“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
But what does that really mean? And how am I stronger?
I don’t know if you’ve ever been in one of those situations where it seemed like you wouldn’t make it out. For some people it’s a real life physical situation whereas others may experience financial, emotion, or mental situations that seem hopeless.
There are a few things at play when we face those situations. Some of which we aren’t even aware of.
A great majority of people have beliefs about themselves or their situations that limit their idea of what is possible. These limiting beliefs not only remove possible outcomes, they remove the effort toward those outcomes.
I am a quitter; I’ve known that about myself for a long time. Interestingly enough, when I’m faced with a situation from which I would normally quit but don’t have the option to, I’m very likely to succeed (not die).
You may have heard the term “fight or flight” at some point. The term illustrates the options you have when faced with a seemingly impossible situation. You can either fight your way out or run away. When the only options are complete failure or partial success, you fight.
How does this make me stronger?
When faced with adversity we are challenged to overcome. You aren’t stronger simply because you overcame though. When we perceive ourselves at a disadvantage or being the underdog, we seek creative ways to regain the advantage. At a minimum, we seek to even the odds of success or failure.
You’re not stronger because you got lucky and survived. It is because you got resourceful and creative.
Because you tapped in to perseverance that you may not have known you had. Instinctively, you set aside your limiting beliefs.
You found the strength to survive.
Life or death
It feels a little dramatic to attribute a life or death analogy. Why would Friedrich Nietzsche say “that which doesn’t kill us” instead of talk about when we don’t find success?
I think far too often we get caught up in what success looks like instead of what life looks like. We balance our attitude and emotional health on whether things go the way we want them to.
If you can still breathe, you win.
Winston Churchill said, ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.’
So isn’t it then about life?
Isn’t Nietzsche’s statement true that you will be stronger from every event that you survive?
Haven’t you gained some skill or experience that will prepare you for other things in life?
When you learn to apply that skill or experience, aren’t you stronger for it?
When you consider this simple principle, apply it to specific areas of your life. Your loftiest of dreams should be made stronger by every imagining that doesn’t kill them. Personal success should be made stronger from every “no” along the way. Financial aptitude; stronger by every setback.
I like to believe when you’re stronger, I’m stronger.
Let’s be better together,