9 Traits to Bounce Back from Anything and Excel
The video above is from the Periscope Broadcast I did on this subject. Here's the article that was also featured on Medium.com:
How To Bounce Back From Anything and Excel, 9 Important Traits to Develop and Use
If there’s one resounding theme in life, it’s that change is certain. Change happens when one stage of life ends and catapults us into another. It happens when life stuns us with a sudden event that changes us forever.
The tragic loss of my 16-year old son was the most staggering. You’ve heard it before… “She lost her child and never recovered.” That was my fear. No one is prepared for loss, especially that of a child. Why do some people bounce back, and others don’t?
The saying “time heals all wounds” is a myth.
As months of grieving went by, I discovered it’s not time at all, it’s what we do with that time that begins the healing process. Healing starts with our ability to activate Resilience.
Wikipedia defines resilience as "the ability to cope with change,” and “being able to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties.”
It’s the ability to bounce forward. Each one of us has experienced changes caused by life-altering events. Some are stage of life occurrences, like an empty nest, aging, retirement. Others emerge from unplanned circumstances like loss, divorce, financial ruin, or a health crisis.
The chapter you leave behind triggers each new chapter. The unwritten pages of the future are uncertain, even scary at times. The ability to activate resilience predicts the story of your future. Life events, planned or unplanned, drive cycles of change. We might resist change for a while, but then we find ourselves stuck, caught in the famine of the soul, asking what’s next?
Resilience is the only prescription for restoring the soul’s potential. Or more cowbell!
No matter what the circumstances, personally or professionally, your quality of life depends on it. Just look at the lone tree growing from a craggy rock jutting out to the sea. It can't help but thrive!
Your business life has cycles too. The economy might dictate doom, but resilient people remain focused and flexible. They know the importance of keeping up with current practices and technology to ride the highs and lows.
Look at the number of people who were reluctant to use a computer! My 90-year old mom is a volunteer at the local hospital and working with a computer was mandatory. It changed the quality of her life. She’s able to volunteer, connect with people, and see her grandkids on Facebook... all because she embraced learning something new.
Resilience is the significant key to the quality of your life.
Let’s explore traits and strengths of resilient people:
- Perpetual optimism.
Let optimism prevail. How you handle the past and present will predict your future. Optimists tend to bounce back from painful experiences faster than pessimists. According to Psychologist Charles Carver, PhD, "They stay in the struggle because they expect the ship to right itself." They are adaptable, and don’t stay down too long. They rebound and begin again.
- Use fear as motivation.
Ask any successful person if they felt fear going to their next level, they will tell you yes, but they made fear work for them. Actor, Henry Fonda was so nervous going on stage, he'd throw up before each performance...even at 75! In other words, fear doesn’t always go away, and fear isn’t necessarily negative. Fear can show you it’s something you want so much, it frightens you. Go for it!
- Be the highest expression of who you are in your professional life.
We spend a huge part of our lives at work. Our jobs should reflect who we are. Our trustworthiness, knowledge, and value are judged in the workplace. The stability of a business depends on its mastery of riding the waves of change. It takes a resilient leader. I had great success when I first became a real estate agent. I thought… I’m a great agent! I have so much business! I’m winning awards! Then the market crashed, and I blamed my lack of success on the market. I had to look at the story I was telling myself. It was humbling. If I was a great agent, why am I failing? I was forced to look at a new way of doing business. I learned to diversify and expand my area of expertise. I networked and made new connections. I learned to be a good agent, in spite of the market.
- Do something to break the pattern of feeling blue.
It’s called a “pattern interrupt.” If you’re feeling down, visit a zoo, a pet shelter, the ocean, or a park. Even a trip to the grocery store will force you to get yourself out of the house and talking to people. Make a point of saying something nice to someone you encounter. It will make their day and in turn, their happiness will bounce right back to you.
- Look great most of the time.
