This is a guest post by my friend Tess Marshall, @theboldlife.
Loss, suffering and tragedy are painful, unavoidable experiences, and part of the human condition. We can’t prevent them, but we can approach life’s biggest challenges with openness and optimism.
Prior to a personal tragedy, we may not know who we are, what we feel, or what we want. After a personal tragedy, our divorce, addiction or bankruptcy can become our greatest gift.
When life falls apart we can stay stuck and miserable or piece our lives back together and discover a clear sense of purpose or a new passion for life.
The following methods will help you develop resiliency. When practiced, you can discover strengths and abilities you didn’t believe possible.
1. Take Risks. Dedicate yourself to being the best. Say yes. Go for new experiences. Show up and be seen. The more risks you take the more success you’ll experience and celebrate.
2. Plan Ahead. Envision a bright outlook for your future. Be enthusiastic about life. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great could be accomplished without enthusiasm.” Throw yourself enthusiastically and wholeheartedly into what you need to do.
3.Â Become 100% Responsible. You may not be responsible for what happens to you yet, you are responsible for how you handle it. Make good choices and remain flexible and open to change. Decide you’re going to make it to the top, no matter what it takes. Go where the opportunity is.
4. Read Books. Read biographies about people who are doing what you want to do and understand what helped them get to where they are now. This information becomes a map for your journey.
5. Take Control. Spend time and energy taking care of things you’ve neglected. Spend time with your children or parents. Clean your garage and get organized. You will feel better mentally and emotionally.
6. Gather Data. Learn from your situation. Why didn’t I get the job? Why did the accident happen? How has this changed me? Ask for feedback. What do I want to do next? Discover what you can do different next time.
7. Keep An Inner Glow. Nurture yourself. Eat right, exercise, drink water and get enough sleep. The perception we have about ourselves is so much smaller than who we really are. Taking care of yourself allows you to be prepared and ready for new opportunities.
8. Brainstorm Solutions. Step back and analyze the situation. Think of new ways to tackle problems. Be open to new ideas. Confident and strong you will move forward.
9. Increase Your Creativity. Develop a hunger for new things. Take different routes, enjoy unique foods, listen to unusual music, and learn a new language. Stop reading self- help blogs and read about photography or art. Break out of your routine and old way of doing things.
10. Laugh. Bring a playful attitude and humor to your life. Visit a comedy club and rent funny DVDs. Play your part with gusto, creativeness, passion and juice.
11. Cultivate Appreciation and Gratitude. Lift yourself out of a dark mood. Acknowledge the wonder and beauty in your life. Appreciate the goodness of others and the world and trust that things will work out.
12. Believe In Yourself. It is critical for your success. Accept who you are today. See yourself in a positive light. Never give in to someone else’s interpretation, advice or experience, unless they are where you want to be. If they have accomplished it, they can show you how, but you must do your own work.
13. Take A Break. Do nothing. Remove yourself physically and mentally from your situation. Go to a movie, visit out of town friends, attend a sporting event or rock concert. Time away creates space for a new perceptions and new solutions.
14. Hold A Vision. What do you want for your future? Keep moving forward.Â Build the future you desire to experience. Keep your focus on the finish line.
15. Take Action. Don’t sit back waiting for opportunities. Be aggressive in pursuit of your goals. Kick yourself out of your comfort zone. Work like you have to make it.
16. Get On The Pity Pot. Just don’t set up camp on it. After losing his freedom to move, Christopher Reeve gave himself two hours on the pity pot each morning. During that time, he cried, felt sorry for himself and wallowed in his pain. Then, he continued his day juggling his physical therapy, directing careers, political activism, building his foundation and his role as a husband and father.
17. Experience Positive Emotions. Break out of negative thinking patterns. Find little things to enjoy in the daily tasks of life. Be kind and loving Healthy emotions will motivate you to learn new things and build new connections.
18. Discover Meaning. Everything that happens offers you an opportunity to grow. Ask yourself, “What do I need to learn from this situation to change or transform my life?” It’s possible to walk away with wisdom, insight and compassion.
19. Remain Calm Under Pressure. Learn how to manage strong feelings and impulses. Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” speaks of resiliency: If you can keep your head about you, when all are losing theirs…
20. Optimize Your Health And Energy. Eat right, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and spend time in nature. Meditate, journal and learn to relax. Spend time volunteering. When you help others feel good you feel good.
21. Learn To Problem Solve. Tap into your personal strengths, coping skills, resources, social networks and close connections. Self-disclose your troubles, to people close to you and ask for their insights and guidance.
22. Go With The Flow. It’s impossible to be in the zone by clutching, grabbing, and white knuckling your desires. Release urgency. Let go. Decide life is good. Watch it unfold.
23. Attend A Support Group. The path to resilience lies in working through your grief, sadness and the effects of stressful and painful events. Dealing with issues and dropping your story is crucial for your mental health. Support groups offer information, mutual support and practical suggestions.
24. Experience Serendipity. In tough times, we have the option of choosing fear, addiction and despair or hope, meaning and joy. Seeing “The glass half full” allows you to discover a talent for serendipity, the act of finding something valuable or delightful when you aren’t looking for it.
25. Build Your Community. Stay connected with family and close friends. Surround yourself with people you can’t get enough of, those who will listen and be there for you.
26. Have A Positive Outlook. Live. Laugh. Face the world boldly. Seize every second of life. If you believe things will work out there’s a greater chance that they will.
27. Listen To Steve Jobs, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”
Author Bio: Tess Marshall is the mover and shaker, atÂ www.TheBoldLife.com, where she’ll hold you accountable for being the boldest you’ve ever been in every area of your life! What would you do if you were 10 times bolder? You can sign up for her RSS feed and receive her updates or follow her on Twitter.