Resilience is a word that is resonating with me lately. Resilience is what has gotten me to where I am today. The mindset of never giving up has served me well. Until recently the word I would have used is persistence, but that doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Resilient sounds luxurious. It sounds like there is an amazing pay off if you keep pushing through. Persistent sounds like a drum beating out a monotone rhythm over, and over, and over. Resilience feels like adjusting your course when something isn’t working. Persistence feels like beating your head on a brick wall.
Do you ever feel like that in life? You’re working hard. You’re being consistent, but you’re not getting the results you’re looking for? Maybe you’re being persistent in following a certain routine, but that routine is no longer providing the benefits it once did. Change feels awkward and unfamiliar. Sometimes it feels scary because it takes us so far out of our comfort zone. Shifting our mindset from being persistent to being resilient means trying new things and asking ourselves new questions.
A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to Marie Forleo interview Tony Robbins. They were discussing the idea of not giving up. At the time I didn’t really connect the dots to them illustrating resilience. When asked what frustrates him most, he replied, (paraphrased) when people say they have tried everything but in reality, they have maybe tried 15 or 20 things. He went on to say, people shouldn’t give up until they have tried at last 7,000 things. Continuous trying and calibrating is what builds resilience into our character. Some of us are born with it, but most of us need to cultivate it. When things get hard in our life or business and it seems like nothing is working, it can be easy to think about quitting. But that’s not what you really want to do. Instead of entertaining the thought of quitting, dig deep and ask yourself what’s working and what’s not. Formulate a new plan and start again. Changing your perspective can change your outcome. Recently I shared a video of a child trying to jump on a high box to my granddaughter. The child repeatedly tried to land on the high box but kept falling short of the goal. She was getting frustrated, but each time she would re-evaluate her strategy for getting to the top of the box in one mighty bound. Her coach came and encouraged her and assured her that she had the ability to make the jump successfully. That time she did. She was elated. It was an inspiring video for my granddaughter. Immediately she wanted to try it. We got a laundry basket and inverted it so she could jump to the top. She watched the video, analyzed what the little girl had done. She adjusted her bearings and leaped to the top on her first try. I’m not sure who was more surprised, her or me! That wasn’t challenging enough, so we had to find a way to make a taller obstacle to jump on. I could hear her growl in disappointment as she continued to raise the bar of her achievement. As I sit here writing, I can hear her self-talk processing what went wrong and figuring out how she can manage to jump even higher. “You can do it, you just need to jump higher with more power,” she says before her next attempt.
We can learn so much from watching kids do what comes naturally. Using positive self-talk and reinforcing what we already know we can do based on past accomplishments is a powerful tool for pushing through tough situations. Keep on keeping on. You got this!