3. FAILING & Resilience
The secret of very successful people is their ability to handle situations that don’t turn out well – all along the way. Because they’re willing to risk trying, trying, trying – to achieve their goals, they rack up a lot of rejection from others & /or failures from their own efforts. (Thomas Edison, J.K. Rowling, Col. Sanders…..).
A key factor in winning is that they put all their efforts into something they deeply believed in AND that was actually achievable.
Resilient people (Rs) use each opportunity to figure out what went wrong (their procedures, methods or skill level, their presentation….), & make corrections. OR they recognize their main task is to find the right person or venue for their product or skill.
They do not waste time second-guessing themselves, beating themselves up, wondering what’s wrong with them, trying to figure out what everyone else may want, or thinking the universe is against them!
The combination of objective learning & perseverance keeps them on track – & eventually they reach their goal. The bigger the risk, the bigger the payoff.
IMP: As recovering ACoAs, we can make that shift in perspective – to accept the need for process, which includes not knowing everything, sometimes making mistakes, cutting big jobs into bite size pieces, & never giving up. This is so hard, because we did all that with our family – & never got anywhere. But we didn’t actually fail, because our goal was impossible to achieve.
⭐︎ Perseverance is only useful if we push for what’s realistic. Part 3 of the Serenity Prayer says: “…and the wisdom to know the difference” – but we keep getting it backwards!
For perspective, try documenting (Excel?), every time you’ve been turned down, made a mess or missed the mark – when working on a project or toward a goal.
⭐︎ Then put it side by side with every success, every compliment, every paycheck! You may find your thinking shifts. Whatever you lack may not be as big or bad as you thought. You may have many more up-sides. Take that in!
4. PHYSICAL HEALTH & Resilience
We’ve all heard “Healthy body, healthy mind”. Body gurus insist that ‘to make healthy decisions in life, you have to lead a healthy (physical) life.’
Research suggests that as little as 10 minutes of exercise increases blood flow to the brain & spending 20 minutes outside in nice weather leads to “more expansive, open thinking – a pro-resiliency mindset”.
Other studies say that time in nature helps combat anxiety & depression, improves immunity, & lowers inflammatory chemicals in the body. These are all true.
And it’s also true that long-term depression, environmental illness, severe dyslexia…. messes with our thinking & motivation, & auto-immune diseases require constant vigilance. But in many cases the right meds, location change, certain foods & supplements, & psychotherapy improve well-being.
Yes, one component of “Inner Resources” is physical stamina. However, basing mental health (& resilience) primarily on physical functioning implies that if we don’t have a sound body, our mind will inevitably be – what??? confused, fuzzy, depressed, unfocused, a ‘mess’, weak…. ??? NO!
There are people everywhere with severe disabilities whose minds & hearts are not only resilient – but soar!
• The obvious example is Stephen Hawking. He was diagnosed at 21 & was expected to die in 2 years, yet lived until age 76, continuing his work in spite of an extreme disability
• Consider how much Frida Kahlo accomplished, in spite of being in constant physical agony
• And what about the elderly lady who became permanently bedridden, & then spent all her time praying for other people, from requests sent to her from all over the US?
• There are children in cancer wards (often terminal) with better attitudes than most healthy people. There are adults who have survived cancer treatment but have residual side-effect that debilitate, yet have a positive mental perspective
• And we’ve read about blind people who water-ski, bike ride, take pictures…. or have world-wide musical careers; people with ALS, Down Syn…. or deaf – with successful acting careers….
There & many more are all people whose mental state in/was grounded solidly in a clear sense of themselves & in positive beliefs. Their lives are/were not limited by their physical limitations.
NEXT: Resilience & Humor