|Posted on February 5, 2016 at 7:05 PM|
There is no greater achievement than overcoming great challenges. It's always difficult, but we need problems, difficulty....we need adversity.
Adversity is Life.
Many people use the quote by German Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzche "what does not kill me, makes me stronger" to bolster resilience in the face of adversity. I've been dealing with my own traumatic events this past year, which have caused me severe PTSD, so I have decided to research the scientific effects of adversity and determine if Mr. Nietzche's words actually have some merit.
Adversity is overwhelming and it really can be anything...not just trauma, like I have experienced. It is self-doubt and self-pity. Immense pressure. Losing a loved one, losing your health, your job, your freedom....your liberties.
Adversity is inevitable.
Adversity is whatever you allow it to be. You can allow adversity to overwhelm you and you can surrender.
Or you can get to work.
Traumatic experiences of adversity such as assault, misuse and abuse of litigation and the criminal justice system or loss of a loved one, divorce, missing your children, all can be extremely damaging. But when healing from these things, you can use them to help develop resilience. The aphorism by Nietzche may seem like common sense but is not supported by scientific research. Certainly a miserable life is bad for you but I believe it's what you make of that life that makes you live a better life.
Serious events, like missing/death of a child or parent, being physically attacked, experiencing abuse, or being forcibly separated from your family, can cause psychological problems. But according to the research I have done, these events can actually be healthy. Yes, crazy but I can attest to it.
According to what I have learned, the people with the best outcomes were those who had experienced some negative events in their lives.
Another study that I found stated that people with physical pain were able to get around better if they had experienced some serious adversity, whereas those who had no challenges at all, were more impaired in life.
It seems that people who have been through traumatic experiences have had the opportunity to develop their coping mechanisms more acutely and are able to handle extreme circumstances. Personally, I found this to be true...and when people hear my story, they can't understand how I am so happy and actually thriving.
My negative life experiences have strengthened me, making me better able to manage subsequent difficulties. The stressful events that have occurred in my life have forced me to develop stronger social networks as they have also taught me how to get help from others when necessary. I was never good at asking for help...but now, the people who are willing to help me is overwhelming. For me, the network of people is what helps any challenges of adversity.
I have learned that just because something bad has happened to me, doesn’t mean I am damaged...it means that I am stronger, wiser and closer to others. I can relate to many things...I can teach how people can help themselves and not feel sorry...and not suffer.
How have I endured?
I started taking small steps and the longer I endured, the more I endured, the stronger I became. The more I dealt with adversity, calmly, concisely and carefully, the better I felt and the better my chances became of overcoming anything that came to me.
I started to ask myself why and how I could be so resilient....
I found that I am not weak...I actually cannot believe my own strength and perseverance. I started earning great respect within the community. I started getting calls from others to help them. I now see that adversity is what weeds out the weak.
Adversity has helped me to examine my life in an honest manner. It has been the spotlight that has enabled me to see my weaknesses...as well as my strengths. I've learned I am the strongest person I have ever known. I don't know another soul that has endured the challenges that have been put in front of me and I have become so powerful.
I tell others that once they know and understand their own weaknesses they can begin to change and overcome ANYTHING!
My own challenges is what forced me to change. I was so sweet, soft spoken and afraid to take on challenges...I avoided them. No more. Never again will I be a prisoner to anything. The ME that has endured the adversity is a stronger version than the ME before.
Remember: there is no growth without adversity.
Embrace it and you will survive it....you will become so powerful, there will be NO knocking you down...no matter what. You will reach success and grow into a better human being and you will see adversity as a necessary evil. Now, everytime something happens, I am no longer shaking. I smurk...I tell myself, "BRING IT ON...I love this." Because I know what's at the end. The lesson, the growth and the ultimate experience.
Diamonds are made from coal that undergoes extreme pressure.
This is how adversity makes you.