How do you show up in the world? Your appearance is the first thing people notice. A huge part of looking great is personal health. It’s a fact we need exercise, sleep, and healthy eating to be at our best. How we dress is one more aspect of looking great. When we’re grocery shopping, at spin class, or at work, we’re assessed within seconds. I frequently run into clients at the gym or the grocery store. When you look good, you feel good. It doesn't take much effort to put on a nice pair of workout pants and top instead of a torn tee shirt. Your next potential client or even soul mate could be the one you meet over peaches in the produce section. It’s happened to me!
- Keep a mindfulness daily practice.
Successful people rely on a daily mindfulness ritual to inspire them. Huffington Post Writer, Carolyn Gregoire, wrote in her article The Daily Habit of Outrageously Successful People, that meditation is the top priority for more and more leaders in the business world. Try daily meditation, writing in a journal, or reading inspired works. It elevates your emotional and physical well-being. Wouldn’t you trade 15 minutes of your morning to guarantee equanimity and success?
- Failure is a better teacher than success.
Failures are an important lesson in learning how to bounce back from difficult times. Keep careful watch over feelings of failure. It can be a destructive force and keep you weak and small. Failure is a great guide to your future. It tells you what didn’t work. When a reporter asked Thomas Edison, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps." Resilient people know the next failure puts them one step closer to success.
- Have a playful, creative spirit.
Many people believe they’re not creative, but everyone is. Just look back to your childhood. Did you build a sand castle at the beach? Did you finger paint on giant sheets of butcher paper? Did you mold animals with clay? Then, it didn’t matter how good you thought it was, or what others thought, you did it because it made you happy. What killed your joy, sweet child? A teacher’s grade or a jealous friend? Remember, art is evaluated by the way it makes people feel. Everyone’s opinion is different. Don’t let a negative comment from the past spoil your fun forever! Return to a creative life! Start by using your smart phone to take photos of flowers or sunsets. Print and frame them. If you like to write, start a blog or write a poem! If you love music, sign up for lessons to play an instrument, or sing a song! Visit a ceramics studio and paint a bowl with big red cherries. Now your life is just a bowl of cherries! Remember... always keep your child heart.
- Sometimes we need help.
If you’re struggling in your personal or professional life, consider this the perfect time to create your Dream Team. Make use of your friends, a coach, a therapist, a mentor, or enroll in a program that will guide you. My whole life changed when I surrendered to the fact I needed help. I use the word “surrender” because my unyielding pride kept saying I should be able to do this on my own. In nature, when a female elephant is sick or wounded, the other females form a circle around her. They protect her, nurture her, and watch over her until she is strong enough to stand on her own. This is how my circle is. When my son died, they were all there, circling around me until I could stand on my own. There are times we need help. Ask trusted friends for support and in turn, be a good friend to them. Enlist mentors for specific guidance and create professional alliances for business help. Draw from this pool of strength… your Dream Team. When was the last time you said, can you help me?
If life throws an unexpected event your way, you ask, “Will I survive?”
Yes, you will. Recognize your challenge as the beginning of the next chapter in your life story. Lean into it and armor yourself with the shield of resilience. Implementing these traits changed me. After my son Garrett died I could only see a future of despair, but his loss forced me to uncover a new me, a new life. I often wonder who I might have been if I had not experienced such tragedy. But then, I wonder who I who might I have been if I had never experienced love, anger, hurt, or joy. Each challenge forced me to discover my own strength, and each time I was called to a larger life.
I suffered the greatest loss a parent could ever imagine, but I survived. Right now, you could be struggling with loss, heartache, or an unexpected life-altering event. But, you have a choice…
Learn to bounce forward and dare the “new you” to emerge. Choose resilience. It’s there inside of you, challenging you, nudging you, and supporting you in taking the next big step.
And there you are…
If you want to consider a supportive program, let’s set up a 20 minute call and talk in person!
Veronica Vargas, Manager/Founder at Shaboo Prints : Sandy’s signature difference is that she is a living example of the value each and every experience has on creating a happy life. There is no theorizing in Sandy’s program. It is this value, in even the smallest occurrences of our existence, that then gives us each an important story to tell and Sandy is there for me, through her program, to not only validate the importance of my life but to help me facilitate the telling of it so that others may benefit.