Do These 7 Things, and Become More Resilient!
Wherever you find yourself on your bold journey of life — whether you have discovered your courage, tapped into your confidence, and feel sure of yourself or if you are at the beginning and are learning to take small steps outside of your comfort zone — life will throw you curveballs. When they come, it’s essential to know that you have resilience inside of you. It’s in your nature. And you can tap into it at any moment.
When I look at what I’ve tackled and accomplished over the last several years, I see, much of the time, a confident and bold woman who is ready to take on the next goal or surmount the next obstacle. But there are times when things happen that throw me for a loop and knock me off balance.
Like the end of that relationship that was so promising, after 18 months of looking. The one where my potential suitor seemed to tick all of the boxes. The one where he treated me with respect, as if I could be the one for him too, until he ghosted me out of the blue.
Or the loss of my job after only two weeks of satisfying work (for my employer and me), because I didn’t have the correct paperwork. This setback unearthed strong feelings of worthlessness which I’d experienced the first time I was fired decades ago, and each subsequent time I was let go or laid off after that.
Or, even more recently, being stranded in the US away from my home in France during the COVID-19 pandemic. I feared that I’d never get back to my life and go broke in the process. Thoughts of guilt crowded my mind because I had made the decision to travel, even though there was such uncertainty about the virus.
Each of these instances shook my confidence and rocked my world in a way I hadn’t anticipated. They filled me with fear, self-doubt, and a little bit of self-loathing.
These thoughts and emotions took my energy low and unleashed the potential to hold my life hostage to inaction. They threatened to throw me into the abyss of despair indefinitely.
But, fortunately, they didn’t!
I was unsteady in my direction, uncertain in what I would do. Not believing I had any options. I was scared that I had made a fatal mistake or that someone had done something to me that would ruin my life forever. I felt disappointed in myself, in the seeming unfairness of life, and I doubted my value.
These feelings were real and disturbing as they usually are, but the difference this time was that I didn’t stay in these emotions and catastrophic thinking. I didn’t wallow in hopelessness for extended periods. I didn’t allow a limited, narrow view of my future to completely short circuit my inner power.
I turned these situations, or at least my view of them, around and pulled my spirits up and myself together. I got to a place where I could take intentional, focused, and hope-filled action in only a few hours or days, rather than weeks, or even months, as has been the case during previous challenges.
But how is it possible to pull yourself back from the brink of despair before you get so low down, so mired in sentiments of lack, worthlessness, disgust, and guilt, that it becomes almost impossible to rise again? How can you bounce back more quickly and see and seize the opportunities in the obstacles?
The answer is in learning to be more resilient, able to withstand and recover quickly from difficult conditions.
You might ask again, but how?
For me, it started with my journey of growing bold and in cultivating courage. There were three things, I call them catalysts, that allowed me to do this.
- “Setting a Meaningful Goal” tied to my values,
- “Building Self-confidence” by looking to past accomplishments as proof of my competence and strength, and
- “Shifting my Perspective” to see situations, people, and life not as limitations to my happiness, but as stepping stones on mypath to overcoming.
This was the start.
I feel more confident in myself, my abilities, and in the universe to bring me only good, now, even when “unfortunate” circumstances arise. To foster this belief and fortify my resilience, I do four other things regularly:
- I stay present enough to catch my thoughts and emotions before they spiral out of control and lead me into hopelessness, where it is more difficult to rebound
- I practice non-attachment and am flexible when setting and working toward my goals
- I laugh daily, for at least ten minutes straight, to relieve the stress and seriousness life can bring, and
- Every morning, I call to mind all the things for which I am grateful, even when I’m experiencing unhappiness or adversity.
These four things, done daily will increase your resilience so that when things aren’t going as you would like them to, you can stay positive, think more clearly, and see and take advantage of the opportunities in the obstacles.