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How To Get Stronger

Foundation Principle: All experiences are opportunities for growth.

I know this to be true. I’ve lived it. Yet I still have resistance to actually letting myself see the opportunity when the experience is not what I wanted it to be.

I can look back and point to any number of experiences that were intensely painful. They altered the course of my life. At the time, I would have told you that was a bad thing. I would have held them up as proof of my hapless victimhood, longing for sympathy and attention. I was looking for someone to swoop in and save me and make it all better. Eventually I had to accept that person was me. But looking back years later, I can easily see how each and every one of those events has helped me become a stronger, wiser, more resilient and resourceful person. I have evolved because they happened. Given the chance, I don’t think I would choose to go back and re-live my life without those traumatic events because I like and respect this version of myself infinitely more than the old version.

It’s hard to embrace this mindset while the “bad thing” is actually happening. No one invites struggle into their lives on purpose. But no one gets stronger sitting on the couch watching Netflix. No one feels proud of their own bad-assery at the end of an easy day.

I don’t know if I will ever reach a point in my development that I can look at a difficult obstacle or emotional trauma and welcome it into my life. But maybe I can start by shortening the amount of time that I spend resisting, protesting, and proclaiming the unfairness of it all. Because as long as I’m wallowing in my victim mentality, I won’t be able to see the solution. And I won’t be able to take the actions that will leave me feeling proud of how I figured it out.

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