Cowards die many times before their death.

Erosion - Grand Canyon - South Rim - Arizona

Coined from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, this metaphor means that people who run away from their challenges and problems die a little bit inside each time they do so. Their character slowly erodes away when they don’t confront what is ahead of them.

Adversity and challenges help us develop character. How we overcome struggle defines who we are. It helps us develop resilience. These lessons are life skills and when we don’t develop them, we end up in an arrested state of development as we get older. Everything becomes much harder because we simply lack the understanding of how to deal with and overcome our problems.

How can we use difficulties we run into help strengthen us, rather than weaken us? Here are some things to remember when times get tough:

  • Everything that happens to us is an opportunity for us to grow. We may not see it in the moment, but all situations have been put in front of us for a reason.
  • Accept the situation for what it is, rather than what you want it to be. Honor your feelings in the moment. It the situation sucks, then it sucks. Don’t judge yourself for what you feel.
  • It’s okay to have a meltdown if you need to. Just don’t unpack and stay there. Remember, you don’t drown by falling into the water. You drown by staying there.
  • Start formulating what steps you need to take to overcome the challenge. Don’t be afraid to ask people around you for help. Most people will do all that they can to help a friend in need – even if it’s just listening.
  • Realize that you are not alone in this and that there are people who are rooting for you. We all go through hard times. Sometimes it’s hard for us to see because we spend so much time looking at social media and think that what people show on their Instagram or Snapchat is this perfect reality. What you are seeing online is a curated life, a highlight reel of what people want you to see. Often times, it is very far from reality.
  • There is always something to be grateful for. Whether it’s something as basic as the roof over our heads or that we have food to eat. Be especially grateful for the challenge you are facing now. It is an opportunity for you to experience growth and to gain mastery in your life.

Your turn…Is there something in your life that you’re running away from or afraid to confront? What can you start doing today to turn this difficulty into an opportunity for growth?

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