving out time each day for a special hobby or interest, or taking larger steps like regularly seeing a therapist, you’ve already figured out what you need to do to cope with tough times. You’re not going to let any future troubles knock you down.
7. You develop your compassion and empathy. It will shine through in all of your professional and personal relationships, and it will allow people to trust you and get along well with you.
8. You know that success is about more than money. What do we mean when we say that you’ll be “successful” in life? You’ve already learned the answer: it doesn’t matter what we mean. It only matters what you mean and how you interpret the word. Success means something different to everybody, and you don’t have to worry about proving anything to anybody but yourself.
9. People want to see you succeed. It’s human nature to root for the underdog. Be upfront with friends and colleagues about what you’ve gone through in the past. When people see that you’ve managed to push through hard times, they’ll be that much more willing to put their necks out for you to help you thrive.