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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

Content Writer

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Last Updated on May 7, 2019

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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    They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

    Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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        1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
        2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
        3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
        4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
        5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

        How to Spot a Wolf

          Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

          Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

          A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

          A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

          Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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          Ask Questions, the More the Better

          There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

          When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

          Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

          They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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          Wolves Are Everywhere

          As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

          Reference

          [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
          [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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