At Mars Venus Coaching we talk a lot about relationships and relationships challenges. With the recent news of infidelity in yet another high profile man in our society we start to ask ourselves, what makes me different? How can you use what happened to Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s marriage work to your advantage? For some reason we gravitate to reading about other people’s tragedies. Why is this? Is it because we are measuring ourselves and our own success against them? Does it make us a feel a tiny bit better, that our lives aren’t so bad? Especially when the person that has fallen off a pedestal is someone who has been in the public eye for some time?
The only way I personally can deal with hearing about heartbreaks such as these is to make something productive come out of it. This is why I’m resilient, and how I bounce back sometimes quicker than others to life’s setbacks. And being able to flip a bad mistake or set back and make growth come out of it is my definition of being resilient.
But it is so much more than just flipping something to the positive. I think this is where there is a lot of confusion with using coaching or any of the other helping professions. Positive thoughts or feeling optimistic will not make you resilient or better able to cope with a crummy situation. Acquiring new skills to help you cope with life is what enables you to continue to be resilient. In my personal and professional experience I have seen this with people overcoming substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, abusive relationships, infidelity, compromised values, grief, loss, death, illness, and natural disasters.
How resilient are you?
Ask yourself these questions:
1. If something doesn’t go your way do I :
a. Get upset and give up.
b. Figure out what went wrong, and how to do it a better way.
2. If someone does not respond to me in the way I’d like do I:a. Blame them.
b. Ask for clarification, and/or reword my request.
3. When I make a mistake do I:
a. Think it was because of something else someone else did.
b. Take accountability, responsibility for my actions, and make amends.
4. When something bad happens (to others or to me) do I:
a. Cry, get angry, believe it’s someone else’s fault, and/or ignore the problem.
b. Take a moment to feel bad, but then decide to do something productive about it.
If you answered mostly a’s then you are living life as a victim. You like to believe that things happen to you, because of others actions towards you, and because of anger, blame, or denial you are not able to grow from the set-backs. Instead, they are just this: set-backs. The way you grow and mature is by learning from what makes you or others fall down. And not just ruminating or gossiping about it, but taking action to produce results showing growth.
If you answered mostly b’s then you are living life above the line as a victor. You are taking both accountability and responsibility for the way you: (1) think, (2) feel, and (3) act.
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