Build Up Your Ability to Bounce Back From Setbacks

“Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans.” Betty Talmadge, American meat broker and cookbook author, is the first one who is credited with this adage. Setbacks happen in business and in life.

By building up your resilience – your bounce-back ability – you will know how to get back up after you have been knocked down. Follow these principles to soar through setbacks and keep your resilience revved up.

Use Your Power of Choice. Begin to look at how resilient you are in everyday occurrences. Do you let traffic, a delayed plane, or a disappointing phone call ruin your whole day, or do you consciously choose to bounce right back? We always have a choice about how we react to what happens.

Build on Past Successes. At first your setback might seem too much to handle. To help yourself bounce back, think about other challenges you have faced in your life and business in the past. Remember how you dealt with them, and how you came through those challenges. Remind yourself of all you have dealt with – and yet you persevered. This will fuel your ability to overcome this setback.

Look for the Lesson. Setbacks serve. They bring with them lessons about you, about your leadership, about your business. When a setback erupts in your path, before dowsing the flames you should first examine its lesson. Learning the lessons that your setbacks deliver is one of the ways you build your resilience.

To your resilience! 

Caterina Rando, TWIB Magazine Publisher 

Resilience: What does it really take?

ResilienceWe all have aspirations for something.

Even if we haven’t translated it yet into a specific goal, there’s something we want more of, less of or different.

It is the ultimate dichotomy I think of our humanness: We resist change and yet change is what we crave.

The underlying conflict in this seems to be that we want the change we want and nothing else.

We do not want to have to put change to work; we only want change that works for us. And we believe we are the best judge of what that might be.

But the best change quite often masquerades as something else, something perhaps we don’t recognize for its true potential.

That’s the essence of resilience. Being able to recognize opportunity in whatever comes our way. Once we’ve made the decision for what we want, then everything gets put to work to accomplish that. It’s one of the principal lessons I learned from Napoleon Hill’s work, Think and Grow Rich. The decision begins everything. Without a decision, there is no touchstone.

What does it really take then to go from decision to done? What does resilience need in order to work? From studying those that are repeatedly successful it would appear that there are three things that happen with resilience.

First is that everything becomes a resource and gets put to work. You see things differently. You see them through the lens of possibility. You become resourceful instead of just waiting on resources.

Second is a steadfast sense of resolve. Jim Rohn tells the story of a young girl that when asked to define resolve explained that it was a promise you make to yourself. When things go awry, as we know they will, it is our resolve that keeps us on track and moving forward.

The third element is not just what we get in the end, it’s what we continuously produce and that is results. Results are the most effective way to light our path. They show us which direction is working. They guide us along the way. That is why we have to measure from the first step, so we can harness the power of those results, adjusting our sails as we go.

What it really takes is not just one thing, in fact it’s really not a thing at all. When you think about it, what it takes is us. We make the decision, we become resourceful, we resolve to persevere and we follow the best results until we get there.

What is it you want? Decide. Start there. Let it begin.

Live (decide) today like you want tomorrow to be. Live (decide) well.

Do you struggle with resilience? 3 warning signs to consider

It’s easy to say that we are resilient. It’s much more challenging to live resiliently. It is one of the most important skills we need to develop. But all too often we wait until we need it to determine if we’ve got it. The reality is that it doesn’t work that way.

Like any skill, it has to be developed over time and begins with our mindset. How we perceive our world will determine how we interact with it.

That is the core essence of true resilience. We stop responding to our world and start interacting with it. We put the energy of what is happening around us to work. We harness that energy and create new opportunities. It is what I have come to think of as moving from powerless effort (responding) to effortless power (resilience).

Recently I have been part of some discussions around resilience and how we develop it. The initial questions focused on how we could determine if it is a skill we have honed or not. After all, it’s not something you can always measure or see until after it has been employed. From those conversations, we determined that there are some warning signs that may be indicators that we need to strengthen that muscle.

Here are the top three:

#1- A higher commitment to the plan than to the result.

It can be dangerous to become overly attached to the road map. After all, roads close and things change. But the end goal is still the end goal. Adjusting the sails is far better than ignoring that the course needs correction.

#2- A driving need to understand the cause of something in order to assign blame, even (or especially) if it’s to yourself.

Things happen. The cause is most likely irrelevant once it happens. The true forward course is not assigning responsibility for why it happened but rather taking responsibility for what to do from there. What does this make possible? Take responsibility for that and it shifts to opportunity thinking.

#3- Your goal list is continuously littered with casualties that don’t seem to ever cross the finish line.

When we find a trend line in something, it means there is a systemic issue causing a particular result. When the trend we see is unfinished work or unrealized goals, it usually means that we are not able to see our way through disruptions, delays or even simple distractions. By analyzing the points where we falter, we can see where we need to shore up our resiliency muscle and put intelligent creativity to work.

A commitment to seeing the possibilities around us naturally develops our personal resiliency. Our life lens is trained to see opportunities for growing and giving in every situation. In a world where we are faced every day with uncertainty, we can thrive knowing that what is uncertain leaves room for infinite creativity.

What if the glass half empty is also half full? What if it’s both and ready for more?

Live today like you want tomorrow to be. Live well.

Who is on your Top 50 list?

Several years ago Success Magazine published a series of interviews designed to give the small business owner or entrepreneur insights from the experts.

One of the mentors selected was Tory Johnson of Women for Hire, Spark & Hustle, The Shift and most recently, Deals and Steals.

