“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a gross simplification of the conditions required to grow human resilience in the face of adversity. While this statement does motivate some people, I’d like to expand upon the conditions a little:
To act to survive, we must have had enough relevant experience behind us to give us hope. Ever considered a zombie apocalypse scenario? Ever thought about those zombies that can run? I’ve never been very fit. I have shorter legs than all my siblings. I’m very clumsy. The odds are definitively against me. People who can call to mind examples or good feelings of succeeding are more likely to try.
If something has hurt us, we need recovery time. Everyone approaches recovery differently. Some find it beneficial to keep busy. Others need some contemplation time. Whatever happens after a major setback, it’s important to think about how we will adapt to the changes that follow.
Someone who survives is someone who had the resources to do so. Underdog stories are great, but we know that there are a portion of people who meet the same situations and don’t get stronger. It’s important to consider our resources in recovery. This can help us understand the chances of our continued wellbeing, as well as help us plan for adversity.