Life can be really hard sometimes.
One of the hardest things is when we feel like a big failure or we have a major setback due to some heartbreak or disappointment.
During times like this, it can feel like our life is over or that we will never recover from the painful feelings we are experiencing.
We can feel stuck in a pool of bitterness and fear. In times like this, what we need is something to build resilience that allows us to spring back from the misfortunes and setbacks we encounter in life.
Here are five habits or mindsets that I have found incredibly helpful in building resilience:
One: Let go of perfectionism.
I used to be an extreme perfectionist in several areas of my life, and I wore my perfectionism like a badge of honor. I thought it helped me try harder and succeed more.
It may have in the short run, but eventually my perfectionism drove me to self-loathing and exhaustion, and I felt crushed whenever I failed. It often took me weeks or months to recover from failure.
Perfectionism teaches us that failure is always wrong and a mark of ineptitude or unworthiness. This is not the case, though. Failure is a normal part of life, and it actually takes a lot of failure to become good at something and develop our personality fully.
Failure allows us to learn new things we didn’t know, and this makes us stronger.
When we keep these things in mind and let go of perfectionism, it helps us to recover from failure more quickly.
Two: Practice unconditional self-love by honoring your Wise Self.
Sometimes we experience heartache because of our own bad habits, addictions, or moral failings. We see the badness in ourselves, and it drags us down.
We all have this shadow side of us (what I call our Wounded Self), and sometimes it leads us to do really disappointing things that are harmful to ourselves and others.
To become more resilient in these times, it is important to remember that even though you have a shadow side, you also have a part of you that is full of love, wisdom, creativity, and compassion. This is your Wise Self. It is your truest self, and you can never lose it.
When you spend time regularly honoring your Wise Self, you recover more quickly from times when you act from your Wounded Self and you know how to make amends and get on the right path again.
Three: Float in a sea of gratitude.
Sometimes we are pulled down into a stew of bitterness because we focus on everything that is wrong with us and with our lives. It can be really hard to climb out of a bitter stew.
I know that bad things happen, Friend, and I am so sorry if you have faced a lot of hardship. I have had those times, too.
One of the things that helps me in these times is to start thinking about everything I am grateful about with my house, my relationships, my appearance, my job, and my neighborhood.
This can be hard when I am in a bad mood. Sometimes I have to tell myself, “Okay, I only have to think of five things” (or ten things or three things or whatever number I choose).
When I do start thinking of the things I am grateful for, I notice that it almost always starts to build my confidence because I realize all of the things I have going for me, the things I have accomplished, and the ways I am doing well in life.
This builds momentum, and it helps me want to try at life again.
Four: Dream About Showing Love to the World
One of the hardest things in life is when we feel like our dreams aren’t coming true or we aren’t as successful as we should be.
I have some really good news for you. When we develop dreams to bring more love and goodness into the world (for ourselves and others), and when we commit those plans to a Higher Power (what I like to think of as a Higher Love) we put ourselves in the path of success.
There is a lot of love in the world, and it is looking to bring more love into the world and join with other people who are practicing love. So, if you make love-centered dreams and plans, Love is going to help you succeed in those plans eventually.
Realizing that success is just around the corner with love-centered dreams can help us bounce back from times when we feel like we aren’t successful enough.
Five: Release yourself from “Other People Prison”.
I don’t know about you, but when I feel like other people think badly of me, it is really hard to bounce back from this feeling.
Over the years, I have realized that when people are upset with me, one of three things is going on: A) I have honestly hurt them, and I need to make amends. B) Those people have bad priorities, and they do not have my best interest at heart. C) We have a misunderstanding.
In the cases of A) and C), all I am required to do is to act in a loving way to myself and to other people so that I can make amends or clear up misunderstanding the best I know how.
In the case of B), I have learned that some people have negative feelings towards people because they are in a bad place personally and have poor priorities and a poor outlook on life. You will never please these type of people, and if you do, it will be at the expense of your own well-being.
Recognizing these three truths about other people and their opinions of me has released me from “Other People Prison”, and it helps me to know how to take clear steps when I think other people are disappointed with me.
In conclusion, it is inevitable that life throws us for a loop sometimes. These surprises and heartaches can knock us flat for a while. But we can build resilience through these loving habits and mindsets. You are stronger than you know, Friend.