I was recently speaking at a conference, and I shared the calamity of events our family has gone through over the last two years. A few people came up to me and asked how I get back up after getting knocked down so many times. If you haven’t heard my ridiculous story, check out my TEDx talk. And that is only half of the story!
I wish I could say I am a super hero (Wonder Woman is my favorite) or have a brilliant master strategy, but the truth is, I take it one day at a time, just like everybody else. As research for my next book, I have been spending a lot of time learning what helps develop and maintain resilience. While the book is a few months out, I wanted to share three of the most important things I’ve learned along the way:
Choose Your Expectations Wisely
Ray Wylie Hubbard is a great Texas singer and songwriter. One of his lyrics sums it up, “And the days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations. Well, I have really good days”. Being unhappy, frustrated, sad, or just about any other feeling, happens because our expectations and reality are out of alignment. We can’t control what’s happening much of the time, but we can certainly change our expectations.
That, um, “Healthy Living” Thingy
Diet, sleep, exercise, blah, blah, blah. As someone who has battled depression most of my life, I can tell you that changing my lifestyle changed my mood. I was so tired of hearing people preach about how I needed to be healthier. It got to a point where all I heard was “blah, blah, blah”. There’s just one thing – it’s said so often and so adamantly because it’s true and it works. I’m not perfect, but I am more aware of my choices, I swim regularly, I get lots of sleep, and I stay active. I haven’t had an episode in three years (knock-on-wood), but guess what I started doing three years ago? Making better choices, swimming, going to bed earlier, and staying active. Coincidence?
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
You are either green and growing or ripe and rotting. There is no middle ground. When life is comfortable, savor it. Love the feeling and appreciate it to the fullest. When it’s too comfortable, you run the risk of complacency, and that is a recipe for disaster. While extremely difficult, it’s important to learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Only when you step outside of your comfort zone do you truly grow. If you haven’t been outside of yours in a while, it’s time to start. Resilient people challenge themselves to use their experiences as learning opportunities because they know that’s when they really grow. Is there a class you’ve wanted to take or a hobby you’ve wanted to try? Now might be good time.
I’m very excited about my new book. It is a recipe for courage, resilience, and triumph. Stay tuned! In the meantime, join us on Facebook!