In a recent interview with Graham Norton, Hillary Rhodham Clinton discussed how she has been programmed by her late mother to pick herself up and carry on when faced with adversity. As she so eloquently puts it, not everyone has had to do this after losing a presidential election but everything is relative and no matter what our status in life is – bouncing back and getting on with living, in my opinion, is the only thing one can do.
Losing my hair is one adversity of many that I have faced in my life. I don’t tend to dwell on the past so each new chapter doesn’t become “yet another thing for me to deal with”. It is a chapter in it’s own right. I don’t say “why does this always happen to me” or “What have I done to deserve it?”. As we have recently written “It is what it is”.
Allowing ourselves to be a victim of our circumstances doesn’t get us anywhere. It allows bad thoughts to fester and that surely can’t be good for anyone? So how do we bounce back? What makes some people have the ability to do this but others to feel so rejected in life? It is the classic half full/half empty debate.
Let me share a few thoughts on approaches which I have successfully adopted, in case they are of help to others:
- Take time to reflect on what has happened and find ONE GOOD THING that can come of it (the rest will follow);
- Give yourself permission to be angry, hurt, sad, upset – you don’t have to be the martyr – you are entitled to feel these emotions. They will last as long as you want them to;
- Try not to compare your problems to others. By that I mean the difficult situation you find yourself in – whatever it may be – is relative to you. Although it can be helpful to put things into perspective during the next phase of your acceptance, when you are in the moment, your setback can be as devastating to those who seemingly have bigger issues to deal with.
We all experience setbacks and challenges. As Rachel says, how we come back from them is the essence of success in life. I like Steve Maraboli’s quote: “Happiness is not the absence of problems; it’s the ability to deal with them. Accept what is happening in your life, own the truth of it, and press on – you’ll be glad you did.
Live life with conviction and a whole heart. Be fully whatever you are.
~ Alan Cohen, A Deep Breath of Life