How to use Difficult Situations to Strengthen our Character
Difficult situations are often seen as an obstacle in the way of our goals, but this does not always have to be the case.
Instead of asking ourselves “why me?,” we can ask ourselves “how can this situation help me grow as a person?” or “how can this situation help me find the emotional tools that I need to face challenging situations in the future?”
After facing difficulties, we often come out of them learning important bits of information about ourselves. In addition to adding a difficult situation to our “list of experiences”, we tend to learn vital characteristics, such as patience, gratitude, and self-control.
Patience prepares us for future challenges by helping us believe that difficulties will pass with time. A phrase that is often used is “just be patient”. My personal experiences have shown me that with patience in our hearts, difficult situations that were unthinkable start to feel somewhat bearable.
Gratitude is the appreciation of what we have.
Gratitude is in our nature, but it often takes a difficult situation (or several difficult situations) to help us appreciate what we had before the difficulty and what we have after the difficulty has passed. I am not saying that we cannot appreciate what we have without being faced with difficult situations; rather, these difficult situations often serve as an eye-opener that directs our attention to the positive aspects of our lives.
Last but not least, self-control is the ability to control yourself across situations, especially difficult ones.
After experiencing a difficult situation, we can sit with ourselves and think about what we did and what we thought about in that difficult situation. After this, it becomes easier for us to hold on to our actions that served us well and got us through the situation, and drop our actions that did not serve us well. This might help us feel more equipped to face future difficulties with more self-confidence. As a result, the lessons learned from our difficulties tend to build up and strengthen our character.