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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

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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