The Advantages of Challenges

“When you face difficult times, know that challenges are not sent to destroy you. They are sent to promote, increase and strengthen you”

– Anonymous

I hear you…it down right sucks whenever we find ourselves in a difficult situation so much that all we want to do is to get out of it as fast as humanly possible.

That said, a life absent of challenges, obstacles and/or failures may sound like a dream, but over the years, I’ve come to understand that in life, adversity is not only inevitable but also necessary if we were to aspire to become our very best self.

This is certainly a hard thought to swallow when we are in the thick of an unpleasant time in our life.

Yet, if we take the time to look back on our past, we’ll soon come to realize that our most difficult circumstances (rather than our most joyful moments), were actually those that played a crucial role in shaping who we are today.

If you happen to be going through challenges and are feeling defeated, I’m here to offer you a bit of comfort and solace.

Below, you’ll find 5 hidden blessings that often come through rejections, failures & challenging times.

I hope they’ll inspire you to stop resisting adversity and learn to start embracing it instead.

1. Challenges remind you that you’re stronger & more capable than you give yourself credit for

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” ― Bob Marley

Most of us have a tendency to underestimate ourselves and our capabilities. And tough times, whether we like it or not, forces us to respond in ways beyond what we thought was possible.

They serve as a reminder that much of the limitations that we think we have are in fact – invalid.

As the late great Maya Angelou said “It is necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

Sometimes, it takes moments where we’re backed into a corner to find out what we’re truly capable of.

If you happen to be a surfer, the waves make a great analogy. When you’re faced with an immense wave, you can choose to either ride the waves or let it knock you down (and possibly drown you).

Hopefully, you’ll always choose the former. Show yourself that you’re always stronger than you give yourself credit for.

Read More: The 1 Question to Ask to Help You Thrive During Challenging Times

2. Challenges help you to cultivate gratitude & compassion

“You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” ― Robin Williams

The truth of the matter is that we often don’t really know what we have (and fully appreciate it) until it’s gone and/or taken away from us.

Times of struggle often opens our eyes to the simple joys and things that really matter which we previously have taken for granted.

The experience of having gone through pain & defeat can also help us to better relate and be more compassionate to others.

As the old age proverb goes, “pride goeth before the fall“. When we find ourselves experiencing loss and/or defeat, we are left burning our pride & arrogance and be humbled by the fact that no one is immune to adversity.

Read more: Why It’s Important to Count Our Blessings

3. Challenges clarify what you truly want in life

“Why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.” 

– JK Rowling

When you find yourself struggling in the professional sphere – whether it is feeling miserable at your job or finding it difficult to land that new “ideal” opportunity everyone thinks you should have, it forces you to re-evaluate how YOU want YOUR life to play out.

If you allow it, these negative circumstances can help you to clarify what it is you’re actually passionate about. Better yet, it can be the push you need to throw caution to the wind and finally start living life on your own terms.

Read more: Finding Your Passion: What Sets Your Soul on Fire?

4. Challenges sharpen your grit 

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

– Haruki Murakami

It’s not a rarity that highly successful people credit their resilience and persistence aka grit as one of the main reasons to their immense success.

Rather than seeing defeats & disappointments as hindrances to their growth, they wholeheartedly believe that their past failures were the fuel they needed to propel them to greatness.

People who are never challenged in life don’t have the opportunity to learn how to overcome adversity, a crucial element to develop coping strategies, character, and strength.

As a result, they would often find themselves giving up far too easily when the going gets tough compared to those who have learned to embrace challenges and use it to their advantage.

Read more: When the Going Gets Tough…

5. Challenges make your achievements even sweeter 

“Success is sweet and sweeter if long-delayed and gotten through many struggles and defeats.”

– Amos Bronson Alcott

“The greatest view comes after the greatest climb” they say and I personally found it to be true. It becomes all too easy to take everything for granted when they are handed to us on a silver platter.

I believe that achievements, triumphs, and victories become that much more valuable and remarkable when you had to jump through hoops to get to the finish line.

That said, keep in mind that success is not just about the destination. The journey is just as (if not more) important.

And having to face an obstacle course along the path to success certainly makes for a far more interesting and rewarding adventure.

Read more: Learning How to Embrace the Struggles to Success

Final Thoughts

There you have it, 5 great silver linings that can be found even in your darkest times.

Remember that when the going gets tough, life is presenting you with a big opportunity for growth and progress. So grab it and never look back.

It may far from easy but if you use them wisely, challenges may just propel you to become the best version of you yet!

PS: Need some professional guidance & support in going through difficult times?

Working with a life coach may just be what you need. My own life coach, Maru Talavera, comes highly recommended.

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