Give it up. Instead, accept that there will be trying times and leave the worry behind.
The worst is going to come, people. If you haven’t felt it yet, get ready because few of us escape this life unscathed. How’s that for an inspiring pick-me-up? Well, hold on. It gets better, I promise.
Once you get clear that there will be some moments in your life that you would rather not experience, the whole thing becomes easier. You no longer have to fret. You no longer have to hold tight, to buffer yourself against pain in disappointment. Instead, you can live fully the moments you have and spend time honing the resilient nature that will help you through the moments to come. With resilience you know that no matter what shows up, you can handle it and even find the meaning in the madness.
Can you subscribe to this belief? Research shows that people who simply believe they are resilient, become more so. They look at the world more optimistically, find meaning, and take action.
But work by Barbara Fredrickson, resilience and positive psychology expert, shows that even non-resilient people can boost their resilient nature by simply changing their perspective.
Looking for the opportunity
How do you look at the moments in your life? When facing a daunting situation do you view it as an opportunity, a challenge, an experience to be had, or do you find it devastating, problematic, unlucky, or a threat to your health and well-being?
In her research Fredrickson discovered that even those people who scored low on the scale of resilience (we are all resilient but to varying degrees) but who viewed a difficult circumstance as an opportunity did better than those who looked at it from a more negative perspective.
When you can approach the difficulty as a challenge or hidden opportunity, then there are no setbacks. You may not like all the things that occur. You may be hurt, confused, angry. You may even think about quitting. But, these things that seem to throw us off course, so entirely, simply provide the information we need to go forward in a better way. Everything then is an opportunity and that gives even the most difficult moments meaning.
Meaning is another quality shared among those who are most resilient.
Of course, this doesn’t take away the pain when crap happens. Resilient people get anxious and frustrated and pissed off. In fact, they experience a range of positive and negative emotions, according to the Bigwigs like Fredrickson and researcher James Pennebaker. But, they don’t get hung up in the negative ones. They let go of the bad feelings faster and make room for more feelings of happiness, curiosity, optimism.
On Monday, I’ll offer a few things you can do to trigger your resilient nature. For now, just know you’ve got one. You are resilient. Look at challenges you’ve faced – big and small – in your own life and notice that you’re still standing. You’ve come through them. Once you see that you can handle whatever comes you’re way, it becomes easier to do it.