Why you Should Be Thankful for your Difficulties

How many times have you found yourself cursing for all the bad fortune around you? How many times did you wonder why something had to happen to you? Did you feel sorry for yourself at the time?

If you ask me I would have to answer that it has happened many times. Yes, I have gone through some really hard times in my life. I remember myself crying, complaining to others, feeling sorry for myself for what I had to go through and wondering what I had done wrong to deserve all this bad fortune.

Anyway, I am sure I am not the only one. Actually, I am sure most of you have gone through hard times. Different experiences, different situations, different problems but you went through something. Even if you didn’t, you will. Count on it!

Feeling Bad for Your Difficulties is Normal

Sometimes we might be the victims in one situation and we might deserve, or even seek for understanding and sympathy from others. That is absolutely normal and understood. This is a human need.

“Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.”

Maya Angelou

Feeling bad when a new difficulty comes our way is normal. Difficulties are in fact challenges that shake our world and make us feel uncomfortable. Sometimes people around us understand how hard this must be to us and even encourage us to continue feeling bad and sorry about ourselves.

Man sitting down on a chair feeling sad

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

But, does the fact that our bad response to difficulties is understandable by ourselves and others actually help us?

Don’t get me wrong. We all understand that facing difficulties makes us feel uncomfortable and of course there is no reason to feel happy about it. Doing so would mean that we lose the whole point. That we overlook the problem, show denial and even feel some kind of toxic positivity. None of them is helpful in any way.

Difficulties will Never Stop

One thing is for sure. No matter how much we want to, no matter what we do, we can never avoid difficulties from coming into our lives. One way or another we always have challenges to deal with.

man climbing up rocks

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

We have no choice whether we will face them or not because we just cannot escape from them. The only choice we have is how we will choose to deal with them when they show up.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Winston Churchill

Some people choose to step away as much as possible, choose to play the victim, don’t deal with them nor search for a solution.

Some others choose to face the difficulty, embrace the new experience, understand the feelings generated while doing so and grow themselves through this.

Everyone has a choice to make.

You might also want to read “What is the right decision and how to be sure you make one” or “How to Identify Whether You Have Adopted a Victim Mentality and How to Stop Being the Victim

“The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.”

Barack Obama

Why Facing Difficulties is Important

1. Helps us Become more Self-aware

Going through difficulties helps us to understand ourselves better. We come in touch with our feelings, our true needs and internal strength. We understand who we are, where we are, what we are doing and what we are capable of.

“Expecting difficulties is wise, if that usually gives you the strength to continue, and foolish, if that usually takes away the courage to begin.”

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

2. Inspire Gratitude

When a difficulty appears we have the chance to appreciate everything we have and we were not paying enough attention to. Difficulties sometimes are a good wakeup call to understand all those we are missing when they are just right there but we are far too busy to see.

Man feeling gratitude for life and difficulties

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

“When you meet obstacles with gratitude, your perception starts to shift, resistance loses its power, and grace finds a home within you.”

Oprah Winfrey.

3. New Experiences – Chance for Personal Growth

Difficulties are new experiences through which we usually learn new things, grow wiser and stronger. Difficulties come our way and help us evolve to a better version of ourselves.

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”

Napoleon Hill

4. Identify / Appreciate the Easy

Going through something really difficult helps us to identify the easy when we see it. We will be able to understand when things will get better since they will be easier.

5. Teach Responsibility

To successfully deal with a difficulty we should take responsibility for our actions, our thoughts and our emotions towards it.

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

Michael Jordan

Appreciate the Difficulties

Difficulties in life no matter how hard they are can work to our advantage. Identifying difficulties as challenges and seeing all the opportunities they can offer us can change our way through life. Situations and circumstances will no longer have the same power on us.

stormy day as difficulties in life

Photo by stein egil liland on Pexels.com

Without difficulties and obstacles to overcome life would be a boring flat line. Life has everything, sunny days and stormy days, pleasure and suffering , beauty and pain. Surviving the stormy days of our life can only make us stronger and ready to enjoy the sunny days to the fullest.

Everybody wants happiness, nobody wants pain, but you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.

Unknown

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. 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

What is Happiness and Will I Ever Reach it?

How pleased are you out of your life? If you were asked, would you answer “very pleased” without even hesitating a bit?

Honestly, I spent many years of my life without even being able to understand that I was not pleased with what my life was like. I guess the everyday routine took me with her and I did not even have the time to stand still and think.

