Growing Strong (click here to do this lesson)

Positive Affirmation

I am strong. I have made a decision to move out of my comfort zone. I have the power to do whatever I set my heart to. I am willing to keep getting back up each time I fail or fall. I cannot be broken.

( click play on the player to have us read this article to you)

In all our efforts to reach the end of our lives unscathed, we’ve become a bit fragile. Our shells are so thin that one fall out of the nest, can cause us to break into a million pieces that can take months or even years to put ourselves back together. This lesson is about resilience. Resilience is our ability to let things roll off us and the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. In this lesson we will give you some basic tools for you to learn how to thicken your shell to withstand life’s falls. Strong people have weak moments, this is natural. What’s not natural is to stay anchored there. The truth is that we are strong beyond our minds conception.

Building Resilience

Let’s start by talking about lobsters. Why you may ask? Lobsters are actually a soft creatures that live in inside hard shells. They grow inside their shells until the pressure gets to be too much, they then seek a safe place and cast off their shell. This leaves their soft delicate bodies exposed and vulnerable while they grow their new shell. A considerable amount of growth happens each time they do this.

Let’s look at what has been said here.
1. There are times in our lives when we are going to experience pressure or go through something that is difficult. On the other side of our problems there is potential for growth. Often times our growth is accompanied with a revelation that we needed to experience what just took place.
2. No matter what, lobsters will grow out of their shells. When the cast off their shells they become vulnerable and exposed. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable does not have to be a painful or traumatic event in your life. There is almost a guarantee that life will leave you feeling exposed and vulnerable, how we respond to that is our choice.
3. This pressure, struggle and vulnerability life hands you, thickens your shell, builds your character and prepares you for the duties that lay ahead in your life.

Growing strong sometimes requires you not to listen to the tape loop of fear running through your mind. It calls you to be willing to make choices that you know are right for you. Your mind may have you convinced that you are weak and that life is too much to handle. Each time you stand up and go for the things you want, you become stronger. When you learn to bypass the voice in your head that says you can’t or you’re not capable. You become the hero of your story. It’s you that plays the lead role in your life and nothing is impossible if your heart is willing.

Emotional Resilience

Emotions were given to us for our use however, we have reversed the role they play in us. If your emotions rule you and cripple you in your life, this is a good indication that you might need to work on your emotional intelligence.
What is Emotional Intelligence? Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) is a term created by two researchers – Peter Salavoy and John Mayer – and popularized by Dan Goleman in his 1996 book of the same name.

We define EI as the ability to, Recognize, understand and manage our own emotions. Recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others
In practical terms, this means being aware that emotions can drive our behavior and impact people (positively and negatively), and learning how to manage those emotions – both our own and others – especially when we are under pressure.
Here is a video to explain a little bit about emotional intelligence.

Keys to Building Resilience

Allow yourself to connect to others. If you tend to isolate yourself then this especially applies to you. If you find it hard to connect to other people, start with something that is just outside your comfort zone. Like talking with a stranger at the grocery store. Set small obtainable goals for you to complete. Be sure to be realistic in your goal setting, the point is to create some wins and losses here. Yes, learning how to lose is just as good as winning. Some of the most successful people, have the most fails in life. They actually have more fails because they are willing to fail, but most importantly, they get back up and try again.

Avoid procrastination, do the things that you know you need to do. Even if it’s cleaning up the house. The sense of accomplishment far outweighs the grief of procrastination. The energy to complete life’s endeavors sometimes is created in the act of doing. If you fall trap to the mindset that things are just too much work or that you can’t, then the most likely reality is that you WON’T. Maintaining a positive view of yourself and life helps us build resilience as well. A positive view can allow us hope, having hope may be the little push we require to put an end to the things we are in procrastination with.

Accepting Change

With an attitude that’s willing to allow change, you bring a more effortless approach to your life. By not allowing change we keep ourselves trapped in a time capsule. The mind/ego hates change. Its very survival is rooted in us staying the same and staying stuck in our heads. The nature of our mind is that we have thousands of thoughts a day and we will experience sixty to eighty percent of the same thoughts day in day out. So change throws a wrench into day to day life. It puts us in new and sometimes vulnerable situations.

Acceptance is a mindset or a choice we make, by employing this mindset, we are able to make great changes in our lives. Enviably, change will always create discomfort but the discomfort we experience is temporary and often has unforeseen rewards.

Flexibility

Resilience calls you to be flexible in your life. You can bend without breaking. Know that the control freak in you does not require feeding on a daily basis. If you feed your need to control, it can become an unmanageable force that demands all of your attention. One of the universal facts of life is, that it will unfold just as it’s going to. Your mental position of how you think it should, may not amount to much. More often than not, satisfying the minds need to control is a fruitless endeavour that leads to frustration. It’s not that we can’t make plans and have things turn out the way we want, what is being said is that allow flexibility to live within your plans.

“When I was weak I pretended to be strong, when I became strong, I no longer pretended to be anything other than me”
                                                 Ned Burwell


Home work

  1. Put yourself in a vulnerable situation. Example: talk to a complete stranger, share things about yourself that you normally keep to yourself.
  2. Study emotional intelligence Free download emotional-intelligence-by-daniel-goleman
  3. Make a new friend, it doesn’t have to be a close friend.
  4. Set small obtainable goals for you to complete.
  5. Do something you have been procrastinating about.
  6. Make a list of all the things you love about yourself

growing-strong (Click here to download this lesson)

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