Certain forms of toughness are only acquired by enduring certain forms of pain.
Resilience isn’t gained by reading books, reciting positive affirmations, or pumping yourself up when you’re faced with obstacles. It’s gained by the experience of having to go through things *before* you’ve fully developed the confidence that you’re capable of making it through them.
Sometimes faith is like a fire that blazes impossible trails and consumes every obstacle in your path. But sometimes faith is like getting your fire stamped out and realizing for the first time that you have other elements to work with.
When we imagine men and women of courage, we tend to picture people who never flinch during a battle. But there is another kind of courage. It’s the courage of those who flinch, but who live to tell the story of outlasting the things they once believed were capable of defeating them.
Resilience is a lot like flexibility: it’s the by-product of being stretched. Even if you aren’t a flexible person before stretching, you’ll become a lot more flexible after stretching. A person doesn’t stretch because they’re flexible. They’re flexible because they stretch.
If you want to be mentally tougher, more courageous, more confident, more charged up with faith, then don’t wait for these traits to come to you *before* you act. Start moving forward with what you have. Resilience isn’t just what helps you make it to the finish line. It’s what you get after you’ve survived the experience of being stretched beyond your beliefs about what was possible.