Finding the Opportunities Within Your Struggles

growth mindset overcoming wise living

There are valuable lessons for each of us hidden within every challenge that we may face. It is the nature of the human spirit to always seek continuous growth leading to new levels of experience, and this implies that once we’ve solved one problem then another will be likely to emerge right behind it. Growth demands that we use our abilities fully and create new ones. We sometimes have to push them to their limits and then develop them further when we’re confronted with hardships that we haven’t faced before – new struggles can’t be resolved by our old ways of thinking and acting. 

Albert Einstein made the well-known assertion that our problems can’t be solved at the same level of consciousness from which they were created. This means that it is the nature of our struggles to force us to grow. We back ourselves into a corner, or tie our life in knots, and then we have to change our thinking – expand our image and beliefs about ourselves in some way – in order to find the way out.

Oftentimes, periods of stress and hardship; however challenging, afford us opportunities to discover inner resources that we didn’t know we possessed before. Hidden strengths are bound to emerge in response to trying times if we allow it. Most of us are more resilient than we realize. We don’t always know it, however, because our society rarely calls upon the heroic potentials that exist within each one of us. It is only when life is in a state of upheaval that we realize that we can rise to the occasion and become better, stronger and wiser.

Finding the opportunities hidden within your struggles is oftentimes simply a matter of looking for them. Perceiving the situation from different angles expands the possibilities. If we perceive less than favorable circumstances as a curse then this blinds us to the ways in which such situations can provide us with the impetus to expand our lives. We overlook the gist hidden within the suffering. This hinders our growth and evolution.

Our lives grow beyond their old comfortable boundaries when our self-definition expands. Hard times can force us to act with more courage, strength, resourcefulness and determination than we ever have called upon before. This, in turn, can lead us to think about ourselves in a different way, to paint a new picture in our minds, to reinvent ourselves. Our internal image of ourselves grows larger, stronger and tougher.

This can manifest in countless ways. One person may leave an abusive relationship that he or she felt totally dependent upon right up until the breaking point. Another person may overcome his or her paralyzing shyness when a crisis situation calls for effective communication and cooperation to resolve. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world are the ones that were laid off or fired from their job. In each case, the old boundaries of life are pushed until they’re forced to expand.

In our lives we are all given opportunities to step beyond our comfort zones and become bigger than we were before. That may happen during the great times but quite often during challenging times. The particular circumstances that will bring forth this transformation will depend upon our own values, goals and natural abilities. But there will always be opportunities for growth hidden within our struggles, no matter which path we take.

“A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure” – Henry Kissinger

By Rafael Tomik for

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