“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
― Vivian Greene
After class on Friday I began reflecting on my life and the ups and downs that the I have gone through in life and I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on “getting up and dusting yourself off”. Taking time to think about how I have gotten to the point in my life where I have developed a certain level of resiliency I have come to understand that it stems from having a certain level of confidence and strength in yourself. That is not something that is built over night, it something that takes time, faith and a little bit of elbow grease. So where do I begin on this journey to resiliency and how do I translate it to others?
I began my search on how to become a badass by starting with one of life’s biggest hurdles, failure. Failure or even the fear of failure is either a motivator for growth or a stunting of growth for many people. For me especially, I was so afraid of letting others down by failing in my ventures that more often than not I found myself avoiding risks in order to save myself a “potential failure”. Quickly I found that I was missing out on so much that “failure” or the “fear of failure” needed to accepted as a potential outcome so I could start taking risks and enjoy the journey for what it was.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”
Failure is simply a lack of success. Nothing more. You must have failure in order to succeed – This is the raw, black and white truth of life, or in my case, the black and blue of it because I sure walked away with some bruises in the past. According to Ineedmotivation.com:
“Failing is a part of the game that is life. Imagine if J.K Rowling hadn’t pulled through and persisted with her vision. When looking at her success today, we’re talking about 400 million books sold, countless licensing deals, and being I believe the second richest woman in the UK after the Queen, it’s hard to imagine someone on the brink of suicide, but this is the reality of it. We all experience it. We’ve all failed, and guess what, we will continue to fail, because we absolutely need it to succeed.”
What I have derived from my life is that every time I had to start over which most would see as failure, I used it as a clean slate. Many people would have let that “start over” or “failure” define how their life was going to be moving forward, allowing fear to win thus stunting any growth physically and emotionally. Don’t get me wrong, failure hurts, its humbling and sometimes quite gut wrenching especially in big stake ventures but the key to success and overcoming those experiences is to learn from them and let those failures become stepping stones to later success.
“The sweetest victory is the one that’s most difficult. The one that requires you to reach down deep inside, to fight with everything you’ve got, to be willing to leave everything out there on the battlefield.” – success.com
So now that we have a grasp on what failure is now we need to know how to overcome it so you can keep building that confidence and developing your inner badass—I call this #beastmode.
Beast Mode 101:
Tinybuddah.com gives us 7 ways of dealing with sticky situations. This is the nitty gritty of how to identify the situation and ways to solve the issue of moving on. The reality of it is some people get so immersed into the tragedy of a situation that they feel trapped and they need that one person to say “hey how about this solution” or “did you think of this”. Its easy to be an outsider looking in and saying “hey why didn’t you just do this” when in reality until you are in the situation and it has happened there is no telling what the solution could have been until you have tried it…different strokes, for different folks. So the question is how do we not wallow in the unfairs, unjustified and the blame game. Its simple really once you remove the emotion from it all, Tinybuddah.com lays out these 7 steps:
- Make acceptance a priority.
- Remove “fair” from your vocabulary.
- Focus on the life lesson.
- Question whether it’s as big a problem as it seems.
- Make “get strong” your mantra
- Remember you can continue from this new place.
- Ask yourself how someone you respect would handle the situation.
“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.”
I personally like to concentrate on number 5, Make “Get Strong” your mantra, no I never do anything in order and yes I go to my strengths—control what you can control and I can always control my body. At rock bottom, I began boxing in a small gym in West Ocean City, MD 3-4x a week. It was hard, some nights I went home defeated, but I never quit and I always went back. I would go some nights for over two hours hitting the heavy bag, sparring, running, sit ups, push ups, anything it took to exhaust my body so my mind would turn off. Eventually I felt my body getting stronger and with that I felt more confident. I figured out that where my body needed to work out, my mind needed to rest. Healthy living had a great article about the correlation between your mind and your heavy bag:
Working out with a heavy bag may reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve mood and mental health. The physical aspect of punching or kicking a heavy bag helps the body to remove stress hormones, simulating the fight response of the brain’s fight or flight mechanism. The exertion of heavy bag training also leads to the release of hormones and endorphins which improve mood, reduce pain and in some cases even counteract some mental problems. The release of these hormones may also result in exercise-induced euphoria, the feeling of well-being that sometimes occurs during exercise that is also sometimes referred to as a runner’s high.
There is definitely a lot more here to explore with each step in the “coping” process but I think this is a great start, I would like to dig deeper into this area.
The most important part of this whole journey once you have developed your ‘no fear’ attitude by utilizing the 7 steps of surviving sticky situations and taking it to the gym to “get strong” its time to put it all together an develop your inner badass. One of my favorite book series is “The Bad Girl’s Guides”. These books give you real life advice but deliver it in a manner that makes you want to keep reading, you will never know what comes next and the illustrations are so basic but they definitely make you giggle: (bad girl’s guide to getting what you want)
To summarize all of this I have two areas I would like to explore:
- I would like to spend some more time on exploring the 7 steps that Tinybuddah.com outlined. I think that for as serious as it is to be equipped with the best tools to over come life’s challenges that without a sense of humor who wants to spend time learning about it? Just my opinion anyway, lets take the boring out of self-help books and give it a bit more life. My favorite thing my dad always says to me is this may not be funny now but you will be able to look back at this situation one day and have a really good belly laugh about this…mostly true dad. I want to find more examples of real life situations and break it into basics give the direction and then illustrate the action:
- Q: How do I get over being frustrated everyday bc life is so unfair A: Kick Unfair in the Face its not a word that is allowed in your house anymore.
- Q: How do I deal with being fired or replaced A: Polish off that Resume because you are definitely going to need that!
- Q: How do I deal with being cheated on A: Suck it up he’s someone else’s problem now, just make sure you take the dog with you!
- The psychology behind keeping your mind healthy through working out and how much more resilient that will make you when life chops you off at the knees. Different workouts would focus on what life stressors you can reduce:
- So for example what are the best work outs for Anger Management: Boxing, because you can control the movement and picture the face and hit it a thousand times!!!
- What are the best work outs for sadness, my boyfriend just broke up with me and I need to “work it out”: Zumba – because sometimes you just need to shake it off Latino style.
- What is the best work out for being fired, my boss met me in the parking lot with my stuff and I need to “work that out”: Running—This is a great way to exercise and formulate your new plan of attack on life!