The third G in the framework of Resilience is all about Growth.
And Growth is all about how we respond to a difficult situation, circumstance or event.
We meet people all the time who are looking for the next hack, the simple thing they can do now, that will get them ahead of where they are and toward where they want to be. While all of this noise about recovery is swimming around in their heads they are feeling out of control and powerless, so we see nothing changing.
Can I ask you a question?
What in life do we have control over? The control freaks out there (I am also speaking to myself here) will have a plethora of responses here, but as I learned a long time ago in reality we can only control how we respond to an event or circumstance not the circumstance or event itself.
In times of adversity, change and challenge how we respond is the secret sauce. Do we respond in a helpful way or an unhelpful way? I have been focused on this for many years now and to be honest my response depends on many things. How much sleep I have had, how emotionally full and stable I feel, my stress levels, my expectations etc.
Perhaps an example would be helpful. On a good day, as I am getting on through my day an adversity shows up, like a request from my family for me to help out in some way. On those days I can either say “sure, we can work that out” or “I can’t help you with that, but you have my support” etc. etc.
On a more challenging day, same thing happens, and I can have a complete meltdown all the way from snapping at the family member or going into a whirlwind of self-deprecating self talk that only makes things worse. The good thing is that I am learning as the opportunity to practice presents itself. The gap between melt down, awareness and recovery is getting shorter.
When I speak about growth, it is primarily about being curious about what you are learning from your mistakes. Unfortunately, ‘mistakes’ somehow become a dirty word which is unfortunate as we are only going to keep making them, the older we become the more opportunity we have to make mistakes.
The good news is mistakes are actually how we learn, we don’t learn when things go well, we learn when things go badly. I was watching the news recently and the most recent cancer breakthrough was a direct result of a mistake, what an awesome mistake!!!!!
This can be a challenging topic for many people, especially for those of us who try to tip toe through life without making a mistake or without getting caught; how exhausting. I was one of those people, someone who expected perfection, and I know I am not alone here. Perfection does not exist in the human experience.
One of the best ways to cause yourself stress is to expect something that simply cannot happen, i.e. perfection! For example, for someone to be perfect, or for you to have the perfect day, perfect career etc.
A resilient person is someone who knows that perfection does not exist. That does not mean we can’t expect things to go well. We can still expect a wonderful outcome, even the best outcome will not be perfect. A resilient person knows and accepts that mistakes will be made. A resilient person learns from these experiences and grows as a result.
So, if you are like me, and are someone who struggles with this idea of mistakes, disappointment or failure, then I do hope you are letting this sink in. Letting go of perfection can be a life changer. My personal mantra has become progress not perfection. It has been very helpful.
You see someone who is OK with failure, who sees it as a part of life, who is open to growing and learning from the opportunity they are naturally more resilient. They don’t give up because the fear of failure doesn’t stop them, they try new things, they are more creative and persistent knowing that success may be just around the corner.
So again, I challenge you, look deep inside and ask yourself “do I fear failure?”
Do you expect perfection?
Do you procrastinate at times because you know you can’t get things to be perfect?
Do you think you fail more than you think you should?
If you relate you can certainly benefit from some self-kindness and a change in your own expectations.
Resilience is a skill that all of us can build, if you would like to know more about how we can help you grow your resilience or would like to be kept update date with new online initiatives planned for early 2020, then make sure you are subscribed to our email mailing list. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with a request for more information.