When something goes wrong, how do you respond? Do you tend to bounce back or fall apart? Why do some people succumb to or become immobilized by adversity, while others overcome similar circumstances and go onto to thrive?
Or on a more personal level, why do we sometimes cope well and have joy in our lives, and other times not? The answer seems to lie in emotional resilience.
Instead of making time to create a new habit in your already full life, why not work on clearing out some of those tendencies that are in the way of your success. You might not even recognize the behaviors you’ve cultivated through the years that are stalling your progress.
Here is a list of 11 behaviors that can hinder your ability to become emotionally resilient- an essential characteristic of happy and prosperous people.
Don’t Get Stuck in Self-Pity
There’s no way around the hardships you’ll face in life. Maybe you can’t make this month’s mortgage payment, or you were passed over for a job promotion. You or someone you love may be dealing with a serious illness. Whatever the issue, don’t get stuck in self-pity.
Take the time to mend your wounds when you experience difficulties but
Don’t Give Your Power Away
Victims don’t have the capacity for emotional resilience. Your words and thoughts can create a sense of victimization that can throw you into a tailspin if you aren’t careful. Instead of saying, or thinking, “Ugh! I have to go in early tomorrow!” try framing this as a choice, “I choose to go in early tomorrow so that I can finish a project.” This simple change in the script will give you back your power.
Don’t Avoid Change
Change can be a scary thing. But if you can’t embrace the changes in life, work, career, the world, you’ll end up being left behind in your old and outdated ways.
Life is change and adaptability and flexibility are key traits of highly resilient individuals. The more you grasp the opportunity for change the more resilient you will become.
Don’t Obsess About Things Out of Your Control
It’s a very useless habit to worry about things that are out of your control. Obsessing about the choices someone else has made only wastes your time and energy. Instead, change your focus to a more productive pursuit. Finish a project. Do some fun.
Practice influencing the people you live or work with instead of trying to control them. Everyone will benefit from that.
Don’t Try to Please Everyone, Everywhere
Getting caught up in the dysfunction of trying to keep everyone around you happy is emotionally and mentally draining. Not to mention impossible.
Learning to say no, even if you know it’s bound to disappoint someone, is essential to developing your emotional resilience and mental strength. Upsetting someone you’ve always accommodated by telling them no is healthy for everyone involved. When you say no to someone because what they’ve asked of you doesn’t align with your values, it’s a good thing. Counter the inevitable guilt trip they’ll send you on by making a list of your values and deciding how you’ll stay true to those values and live your authentic life.
Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back
Fear and anxiety can prevent you from realizing the success that awaits. Acknowledge your fear but balance your emotion with logic. Have you ever met anyone who died of embarrassment?
Don’t Live in The Past
Learning from a previous misstep is no doubt beneficial. However, when you stay stuck in the past, reliving regrets or romanticizing the “glory days” you risk losing what’s ahead. Let go of regret, forgive past offenses-your own and others. Seek help if you feel caught in the pain of the past. Living in the past will weaken your emotional resilience.
Don’t Envy the Success of Others
When those in your life are recognized for their achievements; purchasing their dream home, or landing a desirable position, you may find yourself feeling the pull of envy. These feelings of jealousy can shift your focus from your goals. Instead of giving into the envy, think about your definition of success and how it relates to your goals. Congratulate your friend or coworker on their success.
Don’t Give Up
Simple, yes, but it’s one of the most difficult habits for some people to break. Failed attempts don’t feel very good. But every wildly successful person throughout history has a series of failed attempts. Don’t let fear of failure stand in your way of success. Instead of giving up, stay the course and keep focused on the bigger picture by using your failure as a learning experience to move you forward.
Don’t Fear Alone Time
Have you ever noticed how it seems every minute of your day is scheduled and you’re always doing something? Solitude is an essential building block to creativity, problem-solving, and peace of mind.
Don’t Assume the World Owes You Anything
Maybe you believe because you’ve paid your dues and overcome adversity the world owes you only good things. That’s not how the life works. Make it a habit to notice these times when you feel payment is due. Shift your focus to helping others. When the attention is on sharing your gifts and abilities with others, you will begin to see all that you have instead of what you think you’re owed.
Tying It All Together
Habits can be difficult to break, and self-growth takes time. When you expect immediate results, you can set yourself up for disappointment. Go easy and realize that which is worth having may need to develop slowly. Enjoy the journey as you hone your emotional resilience.
Tim Crowley, Ph.D.
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Leadership, and Resilience Expert
Dr. Tim Crowley is a well-known speaker with a passion for growing agile leaders, teams, and organizations that produce extraordinary results. For more than 25 years his services have touched the lives of leaders in some of the most recognizable companies in the world. Including AT&T, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Ernst & Young, Hallmark, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Marriot, Microsoft, Nestle-Purina, along with numerous organizations, universities, state and federal agencies.
When not speaking, leading workshops, or writing he looks for inspiration through mountain biking, volunteering, and spending time with his family and friends.
Invite Tim to speak at your next event. You can learn more about him and how his services can help you and your team at drtimcrowley.com. Connect with Tim on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.