The Skills You Gain From Experiencing Hardship

I haven’t been able to post in the past 2 weeks because Uni got the better of me. Let’s face it, we’ve all experienced tremendous discomfort or stress at some point in the past few months. In today’s post, I’d like to talk about the skills that I’ve developed because of that.

This will relate to my previous post on breathing, where I tried to encourage a mindfulness technique for maintaining calm. This time, it’s more about approaching difficulties with a growth mindset. Here are 5 key points that I’ve taken away from experiencing discomfort.

  1. Faith
  2. Resilience
  3. Patience
  4. Compromise
  5. Gratitude

Faith

Let’s start with Faith. Your fundamental beliefs and your values define the way you view the world. You need to have a sense of purpose, a why, otherwise you won’t understand the reason behind the suffering.

I’m grateful to be a Muslim, as Islam has shaped the way I engage with difficulties and finding a sense of purpose. The mindset and outlook I have towards my life experiences are largely shaped by my faith.

You’ve got to trust in the process. You’re exactly where you’re meant to be, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Keep this beautiful quote in mind:

“What’s meant for you will never miss you, what misses you was never meant for you.”

When you start accepting how much is out of your control, it brings a sense of calmness. Focus on what you can do. Focus on your perception. This brings me to the next point, resilience.

Resilience

I absolutely love the concept of resilience because it resonates with everything that I do. It’s about constantly trying your best, regardless of the setbacks and hardship you face.

It’s also important to understand that our failures are ultimately our greatest teachers. When we decide to face those fears and tackle the problems head on, we start to develop resilience.

It’s easy to give up. It’s easy to complain. It’s easy to blame others. It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself. It’s easy to throw a pity party. But that’s not what leads to growth. That’s not what helps you succeed. That’s not what will benefit you in the long run.

Next time you experience something profoundly difficult or painful, remember how much it’s going to help you grow. Every day is just a set of new problems. It’s doesn’t get any easier, you just get better at solving it.

Patience

Being patient is another crucial skill you’ll need throughout your life. It’s something you will encounter in every single task you experience. Being patient is about training your mind to accept the inevitable. To slow down. To stay calm. To remain level-headed.

You need to be patient with the process. You can’t rush through and expect everything to work out. Life is more of a marathon than a sprint. You need to pace yourself and focus on your breath work.

Don’t get worked up on things that are out of your control. Focus on what you can do. Take it easy dude, you got this. Let’s see how adaptation plays a role in all this.

Compromise

Things almost always never go according to plan. You’ll realize that sooner or later. Compromising isn’t about lowering your standards. It’s about accepting that you have to change your plan when things hits the fan.

This is generally a combination of the previous points. With faith, resilience and patience, you can learn to rapidly adapt to unexpected challenges. Think about how many times things took longer than they should’ve? If you account for contingencies and plan for the worst-case scenario, you’re less likely to get overwhelmed.

Gratitude

Easily the most important skill (or value) to gain. If you view things from a lens of gratitude, everything is there to help you grow. You start appreciating the little things in life a lot more too. You realize how much you take for granted on a daily basis; be it your time, energy, wealth or health.

When you experience difficulty of any sort, focus on what’s going well in your life. I know this can be particularly challenging, especially when sprawling into negativity is so much easier. But really think about how blessed you truly are. Think about all that you’ve managed to gain or retain during the challenging time.

You’re gaining life skills. You’re more resilient. You’re more patient. You’re learning to work hard. You’re still breathing. You still have food to eat. You have access to the internet (and therefore, to education). You have access to electricity. To shelter. To warmth. To clean water.

Don’t ever forget about everything that you do have when things start getting tough.

It’s critical to establish honest communication with yourself (and those who are important to you). If you’re clear about what’s going well and what isn’t, you’ll have a better idea of how to prepare. You’ll also be able to articulate how you’re feeling to those around you; allowing them to assist you where possible.

This post just covers a few simple points to think about next time you experience something difficult. As I already said, life is just a process of solving problems; every day there’s going to be a new challenge.

Trust the process and have faith. Understand how this all builds up your resilience. You’ve got to remain patient and stay level-headed. You need to learn to adapt and overcome. You need to focus on what you have and be thankful. Failure is just a stepping stone to success. You got this!

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