Life is full of uncertainty. There are ups, downs, pauses and detours. The one thing we can count on in this life is change.
However, as humans, we like a certain sense of safety, security and routine; we don’t usually like unpredictability or uncertainty. This “not knowing” tends to trigger our reptilian response and sympathetic nervous system of fight, flight or freeze. When we are in this state of reactivity, it is more difficult to make a wise and responsive choice.
When it comes to creating healthy habits and being successful in life, how can we achieve success when things are always changing?
The three characteristics that support success and greater well-being that are supported by research (and that I’ve found in my work) are: persistence, patience and resilience.
What do all three traits have in common? The ability to stick it out for the long haul.
In our busy, let’s-have-things-NOW society, we aren’t always willing to accept that most good things take a little effort and time. Does this sound familiar? We wanted weight loss yesterday; we want the marriage proposal now; we want the perfect job today, and the amazing house this very moment.
A wise saying states, “When the fruit is ripe, it will fall from the tree.”
We can’t make the weight come off by forcing it; we can’t make a man or woman fall in love and commit to us; we can’t make our bosses give us promotions. What we can do is continue to apply a strong commitment of effort, patience and persistence.
Personally, I have learned this lesson over and over. As much as I have taken on the challenge to practice more patience in my life, I am inherently a mover and shaker, and like to make things happen on my timeline, not necessarily on life’s timeline.
Here is how to increase resiliency. May it serve you well.
6 Ways to Practice Resiliency
1. Be Creative with the Resources at Hand
If there is something you want, but don’t really know how to achieve or tackle, don’t let a lack of expertise or experience stop you. Learn as you go instead.
In February, I rolled out an online course for the first time. For me, this meant asking people questions about how to do this, fully committing to my vision in my words and actions, finding mentors and wisdom seekers who were willing to share knowledge, getting a technician wiz to be on my team since that isn’t my skill set, and then hoping that everything would go great. And guess what? It did.
2. Use Criticism as a Way to Make Yourself (and Your Work) Better
As I have shared often in this community, compassion, not criticism, is a better motivator for change. If the mind goes into negative thinking, turn it around to something like, “I am doing the very best that I can, or things are going to work out.” Then see what next needs your attention, and prioritize it.
3. When Bad Stuff Happens, Don’t Lose Your Focus
Whether its a promotion you didn’t get, a client you didn’t win over, a relationship ends, or maybe your weight isn’t moving in the direction you want it to, allow yourself to feel the emotions that pertain to this upset. But then get back on track with what you do have power over: yourself and your next move.
4. Learn from the Past to Avoid Repeating It
I have made some mistakes and sometimes I have made those mistakes many times. Sound familiar? Resilience comes when we look at the past and reflect on what worked and what didn’t work. Sometimes the greatest change and learning comes from not wanting to have the same negative outcome. If you are always doing X, why not try Y?
5. Gratitude Brings Opportunities
I often drink yogi tea, and an inspiring message that I have gotten a few times says, “An attitude of gratitude brings opportunity.” I believe this. If we can incline the mind towards what we feel grateful for, we move into a space of abundance. This energy can often times attract positive things to us. Start a gratitude journal today and just name 3-5 things a day you feel grateful for.
6. Make Friends with Fear
Often times when life feels uncertain or what we are trying to do is new, we can feel fear. First, name your fear, look it in the eye, and tell yourself that you are safe. I love drinking tea, so as a practice, I will invite my fear for tea. My fear is already here, so why not make it more comfortable with a little cup of chamomile? Once the fear has been acknowledged and passed, do something that brings you back into balance (exercise, talking to a friend, dance). Now stand in the possibility that life is organizing around your success. Yes!
I look forward to hearing how it goes.
Want to learn more mindful practices? Sign up for Carley’s FREE Mindful Training workbook.