As a motivational speaker and author, I often coin phrases and quotable quips to consolidate my thoughts into short nuggets of wisdom that my readers and listeners can easily remember. For instance:
“If you are not failing a few times, then it means you are not pushing yourself hard enough.”
“It is not enough to say, ‘I will do my best.’ We must succeed in doing that which is necessary!”
Do you agree with these statements? Are these not inspirational thoughts that, when believed, can rekindle your passion and recalibrate your mindset? Why, then, do so many remain stuck in their failures, continuously complaining and blaming others, content to wallow in their misery in a victim mentality of “woe is me”? It’s because they don’t know how to stop, regroup, and recover.
Being resilient boils down to whether your current beliefs are strong enough, deep enough, and true enough to equip and empower you to respond to rapid change.
The time is now to pivot and rebound. Here are eight steps to help you do just that.
1. Acknowledge where you are.
First thing on your early morning agenda: measure where you are physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, socially, financially, and in your family.
It’s like ordering an Uber ride that requires you enter in your current location. Be honest. If you lie about where you are, the directions won’t work.
2. Decide to grow.
You are under no obligation to be the same person you were yesterday, last week, last year, or 15 minutes ago. You can change and improve anytime, anywhere. Pain is a signal to grow, not to suffer. Once you learn the lesson the pain is teaching you, the pain goes away. In life there are no mistakes, only lessons, when we believe nothing happens to us, only for us.
3. Realize that adversity introduces you to yourself.
You must stretch before you can strengthen, and all the strengthening occurs in the area past the point of discomfort. You will never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.
4. Begin with the “why” in mind.
If you begin with the end in mind, it forces you to focus on a destination that’s impressive, to do your best to manage people and reward results—making money, losing weight, getting married. But when you begin with the “why” in mind, you enjoy the journey, manage expectations, and reward effort—creating wealth, changing your lifestyle, and staying married, knowing that “happily ever after” is a day-at-a-time proposition.
5. Look at every pain and predicament as an injury.
During my crazy, on-the-edge life, I’ve broken my neck, back, nose, jaw, arm, snapped my patella and Achilles tendons, had seven knee surgeries, two hernias, throat cancer, paralysis, and a hospitalized battle with COVID-19. The significant lesson is that no matter what we have broken in our lives—including shattered dreams, a broken heart, a devastating divorce, the loss of a loved one or a job—when we go through the proper steps of rehabilitation, the part of our body, mind, attitude, and spirit that was broken becomes stronger than it was before we injured it.
Our rehabilitation begins and sustains momentum when our foundational belief includes the belief that no matter what our past has been, we have a spotless future. Hold on! In two more days, tomorrow will be yesterday.
6. Scratch where it itches.
If you injure your knee and don’t get it repaired, the limp soon creates back pain. When it becomes unbearable, you finally go to a back doctor who can’t take away the pain because it’s a knee injury. We must stop focusing on the symptoms and go to the real source of our pain.
For example, if your marriage is going south, it’s not a sign of weakness to seek help. The good news is that the therapist doesn’t try to fix the broken marriage. Instead, they “scratch where it itches” and coach you on how and why to fix your individual selves so that you can then collectively decide to repair the marriage beginning from a higher level of communication and deeper level of trust and love.
7. Discipline is to teach, not to punish.
If you or someone else has made a mistake, remember that you cannot increase a person’s performance by making them feel worse. Humiliation immobilizes our behavior. A broken clock is right twice a day. Never give up on anyone—especially yourself. You never lose if you always learn.
8. Find something that makes you laugh.
I’m so old that when I bend over to pull up my socks I think, “What else can I accomplish while I’m way down here?” Ha!
Rather than remaining stuck in a funk, let go of the “woe is me” statements and resolve today to make changes. As you take steps to improve your mindset and make better decisions, you will become more resilient, and your life will pivot in the direction that you want it to go.
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