How do you respond to adversity? Are you a Resilient person or an Energy Drainer?
Resilient People: Are capable of bouncing back, in the face of adversity. When life is not going as planned, they make adjustments and keep moving forward. Quitting, is not an option.
Resiliency, is a skill. It requires hours, days, months, and sometimes, years of experience before it is achievable. Make no mistake, being resilient doesn’t mean you are invincible. Everything still has a breaking point. You must learn how to identify when you are approaching that phase.
Resilient people understand how to deal with their FEAR.
F – Face
E – Everything
A – And
R – Rise
Energy Drainers: Are toxic people that focus on one thing – negativity. They are incapable of seeing the positive side of their situation. They blame other people for their circumstances.
They refuse to take ownership of their problems because in their eyes, they’ve done nothing wrong. “This is your fault, not mine.” Little do they realize, when they’re pointing one finger, three are pointing back at them.
Fear is a huge contributing factor to their attitude and negativity. They do the exact opposite of Resilient People.
F – Forget
E – Everything
A – And
R – Run
Moving forward, how will you respond to adversity? Which method of FEAR will determine your response?
“You cannot climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.”
When people get cold, they’ll do whatever it takes to warm up. Conversely, when they get hot, they’ll do whatever it takes to cool off.
So why is it when people are:
Facing one of life’s many obstacles
they do nothing to change the circumstance? They know what to do but don’t do what they know. The solution is the same: take action.
Taking action is the only way to move forward. Unfortunately, some people don’t want to move, due to the fear of failure and the fear of success. “What if I can’t handle it?” That fear creates hesitation.
Make a decision and keep moving.
Hesitation kills dreams.
Hesitation eliminates relationships before they have an opportunity to flourish.
Hesitation will keep you stagnant.
Stop thinking about it and just do it. Happiness, success, and fulfilment are only achieved by action. “I don’t know how to do that,” does not equal progress. You don’t have to know, but you do need to start moving.
Have you ever wondered what causes your stress? What about your emotions? Where do they come from? Your mind is a battlefield and the following things are the enemy:
Lack of empathy
Your ego: Your ego (h-ego or sh-ego) is the voice that tells you, “You’re the best at what you do and you don’t require correction or change.” The problem is, your ego only serves you. Other people, organizations, and businesses are not the priority. Your ego will slowly destroy communication.
Regardless of what you believe or what your peers (the ones like you) keep telling you, no one enjoys arrogant people. Confidence is acceptable. You should be confident about certain things. When you make other people uncomfortable, based on your opinion of yourself, you will eventually find yourself alone on the island that you created.
Lack of empathy: Let’s face it, we are a busy society that I like to call, Instant Gratification Society. We want results and want them yesterday. Because of this, we no longer know how to talk to people. We completely disregard emotions and go immediately after what we want.
Example: “John, why are you so distracted, lately? Your projects are all over the place and the leadership is starting to take notice. If you don’t fix whatever is wrong with you, I won’t hesitate to get rid of you.” Is that being empathetic? Will this get you or other people back on track or make things worse?
Let’s fix this – “John, why are you so distracted, lately? Your projects are all over the place and the leadership is starting to take notice. Is everything okay with you? I’m concerned.”
“No, I lost my father two weeks ago.”
“I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Would you like to go to my office and talk about it?” That’s what empathy looks like. This is also how leaders should treat their employees. This builds rapport and will help the organization, down the road. People are people, not a project. Reconsider how you talk to people.
Complacency: “Why should I work on our relationship? We’ve been together for over ten years.” This statement tells one story: I don’t need to worry about us and I’ll allocate my focus on external things.
Complacency is tunnel vision and only exists because you are comfortable. When you’re comfortable, you stop growing as a person and your relationships pay the price, too. What makes you comfortable can jeopardize your future.
Therefore, “We’ve always done things, this way,” will eventually fuel disappointment. You must adapt to your environment, embrace change, and never stop growing. If you’re not careful, you could die via fratricide.
Toxic relationships: Theseare relationships where two people do not share the same values and because of that, there is a lot of tension and negative energy. The problem is, we’re not always aware that we’re even involved in a toxic relationship. We think, No way, none of my friends are capable of that. Unfortunately, it is possible.
Toxic relationships will increase your anxiety, undermine trust, and could cause you to question your own judgement. Why do I choose to associate with these type of people? Am I like them? Toxic people are not interested in you. Just like your ego, they’re only focused on themselves and their agenda. They do not generate success and growth.
