When we’re going through a tough time in life, we often want it to just stop and be finished. None of us are super-human, so we get tired, cranky, and overwhelmed. If the challenging situation has been long, serious, or deadly, then it’s common to suffer post-traumatic stress. This mental health state is real, natural, and has happened to many of us these past two years.

But, psychiatrists have noted that along with the stress, traumatic circumstances can also bring post-traumatic growth. Literally, growth from trauma. This growth does not come fast or easy. Nor does it make the stress suddenly go away. But post-traumatic growth does mean that, over time, we can extract some meaning from the mess that will enrich our lives as we move forward.

We can distill strength, wisdom, and resilience. We then carry these hard-won benefits with us to the next tough challenge or big opportunity ahead. With the pandemic fading, we can look back over the past difficult years and see how we forged new methods, developed new tools, and established new social processes for enduring the tough times.

The good news is that in this post-pandemic period, we will slowly identify and incorporate these new skills, knowledge, and ways of operating. This post-traumatic growth will make us stronger and wiser individuals. Our organizations and communities have adapted and changed in positive ways, some of which we cannot yet even see. This deep growth will continue for years to come.

Post-traumatic growth will make us more capable of taking on the next challenge, the next opportunity, the next Everest ahead. 


Photo of Jim Davidson in the foreground and his Mount Everest Guide in the background sitting on Mount Everest with yellow tents in the background

Enduring a tough training climb up to 23,500 feet on Mount Everest made me stronger and more resilient for the successful summit push two weeks later.