5 Lessons You Can Only Learn After You've Lost Everything

by Tyler Leslie
Soren Egeberg

We all experience ups and downs in life, whether it's in business or our personal lives. But what if you tried changing your mindset about experiencing the downfalls in life?

What if you were able to take the negative in your life and see the lessons you could learn from it? Or how about if you turned things around and made them positive?

Below, I have provided a few things that experiencing the downs of life can teach you. Keep an open mind and attempt to put some of these points into practice when that experience arrives:

1. It will teach you what you need to improve upon.

Improving every day is essential if you want to become better at whatever it is you're doing. This is also the most commonly overlooked thing.

People either get content in the position they're in, or they feel like they don't need to improve as much.

Self-improvement is the key to becoming a better version of yourself in all aspects of your life: business, relationships or home life. Experiencing the downs will ultimately teach you what isn't working and what is. In this way, it will give you a better idea about what you should be doing.

If people don't like being around you, maybe you need to start learning new ways to become a better person. I didn't like the person I was a few years ago. So, I started reading personal development books.

The book by Dale Carnegie called “How To Win Friends And Influence People” taught me how to be that better person. I became more likable to the people I met.

2. It will show you if it's worth it or not.

Whenever we start something new, we all wish we knew if it would be worth it in the long run. Unfortunately, we don't know this answer.

But if we use our context clues, we can get a pretty good idea after a while. Experiencing the downs will help you determine whether or not the thing you're doing is going to be worth it. If you're running a successful business, but it constantly keeps you from spending time with your family or doing the things you enjoy, then maybe it's not worth it.

This will be different for everyone. But knowing what truly brings you happiness will be the deciding factor.

3. It prepares you for the challenges ahead.

Challenges are part of every single thing we do in life. It doesn't matter if you're starting your own business, creating your own family or simply going to the gym for exercise: The point is, you will always have challenges.

Experiencing the ups are great, but experiencing the downs will prepare you for what's ahead. The funny part is, I had the most growth while I was going through a tough time in my life. It was sink or swim for me.

But once I got past each challenge, I became mentally tough. This made the challenges ahead seem less challenging.

4. It builds mental strength and confidence.

I'm sure we all understand how important building mental strength and confidence is in life.You need to be able to perform when everything is going against you.

If all you ever experience are the ups, then you'll never gain that mental strength and confidence for when things don't go your way. Let's be honest: Nobody experiences only the good things.

I know a friend who was very good at basketball growing up. He always got the best of everything. He had personal trainers coming to the house, he flew all over America to play in different leagues and he was always a starting player on the team.

Then, he received a scholarship to play basketball at a popular college. He found out during his first year that he would be sitting on the bench and not getting much playing time. A few months later, he dropped out.

Not experiencing many lows caught up to him. He didn't have the mental strength or confidence to move forward.

5. It motivates you to get back up and keep going.

Being tenacious is vital for success in everything you do in life. It doesn't matter whether you're chasing that girl you really like who isn't interested in you, or whether you're trying to beat the deadline your boss set on you for a project: Tenacity is what's going to get you there.

Experiencing the downs really brings out your motivations and values. These experiences have a subtle way of letting you know if you're going to get back up and keep going.

I was in the starting lineup while I played basketball in high school. We had a decent season, and we even made the playoffs. But during the one and only playoff game in my life, I didn't get to play for a single minute. The coach benched me for personal reasons.

I didn't have a bad attitude about it, but it did give me this deep determination to come back the next year and play as hard as I could. That was a personal down for me, but I turned it into motivation.

It seems to be an old mindset that failing is bad, or that experiencing a low means you shouldn't be doing the specific thing you failed at.

Instead, try changing your mindset. See how experiencing the downs in your life can actually change your life for the better.