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27 Ways You Can Develop Bounce Back Muscles In Difficult Times

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.  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.  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, at  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.


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This Post Has 20 Comments
  1. Tess Marshall is a modern day hero. I bought her book “Flying By The Seat Of My Soul” and loved it so much I reviewed it on my site.

    This list is Typical Tess, full of love, joy and all great things. I mean, each of these 27 (and I LOVE everything about the number 27,) are just more gems from a person I admire and love very much. I could just memorize this list (and probably should,) and recite it to myself as I go about my day.

    Wonderful stuff!! Wonderful Wonderful Tess.
    .-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..Harbinger Of Great Things To Come =-.

  2. Long may you list, Tess!

    #23 is one of my favourites. It’s not necessarily the most powerful, but often it’s synchronicity and serendipity that the universe uses as signposts to point us in the direction of which of those other wonderful tools we need to be focusing on at any given moment.

    You mentioned something in #23 that’s also huge, letting go of our stories, those weighted versions of events that our egos use to keep us mired in a poor me mentality. If we don’t investigate and let go of those stories, we can never accept – and eventually love – what is, or look for the learning or craft action steps.

  3. Hi Tess!

    What a pleasure to find you here, and writing on such a valuable topic!
    Indeed there are times in our lives where things happen, and things that we would much rather have not happen – and it is in those times that we can achieve our greatest growth.

    So your list is fantastic and gives one lots of options and ideas of how to integrate these important aspects for the best bounce back indeed!

    Thank you dear friend for spreading your wealth of wisdom wherever you go 🙂
    .-= Evita´s last blog ..Sharing “Me” At The Jungle of Life: Interview with Lance Ekum =-.

  4. Fatibony,
    Yes when I put it that way it became crystal clear to my clients. No more excuses for remaining a victim.

    Davina,
    Why does it have to be so difficult to take great care of ourselves?!?

    Patricia,
    Yeah…exactly I’m the same way and sometimes my intensity just sucks! But I’m a lot better than I used to be at taking life so seriously!

    Patti,
    I hear people complaining so much about us PD bloggers and too much positivity. I think they have a point I just don’t dwell on the past or negative. I’m going to write more on why we need to experience all feelings.

    suZen,
    You’re the best;)

    Hilary,
    Yes sometimes while were out on a limb some people just don’t get it. In reality we all need to do what we need to do. Period. It’s all good!
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..Dream An Impossible Dream =-.

  5. Hi Tess .. I’d add ‘know what you’re doing’ even if everyone else thinks you’re potty! That’s me at the moment .. fortunately I don’t crumble – they can’t kill you .. you have a life the other side of the mountain & the mountain will become a molehill and ultimately sink into itself – leaving you free as a bird and happy as a sunbeam – believe in yourself.

    Great list – and I love the bouncing muscle idea .. that’ll spur me on ..

    Hi Dragos .. good to meet you .. I loved your snow story!

    Thanks – Hilary

  6. Wow a super duper Tess post – thank you for sharing the good news. I find reading a biographer or great story to be my best resource, and I am now realizing how intense and serious I am and I just need to find laughter and lighten up…I need to find this sooner ..

    thanks both of you for sharing.
    .-= Patricia´s last blog ..Questions of Practice =-.

  7. Hi Tess.
    Taking breaks and nurturing ourselves makes so much sense. What tends to happen in my experience is that I take these two simple things for granted when they are truly the basis for a healthy foundation. You are so great at lists! Another excellent one.

  8. Awesome Post Tess and nice to see you here.. I love the whole concept ….that we may not be responsible for what happens to us but we are for how we handle them. This is when we able to make those choices to enhance our life’s…
    .-= [email protected]´s last blog ..Procrastination Tips – 12 Ways to Shove Procrastination Out Yes ! =-.

  9. Hulbert,
    That’s a great way to begin our day, “bouncing back up.” I love it! Thanks for making me smile.

    Joy,
    Personally I do believe we learn the most from difficult times…if we choose too. Must be where, “make the best from each situation comes from.” My daughter Nicole who is 35 always praises me for my deep inner strength. I know that came from being a mom to 4 at 22 years old. It was either sink or swim and I chose the latter. Today my live on easy street compared to then. And if I thing, I can’t do something I only have to think back on the first 10 years of my motherhood and marriage. Now they’re all grown up and hubs and I are reaping the benefits!
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..Dream An Impossible Dream =-.

  10. I love this post. We make choices every day–to embrace the day and the moments within it at our best, or to hide away and hope it somehow changes as we remain the same. Sometimes we are presented with a lesson we’d prefer not to learn, or one that is not “joyful”, yet these are just as important–perhaps even more so–to our integral growth and peace as the easy fun moments.
    When you face your fear, do the thing you don’t want to do, or walk through the moment you thought you couldn’t and spent your entire life avoiding, there is so much freedom. Thank you for sharing tips on how to be your best even if life presents you with something you don’t “want”.
    We absolutely *can* do anything, be anything, walk through a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. if we stand in faith and take hold of the hand God/the Universe is holding out to us.
    Thank you Tess for sharing your boldness so generously!

  11. Great post Tess. It’s nice waking up in the morning and being able to read a post on bouncing yourself back up. Thanks for this. 🙂
    .-= Hulbert´s last blog ..My Brother Got Pulled Over by the Police – Part I Interview =-.

  12. Dear Tess,

    I’m printing this out for my brother. Thank you so much for this!

    xxoo

    Peggy
    .-= Peggy´s last blog ..Your Moment of Bliss ~ For My Brother =-.

  13. Hi Megan,
    Thanks for visiting me here. I find Dragos so inspiring. I’ve just read his book, “30 Sentences.” And yes I find gratitude refreshing and No. 27 the best! He has a fantastic video on youtube (Steve Jobs) of a graduation speech he gives. Happy Monday!
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..Dream An Impossible Dream =-.

  14. What a phenomenal list! I loved the last one — Steve Jobs is such an interesting guy who has changed the way many of us live our lives.

    Gratitude plays such an important role in my life. It keeps me firmly rooted in the present moment, while also allowing me peace of mind and an appreciation for all that’s good in my life. What’s more, I believe that whatever we focus on grows, so when I give thanks for the people and things in my life, I’m attracting more of that same energy to me. More good people & things to be grateful for!

    GREAT blog, and awesome guest author. Next up is reading your SEO post — whoo hooooo!
    .-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last blog ..Moving Into Unconditional Love On All Levels =-.

  15. Oscar,
    I believe it is all about fear when we are going through difficult times. I also think that taking some of the steps above would decrease fear.

    My husband lost his job a year ago and most of these steps are from his experience and what helped him. The first thing he did was was create a plan and new vision for himself. Because of No. 20 exercise, meditation, he lost 15 lbs and stayed centered. I believe the support group he joined had a huge impact on his confidence as well.
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..Dream An Impossible Dream =-.

  16. For me, the best thing is to overcome fear. It’s not easy, but I think it’s the 80% of what’s holding us back.

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