Have you ever endured something so difficult that during that time you couldn’t imagine finding yourself on the other side? More than likely, yes, because most, if not all of us in some measure have faced tragedy that was daunting to say the least. However, over time there’s going to likely be two responses to this adversity that we’ve been faced with and that’s either post-traumatic stress or post-traumatic growth.
Fear is our response to the unknown, it’s a sensor, and our relationship to this sensor will dictate absolutely everything about our lives if we don’t respond to it in a productive and healthy way. I like using the analogy of lifting weights because it’s something that has always been a huge part of my life and I think most people can visualize what I’m about to describe. When you go to the gym, you don’t want lift too much weight too fast, this could damage the muscle to the point of exhaustion and injure your ability to make progression.
Now we know with lifting through the process of linear progression you can overload the muscle just enough to get an adaptive response which will produce muscle growth, strength, and improved body composition. This is no different than your psyche, confidence, and fear. The actions of confidence come before the feelings of confidence, which means you have to get in the gym of life and lift, pushing through the discomfort, before you can truly enjoy the results of a good physique or psyche.
When we are confronted with something that stresses our being too much, it damages us, but also if we experience no stressors at all we don’t grow. When I refer to stressors here, it’s no different than saying fear or uncertainty. The only difference here is we are talking about the realm of the mind as opposed to the physical realm of the body, but they cross paths and most certainly interact. An unhealthy body will absolutely contribute to an unhealthy mind and eventually an unhealthy mind will contribute to an unhealthy body.
Your mind and body grow from becoming more competent to the stressors of life by taking uncertainty and converting into certainty, taking the unknown and making it the known, taking what’s in the dark and shining a light on it so that it can be seen. When tragedy strikes, we are being confronted with something that is enormously challenging and perhaps even overwhelming. This can be damaging to the psyche and takes time to recover from. It’s in the process of recovery though that we can choose whether we live in a state of perpetual fear that’s stored in our body and psyche or if we experience perpetual growth.
This is why tragedy can be the seed to triumph. It’s in the process of recovering from adversity and healing from the pain that we can grow just like a broken bone, stronger than ever before. You just need to make sure you set the bone right before it heals. Isn’t that what tragedy does? It hits us to the core and snaps a part of us, awakening us to a new way of viewing the world, reality, and human nature. It’s in that changing of our perception that our being can go from one degree of greatness to another – if we choose to do just that. That’s what it comes down to, do we choose the seed of triumph to grow from tragedy or allow the tragedy to perpetuate its own cycle of misery? At any moment we can change the outcome by one decision, choose wisely.