Bottom Line: If you want to survive daily operations, you must eliminate these things from your life. They do not serve you and if they’re not mitigated at their earliest stages, they could cause:
I want to begin by thanking you for contributing to all of my experiences that have led me to this point in my life. Most importantly, I forgive you. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have said that. In fact, I would have cursed you. Why? Because I didn’t understand, nor did I grasp this magical thing called: gratitude.
Did I have a tough childhood? Absolutely. At the time, it was miserable. Everything is always perceived as bad, when you’re going through that storm. But, everything is just temporary.
“In life, you’re either headed to a storm, going through a storm, or you’re coming out of one. We all have problems.”
– Eric Thomas
Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s was very difficult because there were a lot of racial issues (LA riots, O.J. Simpson trial, etc.), hatred toward the LGBTQ community (Ellen DeGeneres), sexual harassment issues (Clarence Thomas), murder on the streets of Las Vegas (2-Pac), the Branch Davidians tragedy in Waco, Texas (David Koresh), the Oklahoma City tragedy (Timothy McVeigh, which is tied to David Koresh), and other miscellaneous incidents. All of these things shaped me into the person that I am today.
Those negative experiences were the training that I needed. You read that right; I used the word training. That’s how our younger experiences should be categorized. These events and circumstances are what I needed in order to grow.
When I failed at something, that put me one step closer to succeeding. Every time a girl laughed at me and told me “No,” that prepared me for what I needed to do on my quest to meet my beautiful wife. Every time the bigger boy/man tried (or did) to bully me, that trained my mind how to utilize offensive and defensive postures, aka situational awareness. I needed that training.
When you’re younger, you don’t realize that events and experiences are giving you an advantage. Now, at age 39, I don’t worry about those things because I recognize:
Failure doesn’t define me.
If it takes 8 attempts, so be it.
Patience and consistent action are required with everything that I do.
If I can survive those things, I can survive whatever life throws at me.
I’m not afraid of embarrassing myself.
I can use my voice to help people that are too afraid to speak for themselves.
I’m comfortable in my own skin.
I don’t fall for the man card trap.
Those exeperiences contributed to me becoming:
A Service Member of 20+ years
A Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) and Victim Advocate
Someone that is against racial violence, domestic violence, sexual violence, and violence toward the LGBTQ community.
Someone that fights for equality.
In conclusion: No, I don’t regret anything from my childhood. I am thankful that I experienced those things. Adversity – you didn’t win; I’m still standing. You made me a better person and I can’t thank you enough. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
I challenge you to try this exercise. This is an excellent way for you to forgive yourself, exercise gratitude, and to finally realize that your story is powerful and important. Every single person is a piece of the puzzle. From the janitor clear up the CEO. I can’t wait to hear about your journey.
How long will it take for you to realize your potential?
When will you finally act on those dreams of yours?
What if you would have applied for that job? What if you said “yes,” to that date? What if you got back up when things got difficult? What if you had stayed committed to your fitness plan?
“What if,” doesn’t exist because you never moved when it was required. “Oh but it’s not that easy.” I hate to break it to you but yes, it is that easy. All you have to do is decide.
Apply for that job even if you don’t believe you’re qualified. No one gets hired for not showing up.
Go on that date. She/he might but what you’ve been looking for. You’ll never find out if you’re hiding in your safe place.
Get back up and try again.
Push through your workout plan when you want to quit. You’re already in pain so you might as well get a reward for it.
If you’re going to ask “What if,” questions, make sure they are setting you up to win. You can ask this question constructively. For instance, What if you never read this? Would you still want to change the way you think?
The choice is up to. What are you going to do with the time you have left?
Are you serious about getting to the next chapter in your life? If so, what steps are you taking to ensure it happens? Here’s a tip: If you’re truly serious about your future, you need to start investing in the following things:
You have to use all available resources to keep yourself moving forward! If you don’t prepare yourself for the next level, how are you ever going to get there? Plus, it’s better to prepare for an opportunity and not have one then to have an opportunity and not be prepared.
“People don’t become successful just by accident.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger
“But it’s too hard,” is an excuse that will not get you to the next level. It is impossible for you to invest in yourself and not face adversity. It is part of the process.
Bottom line: Investing in yourself requires a new version of you, almost every day. You must learn to adapt to your environment. What’s your future worth to you?
