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How Not to Let Traumas Defeat You

How Not to Let Traumas Defeat You

Why do people fail?

Surprisingly, it’s not usually down to a lack of talent, ability or motivation.

In fact, plenty of very intelligent people fail for one simple reason: they lack resilience.

If you want to enjoy life, be successful, and cope well in a difficult world, you need to build up resilience.

Read on to find out how.

What is resilience?

Simply put, resilience is the ability to deal with whatever life throws at you without giving up.

Being resilient means being able to bounce back, even after something really bad happens.

One key characteristic of successful people is that they aren’t afraid to keep trying after they fail, and that’s because they’ve learned to be resilient.

Here’s an example:

Two people go to interviews for their dream job. Neither of them get the job.

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Person 1 is resilient. He doesn’t let a small setback knock him down, and he keeps applying for other jobs. Soon enough, he gets one – and it’s even better than the original job!

Person 2 isn’t resilient. When he doesn’t get the job, he loses all confidence. He thinks he’s a failure, that he should never have bothered trying, and that he might as well give up now. He stops applying for the jobs he really wants, and sticks with a career well below his ability level.

Want to learn more about how resilience can make you successful?

Read this article: Why There Are So Few Successful People in the World: Talents Are Overrated

How to become more resilient

Ready to start your journey towards resilience?

Here are some great places to start.

Learn to overcome trauma

Had a bad experience in the past that’s put you off trying again?

Maybe you fell off a bike while learning, and got too afraid to get back in the saddle?

Learning to overcome difficult memories is the first step towards building resilience.

Here’s an idea of how to get started:

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  • Accept what happened, and how it affected you.
  • Don’t feel like you shouldn’t be upset because ‘other people have it worse’.
  • Don’t set a strict timeline – let yourself overcome issues in your own time.
  • Ask for help. This could be from family, friends, or medical professionals.
  • Practice acceptance. You can’t change what happened, but it doesn’t have to take over your life.
  • Meditate and focus on all the things you have to be grateful for.

Want to read more about overcoming trauma?

Read this: How to Overcome a Trauma and Be Even Stronger Than Before

Look at how fear rules your life

Do you make decisions to avoid what you’re afraid of, rather than to move towards what you want?

Many of us live our lives ruled by fear – and this means we miss out on great opportunities and new experiences.

It takes time to overcome fear, but it is possible.

Start by identifying your fears, and trying to get to the root of them. Maybe you’re afraid of the unknown, of criticism, or of being rejected by others.

Try to imagine the worst case scenarios in each situation – often you’ll realize that they really aren’t that bad.

Want to learn more about how fear could be damaging your life?

Read this: How Fear Is Deep-Rooted in Our Everyday Life and Controlling Us

Learn to overcome fear

No matter what you fear, overcoming it is a worthwhile goal.

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Try a targeted approach to overcoming fear with this challenge:

30 Days Without Fear: A Plan That Will Make You Feel So Carefree Like Never Before

You’ll practice and develop fear-busting skills like:

  • Keeping a fear journal.
  • Creating more ‘me’ time.
  • Speaking in public.
  • Exercising daily.
  • Visiting new places.
  • Communicating in a more confident way.
  • Trying new, scary activities
  • Resolving conflict.

At the end of the 30 days you’ll feel like you’re ready to face anything.

Is resilience the same as optimism?

No. This is a common myth.

Of course it’s good to try and be positive – but blind optimism can actually do a lot of harm.

When something bad happens, do you brush it off, acting like you don’t care at all?

Suppressing your emotions in this way can be really harmful, and is actually the opposite of resilience.

Resilience means allowing yourself to experience difficult feelings and working through them in a healthy way – not pretending they don’t exist.

Optimist can also blind us to important things.

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If you feel bad about a job, it could be a sign for you to move onto to something new.

If you’re unhappy in the place you live, maybe it’s time to relocate?

Listening to your emotions can help you to make decisions that change your life for the better. Ignoring them could lead to missed opportunities for positive change.

Want to know more about how optimism differs from resilience?

Read this: Why You Shouldn’t Aim at Being an Optimistic Person

Take the resilience test to track your journey

So, you’ve started taking steps to become more resilient.

But how do you know that they’re working?

As well as looking out for benefits in your day-to-day life, you could trying taking this resilience test.

Be sure to make a note of your score and keep retaking the test to see how much you’ve improve.

Want to be strong enough to deal with whatever life throws at you?

Start developing resilience today.

More by this author

Eloise Best

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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Last Updated on September 11, 2020

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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