The “Dream Job”

A woman presenting her work on a laptop screen
Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

For the last thirteen years I had been working as a business consultant. It started as a nine to five job with great career and financial prospects. I never felt really enthusiastic about it but, hey, the money was good and clients appreciated my work, so it felt like a reward.

Friends and family were happy and proud of me and my career in this “dream job” as it might seem like in their eyes. Finally, I could rent a bigger apartment in a nice neighborhood, I had enough money to travel and no need to have second thoughts if I liked something and wanted to buy it.

I guess you would say that that was great. And yes, I definitely liked the fact that I finally could live without thinking of my finances every single moment. That I finally could live in an apartment that I like, that I could travel and shop whenever I wanted to.

But I just couldn’t do it whenever I wanted to.

When the “Dream Job” Turned Into Nightmare…

A woman exhausted fell asleep on her desk while working
Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

The nine to five job schedule very soon became nine to whatever time the job is done. Considering the fact that most of the clients I was working for were situated at least one hour driving away from home, that also extended my working schedule.

And the deadlines, oh the deadlines…. So much stress and pressure because we had to stick with the project plan and deliver on time.

So, I had a job that offered me financial security and the prospect of a better life.

But, I was renting a great apartment which I was actually using as a hotel since I would use it only to have a shower and get some sleep. I could travel, yes, and I would travel every time I had the chance. And this is something that I loved and I am grateful about.

The thing is that I constantly had the need to travel because I needed it as an escape out of the life I was living. I would shop and spend money not because I needed the staff I was buying but because I could.

And then bam!

The Coronavirus

coronavirus
Photo by CDC on Pexels.com

Coronavirus arrived and changed everything worldwide.

To all of us it was and in some aspects still is a shock. But the greatest change it brought to my life was that I stopped traveling and started working from home. Everything related to work was set up in just a few hours so the transition was quite fast and sudden.

There was no need to drive to the other side of the city, not even need to take off my pajamas in order to work. I found it as a great chance to finally enjoy my apartment and get some “me” time.

The isolation that came along with the lock down to me was not that horrible as it was to others. I have always enjoyed solitude and having such a busy schedule as I used to have did not offer me enough time to recharge myself.

Time to Stand Still and Look Inside

A woman is standing still like a statue among statues
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

It was at that time that I found the time to stand still and think about myself, my life, my needs and feelings.

Another thing that I did not mention, for which I am really grateful since my job financially allowed me to take it, was a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. I had really studied hard due to lack of time but by the time Coronavirus arrived I had already finished all my lessons and there was only my master thesis that I had to submit.

If it wasn’t for Coronavirus and the lockdown work from home status I don’t know if I could have ever made it on time and submitted my master thesis. While spending my time equally to work and studying during the first lockdown I realized even more how fulfilling writing is to me.

Time to Blog

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Even after the lock down had finished I never got back to the office, I kept on working from home. It was at some point during last March that I felt like I needed to communicate my writing with others and thought of starting a blog.

I had tried it again in the past but quit within days. I never stick to it long enough to understand whether I liked it or not. This time was different. As I said above I needed to communicate my writing. When you understand that you do something because not only you just like it but also because you feel that you need it, you do it under totally different terms.

Of course the job did not become less demanding, tiring or stressful just because I was working from home. But something had changed. Even if I felt exhausted I would still sit on my laptop for a few hours after work trying to find out how blogging works, write a post etc.

It was something new. It was engaging and it was related to what I love most, writing. I would spend hours trying to figure out things but the amazing thing was that I would not feel like getting tired.

I read about bloggers that manage to make a great income out of their posts and I honestly admire them. I hope I will be as good as them one day!

I know I know…. I have a million things to learn and should work really hard to get there.

The Decision For Change

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

My job went crazy the last few months. There was a point that I felt like I was ready to collapse due to stress and too much pressure, so I decided to resign. After all, it was not like I ever really liked the life I was living the last 13 years of my life. I am grateful for all the things it allowed me to do and have but no, I cannot recall even a single moment that I felt happy in it.

I am also grateful about some people I had the chance to meet but I strongly believe that you never really lose those you care about. So I am not sad about it. I will be in touch with them. Not every day in touch because I have to but now and then in touch because I want to.

I don’t know what I will be doing from now on. I will definitely be blogging more because every day I realize how much I like it. Apart from that, whatever happens I decided that I will not let myself be carried away again by any routine. I will be sitting still and listen to myself and its needs.

Time is precious to be wasted in things that don’t offer us any joy at all.

“Happiness is a constant work-in-progress, because solving problems is a constant work-in-progress – the solutions to today’s problems will lay the foundation for tomorrow’s problems, and so on. True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.”

Mark Manson