Self Reflection: What does it mean to you? Depending on your values, attitude, and daily rituals, not taking time to self evaluate (reflection), could hold you back from making necessary improvements and adjustments.
“Self Reflection is a meeting you should never cancel.”
– Jay Shetty
Self Reflection requires you to always stay humble about your success and accomplishments. You must always take in to consideration the things that you need to improve on as well as what you should sustain.
“Information changes the situation!”
Never forget that arrogance is a fool’s perspective of a falsified reality. “I don’t need to work on anything because I’m naturally talented at everything.” Did someone validate this? How is your ego contributing to your relationships, happiness, and growth? If you’re the best, do you have anything to look forward to? You’ve already projected the outcome…
Complacency is your ultimate enemy because your work is never done! If you’re comfortable, you are complacent. “Listen Bob, we’ve been running this company the same way for five years and so far, we’ve been successful.” How can your company get to the next level, aka grow, if you keep doing the same thing? Is your competitor doing the same thing, too? Probably not. Complacency kills progress. Continue to make necessary and calculated changes.
At the end of the day, ask yourself these 3 questions
1) Did I do my best today?
“Good enough isn’t good enough, if it can be better. Better isn’t better, if it can be best.”
– Rick Rigsby
2) Am I being true to myself?
Don’t allow external opinions to validate your self-worth. Your self-worth is never measured by the words of any man or woman.
3) Do I know who I am?
Are these my goals or what my mother or father want me to do?
Do I have a purpose or do I let the rest of the world identify it, for me?
Do I want to do this _______, or am I doing this because I think that society wants me to do it?
“I am not what I think I am. I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.”
– Charles Horton Cooley
Bottom line: Take your time and trust your heart, it knows what’s best for you even if other people don’t agree with it. Have patience and engage in consistent action!
Happy Monday! I can’t even lie, I absolutely love Monday’s! (reference: Happy Monday) This is the first (work) day for you to execute your morning rituals. Do you know that how youstartyour day will help determine your level of success? Be honest with yourself and answer this question: When you wake up in the morning, do you:
a) check e-mails
b) check text messages
c) check social media
d) focus on your morning goals and rituals
e) none of the above
If you answered a, b, or c, did this answer surprise you? Most people don’t realize it but, this is actually a very habit that you need to try and break as soon as possible.
Why? When you check e-mails, text messages, and social media, first thing in the morning, you switch on your reactive habits instead of your goal oriented habits.
“Oh, Bob sent me an e-mail about the upcoming conference, I better validate that everything is good to go.” Meanwhile, you just missed breakfast.
“I better respond to this text from Ashley, she probably wants to talk about last night’s crazy episode of that show.” Is this an emergency? Meanwhile, you were supposed to leave for the gym at 6:00am and you’re 20 minutes behind schedule.
“I wonder if Ryan posted those pictures from the Ohio State Buckeyes game, last night? He had some amazing seats. I better check Facebook, real quick.” If the pictures are posted, are they going to disappear in the upcoming hours? Remember when you wrote out your schedule for the day? Are those things still important? (reference: Setting Yourself up to Win | Make a Schedule)
I’m not saying that these things are not important. Staying connected with your family, friends, and employer are incredibly important. The problem is, you have to learn how to prioritize how you approach, aka attack, the day. When you start off your day, doing these things, you become reactive by allowing external things to dictate your day. Your schedule is pushed out of the way and these things become the new focus. Would it really hurt you to wait until 9:00 or 10:00am before you checked external things?
I get it though, it’s hard to break these habits because regardless if we like it or not, we’re a instant gratification society. If you want a new product, hop on Amazon and get it in 2 days. If you want to watch a tv show, forget about waiting week-to-week, stream the entire season on Netflix. If want to know what your friends are doing, send them a text and get a response in less than 45 seconds.
This is why so many people are programmed to check their phone (e-mails, text messages, and social media) when they first wake up. They do it because they know that they can get what they want, instantaneously. But consider this: does instant gratification help you reach your goals? I’ll answer for you – no, it does not. Achieving your goals requires:
Bottom line: Take control of your morning by giving yourself a few hours (example: wait until 9:00 or 10:00am) before you start addressing external things. If you have to, consider this a reward for you taking care of your morning rituals, aka setting yourself up to win. You can do this once you make the commitment and stick with it. Your future is worth it and you are worth it.