Let me start by saying something you already know; life isn’t easy.
It’s so common to feel like there’s always one hurdle after another. Whether it’s financial responsibility, family stuff (gosh there’s always family stuff), or work stress, it feels like you can never catch a break. We get beat up by life and wave our white flags of defeat. But we don’t have to take that beating, or more likely we will the first time but don’t have to take it again.
Think of a boxing match. The bell rings and the fight starts off even, both fighters warming up, landing a few punches. They retreat to their corners feeling optimistic. Round 2 bell rings and the red corner give the blue corner a major whopping. And he has to take it. It seems like it came out of nowhere and he was definitely not prepared. But what happens next? The blue fighter goes back to his corner and gets advice from his coach. His coach wasn’t immersed in the stress of the fight and has a wider perspective. Now the blue fighter can go back fight his opponent a little better.
You can be your own coach. You can be in your own corner giving that advice.
When you’re in the middle of the fight it’s easy to get caught up in the beating, on all of the negative sides of things, we don’t think to look at the bigger picture. We don’t realize we have all of this previous training we can tap into.
That is how you build resilience. By looking at all of the skills, traits, qualities you have that allowed you to win in other fights.
I’m sure you’ve been through some tough stuff. Have you ever thought about what you had to tap into to get through that? It doesn’t matter how majestically you did it, all that matters is that you made it out the other end. And in that process, you developed some pretty dope skills. We tend to view hardships as failures. Like life is suppose to feel like dancing in the sunshine and if it’s not we’ve failed as humans. But we’ve got it all wrong. What if we viewed failing as a
How on earth can we get upset with ourselves when life is hard but we simply don’t know what we don’t know. My hope is that you can start to use hardships and setbacks to your advantage. These so-called negative experiences simply shine the light on barriers and blockages we weren’t prepared for. This is a good thing in disguise as “a failure”. Once we are aware of a barrier we may be able to get rid of it completely or we may have to come up with a plan to work with it. And guess what? Your first plan may not work, so you refine and adapt until you’ve created a unique technique for handling a specific barrier. Isn’t that what life is?
So, you can use negative experiences as validation of your doubts, beat yourself up, or even be angry at the world. Or, as singer Aaliyah says, “you can dust yourself off and try again, try again”
Important note! Please take the time to process a hard situation. I do not advocate for toxic positivity where we rejecting negative emotions. Instead, after we’ve processed a hard situation we can take what we’ve learned so that when the next hurdle comes we can take advantage of our personal resilience tool kit. You increase your ability to go through a difficult time a little bit more prepared and come out the other side a little bit less unscathed. Over time these little wins add up and soon you’ll notice you are quicker to jump into progressive action.
You can start building your own resilience tool kit by asking yourself this question: Think of a time you’ve accomplished something you originally didn’t believe you could get through (a goal, work project, life struggle, etc.). What did you have to tap into to make it happen?
Every time I have a goal I want to achieve but something gets in my way I tap into my resilience tool kit of patience, research skills, compassion, and faith. You are more resilient than your give yourself credit for and this exercise will reveal that. It is a great way to get you thinking of all you’ve overcome and all the ways you can continue to achieve your goals. Let me know some of the crazy things you’ve battled in the past and how you continue to persevere.