Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom
Viktor E Frankl
Life is a rollercoaster ride, full of ups and downs. All of us experience good and bad times, without exception. You would be forgiven for thinking that the most successful people are that way because they have more luck and less misfortune than the rest of the population, but that is simply not true. They experience failure and bad times too. The only difference lies in the way that they react to it.
Social media has a big part to play in this misunderstanding, because people mistakenly believe it to be a reflection of real life. In fact, the majority of successful and influential people are not using social media platforms to document their daily lives. Instead, they are using these accounts to show you only want they want you to see, that which can raise their profile and those things that paint them in the best light. Think of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc as simply a highlight reel.
Some celebrities and influential people, however, have stopped reading from this script and are indeed using their accounts to show the realities of life as an entertainer, sportsperson or entrepreneur. They share their real lives, good and bad, and let us see that they are vulnerable and human too. They too experience difficult times and have their own demons to battle, and in doing it in the public eye they are providing true inspiration. In sharing their journeys with us, they send a message that we all have bad days but what counts is how we frame those bad experiences and react to them. We certainly need more of this, and less showing off.
Of course, some of these famous people were given a boost because they went to the right schools or were part of the right social circle. But they are the exception to the rule. The majority of those who have reached the highest heights in their chosen arena, have done so through hard work and perseverance. They haven’t necessarily had more opportunities that anybody else, but they just made the most of those which came their way. Luck didn’t have much of a say in the matter either.
Neither did they have a Midas Touch which ensured success at whatever they attempted. They just kept going when their progress slowed to a crawl, and they started to experience difficulties. Essentially, they developed personal resilience. Armed with this, they bounced back when life knocked them down, and persevered until they tased sweet success.
In order to develop personal resilience, it is first important to identify your beliefs and values. Grab a pen and paper and select your top 10 personal values from this list. If you can, listen them in order of importance too;
- Family Happiness
- Personal Development
Now, think about your empowering beliefs. Write down your top 3.
Here are some examples;
- I like myself
- I am good enough
- My future is full of interesting possibilities
- I always find a way
- I’m always lucky
Lastly, pick your 3 limiting beliefs. This is when that little voice pipes up to sap your confidence, and stop your progress in its tracks. What stories does yours tell you?You could have;
- I don’t like the person I have become
- I am not clever/ good enough
- Life is meant to be difficult
- People are basically only out for themselves
- You get rich by exploiting others
- I can’t afford to take risks
The purpose of the above is to help you become a little more self aware. Once you know who you are, what you believe and what you value, then you will start to live in accordance to your beliefs and values. This is the first step towards becoming resilient.
Now that you know that you know what you value and believe in, have a think about your desire to change;
- How committed are you to taking action to change your life?
- What are 3 key things which you would like to achieve within the next 3 months?
- What would your life look like and feel like if you achieved them?
- What would you have to do or become to make them a reality?
- What are 5 resources which you possess?
Lastly, having determined that you have the will and resources to change for the better, it’s time to think about what is holding you back.
- What 3 things are you tolerating in your life right now?
- What do you gain from these things?
- What have these things cost you in your life?
- What do you gain by to changing?
- What would you have to do to make decisive change?
- What would it cost you to make these changes?
What has all this got to do with the way in which successful people have achieved so much in their lives?
As we have touched on above, people become successful when they become resilient and work hard. In order to develop resilience, however, they need to become self-aware, know what they believe in and value and be committed to constant improvement in their personal and professional lives. This helps them to develop a strong belief in themselves and their abilities, ignoring negative influences and persevering when times get tough.
This is something that takes a lot of hard work, but anyone can do it. Those who stick with it and do become resilient, are the ones who will see positive changes in their lives. Consistently. Because they know who they are, what they want in their lives, what they are prepared to accept and what they will not. Most of all, though, they understand that it’s their perspective and reaction to outside circumstances that determines how far they will go in life.