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Get Rid of These 3 Thoughts We All Have That Stunt Our Growth of Resilience.

Get Rid of These 3 Thoughts We All Have That Stunt Our Growth of Resilience.

Failures at work. Break ups. Loss of a loved one. Or a tough criticism. They are all a huge stepping stones on our way to self-discovery and personal growth.

We hope to grow, to become better versions of ourselves each new day, yet the situations like these trump our progress and take us one step back each time. However, if we take another look into the seemingly devastating effects a certain trauma, loss or a failure has had on our lives, we may discover that there is another way out of misery, a way that will help us recover much faster and build stronger resilience in the face of adversity.

As humans, we tend to fall into one of the two categories of dealing with grief and trauma. We either tend to grief for a short period of time, and then manage to quickly pick ourselves up and move on with life, or tend to get stuck in the grieving period for a very long time, struggling to recover.

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In order to find better ways of recovery for everyone, we first need to look closely into the causes of lessened resilience. This will help us to bounce not only back up, but even forward.    You’re Alright. Calm Down. There Is Always An Option B.

Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg has gone through tremendous grief after losing her husband. Her reaction and grieving process were similar to what most of us would feel and do given the circumstances. Overwhelmed with grief, she had a tough time even getting out of bed and taking care of her children.

Thanks to the help of her friend and a psychologist, Adam Grant, Sandberg managed to recover from loss and re-build her life again. She wrote about her struggle and the concrete steps she took towards building resilience in a life-changing book – Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.

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As Sandberg discovered throughout her journey of overcoming loss and building resilience, first and foremost we need to escape the trap of the “three Ps” that a psychologist Martin Seligman termed as our response to great loss, failure, or any other life-shuttering experience.

The “three Ps” that stand in our way to recovery can be best described by a very common situation – a break up of a love relationship.

Personalization: “I Am the Worst Person on Earth”

The first P stands for Personalization. Once the terrible feeling of loss strikes, we tend to believe that we are at fault. No matter what the situation was, most of us would immediately blame ourselves for the failure of the relationship.

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When it comes to the first P,  we must stop blaming ourselves. For, example, in the break up situation, we need to realize that, in the end, it involves two people, and therefore, it can never be one person’s fault. It is always a good idea to talk to people close to us to help us gain a more unbiased perspective.

Pervasiveness: “My Life Is Screwed Up”

The second P is related to Pervasiveness. This is when a feeling of failure suddenly overcomes all aspects of our life, even though, in reality it is only our love life that is not going so well at the moment.

The approach is similar with Personalization. Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves and letting the negativity overshadow other aspects of our lives, we need to take a second look and start to find even the littlest things that we can appreciate about it. For example, if you have just gone through a terrible break up, you can be thankful for your friends and their great and honest support. This method will not only make you more resilient, but your friendships will get a new, more honest and supportive dimension.

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Permanence: “I Can Never Be Healed”

Finally, the third P stands for Permanence – the reason many of us have a feeling after each break up that we will never be happy again.

As for Permanence, even though it can be almost impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel, when your entire life you had planned is falling apart, you can overcome it as well, with a different frame of mind. In those moments that seem to last forever you need to remember that you have gone through a similar heart break before, and you have managed to move on and love and trust again. In the end, you have learned so much from each heartbreak and you soon realized the bigger picture and how those seemingly negative moments brought you to something amazing later on. Having a perspective in tough times doesn’t always come naturally, yet once you start practicing these and similar principles, you will be able to recover much faster each next time.

Don’t Avoid. Experience Each P. You Will Be Resilient.

Yes. These “Ps” happen naturally in our mind during adversities; but it is worth the effort to overcome them, as the awards bring about not only a quicker recovery, but an entirely new and more joyful perspective that we wouldn’t have realized otherwise.

As it is our thoughts and beliefs that create the “three Ps” and trap us into believing that we cannot overcome grief and sorrow, the only way to truly avoid this is to go through each of the Ps and find a counter thought that will make us see another perspective, and will ultimately help us build resilience.

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Ana Erkic

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

The ability to reinvent and redefine yourself is a bold, daring and purposeful choice. It doesn’t just happen. You have to make a conscious, intentional choice and then follow through.

If the thought of forging a new path, changing habits, thought patterns and your inner circle of friends scares you – you’re not alone. Change can be a very scary thing. It takes courage, fortitude and a bit of faith to decide to shed your old self and don a new persona. However, it is one of the most critical processes one must repeatedly endure in the pursuit of destiny. Change unlocks new levels of potential.

The Need for Change

Everyday when we wake up, we make a decision. We decide to follow our routine or we decide to go off script and shake things up a bit. For those who are creatures of habit, routine is comfortable, easy and produces very little stress. The problem with this is, after a while you stop growing.

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We all reinvent ourselves at some point in our lives. It is absolutely necessary to achieve certain levels of success.

Reflect back on who you were as a teenager and then who you were at 25. Those are two very different people. Most of us are completely different. Your thought patterns changed, your appearance, job, level of education and even your friends– changed. We like to refer to this as “growing up” or maturing and consider it to be one of life’s natural progressions. However the changes you made were purposeful and deliberate.

This process must be a lifelong and continuous cycle. You are never too old to refresh yourself.

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Happy_old_man

    Signs It’s Time to Redefine

    “Just as established products and brands need updating to stay alive and vibrant, you periodically need to refresh or reinvent yourself.”– Mireille Guiliano

    So how do you know when it’s time for a system upgrade? There are signs along the way that alert you that it is time for an overhaul. The first sign is the feeling of being stuck. If you feel like you are in a rut, you’re bored with life or you need some newness and excitement, a self reinvention may be in order. Re-evaluate your life vision and your goals. Is that vision still valid and are your goals consistent with your vision and–are they achievable? If you are off course, it’s time for a change. If you are not moving forward and making progress, it’s time for a change.

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    In life, there’s no such thing as neutrality–you’re either moving forward or you are moving backward. Time constantly moves forward and if you are standing still, you are actually losing ground. No matter your age or stage in life– there is always room for improvement.

    “You’re never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” ~C. S. Lewis

    The second sign that you are due for a change is the occurrence of major life events in which change is forced upon you. Getting married, starting a new job, being promoted, ending a relationship, becoming a parenting or relocating are all prime opportunities to completely overhaul your life.

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    When these major shifts occur in your life–you have to shift with them. You can’t have a single mentality and have a successful marriage. You can’t remain selfish and irresponsible, and raise a healthy, well-adjusted child. You can’t be promoted to a supervisory position and keep the same subordinate attitude. Each level of success requires something different from you.

    Aronld in Predator

      Consider, for a moment, Arnold Schwarzenegger. People may have different opinions about his character and some of his life choices, but he is a master at reinventing himself. He achieved the ultimate success as a professional body builder by earning the title “Mr. Universe” three times. He then earned a tremendous amount of fame and fortune in the entertainment industry making action/adventure films. And in his latest role, he served two terms as the Governor of California. He succeeded as a professional body builder, a film star and a politician. Each role required massive amounts of change, commitment, strength and hard work.

      And if Arnold can do it…so can you!

      Featured photo credit: BK via flickr.com

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