Let’s be frank: even if we’re smart, beautiful, talented, hardworking, the fact of the matter is, ‘Sh*t happens.’ No use whining about it or blaming your parents, God, or your boss. The really successful and happy people didn’t have it easier than you. They may not have had your problems, but they certainly had their own. The only difference is that they were resilient. They handled things well. They made the best of what life gave them. They found opportunity, or created it.
How do you build that resilient spirit? Where can you get that inner strength to forge on when your entire being wants to crawl into a hole and cry? These life tips may help.
When we feel sorry for ourselves, we often think in terms of superlatives: ‘Things are never going to change’ or ‘I’m always disappointed’ or ‘I’m the worst failure in the world.’ But truly happy people are able to see setbacks as temporary. They are also able to see things in context. ‘Yes, I didn’t get THIS job, because I wasn’t able to answer THIS interview question very well. But now that I know that I tend to get nervous when I’m under pressure, I’ll improve THIS skill and be better prepared for the next interview.’
So you see, resilience isn’t sugarcoated positive thinking. It’s very analytic, realistic positive problem-solving. Because frankly, there are very circumstances that can totally ruin you. Even very huge crisis and unspeakable tragedies, such as losing a job or even losing a child, can be faced with grace and courage.
As they say, crisis doesn’t destroy you, it reveals your character. And those who choose to say, ‘This will make me humbler, braver, kinder, deepen my faith, etc.’ will be able to find a reason to do exactly that. And there are those who choose, instead, to hate the world or themselves—and no matter what good happens to them, they will still find a reason to do exactly that, too.
Of course, everyone has bad days (or weeks…or even months). How do you pick yourself up? First, try to think about all the other things you’ve ever gone through, and how you survived those. You’ll realize you’re a lot tougher than you think!
You can also choose to be ‘angel’s advocate.’ We’re very good at pointing out all the bad things in a situation. ‘This job sucks!’ or ‘I can never do anything right.’ Pretend to be a defense attorney and lay the facts for the contrary: hidden benefits of the job, or talents or skills or situations that prove, in very clear ways, that you HAVE done things right and have even done them very well!
Keep a gratitude journal, too, even on your worst days. In fact, the worse your day is, the more important it is to list something good. The resilient spirit finds every excuse to be happy and content—even if it has to ‘fake it to make it.’ And yes, one day, you will make it.
Photo from johnehrenfeld.com
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