You can, like a carrot, go into the water hard and rigid, only to have the water (those difficult circumstances) make you soft and squishy. (Personally, I don’t relate to the before or the after.)
Or you can, like the egg with its hard, exterior shell, come out of the the water (those difficult circumstances) hard on the inside as well as the outside. (I might, just a little bit, relate to the hard exterior shell.)
Or you can be the coffee. Instead of letting the boiling water (or difficult circumstances) change you, you can be the coffee, changing the water instead. I don’t know about you.
But I am the coffee.