If there is one thing that I’ve come to realise, is it how quickly life passes by. It feels like just yesterday that my eldest daughter was born, that I could hold her in my arms and look at her as she smiled. Today she a wonderful mom herself. It feels like yesterday that I went to school for the first time. Today I’m a grandpa. Life is short. A blink of the eye and it is over. We only have one life and therefor need to live it!
Living life to the fullest is therefor so precious, but at the same time this precious life is also very unpredictable and fragile. I don’t know about you, but I’ve experienced the ebb and flow of life. Life has the tendency to throw curve balls at the most unexpected times – unemployment, challenging relationships, divorce, death, a fruitless career, financial difficulties, and so much more. This can cause people to experience fear, anger, shame, uncertainty, blaming others, withdrawing from society, and giving up by losing hope and faith.
THE BEST DECISION YOU CAN MAKE
But there is good news because this life that sometimes knocks us over, is also the same life that offers second chance – you just need to believe it and grab it!
Therefore, the best decision you can take when life has happened, is to stop feeling sorry for yourself. Feeling sorry for yourself has never served anyone or has brought any positive outcomes, solutions or growth. Yes, there need to be a time for mourning and to grapple with what has happened, but there need to come a time for you to say: “It has happened. It is what it is.”
People deal differently with trauma. Yet over time people generally adapt to life changing situations. What enables them to do so? It’s about choices. It’s about resilience.
THE POWER OF RESILIENCE
Resilience is the process of adapting in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats and significant sources of stress. It is to bounce back successfully from a difficult and/or traumatic experience – the art of bouncing back (or rather bouncing forward).
Research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary and people commonly demonstrate resilience. Can you remember a time when someone pushed your head beneath the water and kept it there for a while? What did you do? You instinctively started to fight to get back to the surface. Your survival mode kicked in and probably saved you.
Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn’t experience difficulty, distress or emotional pain. The road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress, but you need to remember that resilience is part of your makeup as a human being. It is who you are and gives you a second chance in life. There is always hope and answers, but it remains a choice to be resilient and go over in action.
WAYS TO BUILD RESILIENCE
Become aware of the power of resilience and work purposefully towards a positive outcome, solution and personal growth. The next pointers might assist you in doing so:
Accept the situation you are in
- Accept the situation you are in – IT IS WHAT IT IS.
- With perseverance, tenacity and determination you need to believe that THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Life has proven repeatedly that this is true. History is full of wonderful examples of people who were knocked down, but because of their resilience, they persevered. Keep therefore a positive attitude and move forward.
- You need to fully commitment yourself to the process by saying and believing: “I WILL BOUNCE FORWARD!” Embrace change, because we only grow during adversity.
- Accept the emotion that you experience and start working through them. It might be a good idea to get the help of a professional like a life coach, counselor or therapist in working through your emotions.
- Don’t underestimate your thought processes, because “I AM WHAT I THINK”. Your thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The question is if they will serve or limit you in the process of bouncing forward.
- Tap into your sources of inner-strength and faith.
- Avoid seeing the crises as impossible to resolve because each hurdle in life can be overcome. It might take time but is possible by using your problem-solving skills and by staying flexible and open-minded.
- Take decisive actions and move towards measurable goals that will reward you with a positive outcome. Be accountable to someone during this process.
- Focus on past positive experiences and sources of inner-strength and faith that will guide you through this character-building time in your life.
Keep on building relationships
- Instead of isolating yourself, maintain good relationships and accept when people reach out to you. You don’t have to always be strong. It is okay for someone to serve, help and encourage you from time to time.
- Rekindle the caring and supportive relationships around you and make connections with people that can support you in this process. Pride has never served anyone.
- Reflect on how to achieve a positive outcome. Affort yourself to dream again on what the future could look like.
- Uncover yourself in terms of what you have to offer by making a list, or mind-map of your hobbies, passions, interests, strengths, skills, competencies, values, principles, believes, etc.
- Celebrate how far you have come and look at all your faith-monuments of past difficulties you have overcome. Together with God, you can do it again.
- Uncover (maybe for the first time) your life’s purpose and work towards living it. Start giving it hands and feet. This will be so rewarding!
There is hope ahead! There are always answers. You just need to make a choice to stand up and believe that this too shall pass, because it will if you keep on moving.
I want to end with the words of Martin Luther King: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
Be blessed and share your stories of hope as an inspiration to others!