Tory is someone I have admired for her practiced resiliency and, dare I say it? Her spark and hustle!

In the interview, Tory shared that she maintained a list at all times of her top 50 prospects and she worked that list with relentless focus. Once you were on the list, you could be certain that you were going to be hearing from Tory. And if you were smart, you’d be doing business with her. She encouraged all business owners to have their own list and to leverage the list to keep on task for growing the business. Sound and savvy advice.

Beyond the obvious, there were lessons from that interview and list discussion that have stayed with me.

Lesson #1 – A list helps create focus and action!

First was that the power in leveraging an actual list. Beyond just recording an intention, it becomes a playbook. When we remove the decision point from the action plan we allow ourselves to move fluidly. If there is a list of 50 names, if someone isn’t available, that’s fine. There are many other names left to go. And when you run out, you go back to the top. What is on your to do list can go from “make sales calls” to “contact people on my prospect list and make 10 appointments”. The more specific the task, the easier it is to do. You don’t worry about how many you call because your task is 10 appointments. You don’t worry about who to call next, that’s already laid out for you.

Lesson #2 – Begin where you are with what you have and keep moving!

The second lesson is that our top 50 list can start as a top 10 list. We don’t have to have 50 to begin. We can start with 5. The key is to grow the list to the point that you are always equipped to connect. And to keep it fresh based on moving people to the top customer list or top collaborator list and so on. It really is about relationship management across the board. We should always be working toward an active top 50 prospect list at the conversation level.

Lesson #3 – All things being equal – well they aren’t! But it still works!

The third lesson is that prospect can mean different things to different people and businesses. Your prospects may be potential partners or resources vs. actual prospects you might sell to. This was an important distinction for me as a life coach and strategist. My early prospects were not people I would want to coach. They were influencers and mentors, people that could be invaluable to me as I was building my business. What was interesting to me was that some of those that seemed out of reach initially were in fact very approachable. Engaging them on social media, enrolling in courses, attending events and promoting their work all led to productive partnerships. Even now, my prospect contact list focuses on partners vs. clients. By leveraging those relationships, we both are able to serve broader audiences and help more people.

My own lists have come into more focus for me as I’m working on my next book that will be launching later this year that spotlights the topic of resilience. When we consider the power of resilience, relationship building and management is one of the core skills promoting its essence. In fact, together with strategic learning practices, it is the foundation.

Live (list!) today like you want tomorrow to be. Live (list!) well.

Which do you create? A circle or a sun? A probing question from Picasso

Resilience is demonstrated by what we create from our experiences in life.

And with that, what we create has everything to do with our perspective.

As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right.”  This is particularly true when we touch on what we create. Perhaps you don’t even see yourself as someone who “creates” but I can assure you that you are. Each of us is a creative and we all have an innate need to create. It goes well beyond what we might think of as creative for art, music, writing, etc. Even within those disciplines, the basics already exist. It is what we make of them that becomes our creation.

A teacher creates a learning experience. A mother (or father) creates a home. A musician creates a performance. A photographer creates an image. A writer creates a story or message. A leader creates a team. Each takes something and through their own unique application transforms it into something else.

But there is more to this that merits consideration. Here is a thought provoking insight from Picasso that transcends the original application intended beyond art:

picasso“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.”

No matter what we create, the transformation can either deliver brilliance or diminish the light. We each have that choice. We each have that power.

This is also true of our lives. We can allow our brilliance to diminish to that yellow spot.  Or through curiosity, creativity and intelligence we can  transform our lives into bright shining suns of endless possibilities.

The real insight is that in both cases, it is not about resources, talent or skill.  It is about perspective and choice.  What do you see?  What do you create?

Live (Create!) today what you want to tomorrow to be.

Your Changing Nest: Are you ready for what’s next?

Change is a part of life. We all know that. But do we champion change and actively put it to work in our lives? Sometimes we can be so busy responding to the many changes outside of our control that we lose sight of how strategic change can actually be.

Empty NestIn thinking about a practical example for this, I thought about where change can be the most disruptive, especially for women. One place that is true is our “nest”. Whether those changes are planned and even celebrated does not mean they are not disruptive in ways we didn’t count on or struggle with as we move forward in our lives. Our changing nest – and for what we’ll be talking about here, our empty nest.

Our children growing up: heading to college, moving away, getting married. It doesn’t matter who you are – this can be a very unsettling time. Our whole lives can seem to shift. No matter how much we’re celebrating, within that change there can still be a sense of loss.

Let’s talk about why that might be and break it down. I call it the 3 R’s of our nest dynamic:

Relationships – Responsibilities – Resources

In my own life I can see this so clearly in hindsight (that rearview mirror!). There is a relationship dynamic that definitely shifts. Our children are always our children, no matter how old they are. But they become someone else as well. They become another adult, even in some ways, a peer. That relationship can bring a very different energy.

When we think about responsibilities, quite often we’re really talking about purpose. We’re so used to living our daily life at every level based on being responsible for their daily life. When that responsibility shifts, it can bring with it a loss of purpose. What will we do with ourselves?

And those resources! Our time, money and energy! When the priorities begin to shift, we often fail to recognize that how we leverage these resources also needs to shift.

It is here where we begin to learn and embrace the POWER of Permission, Perspective and Possibilities. Every change is an ending and a beginning. Every time our life progresses to a new season it brings the ending of something we know so that we can replace it with possibilities that were not there before. Think about this in terms of actual seasons. We can’t have winter and summer at the same time in the same place. And there are things that are unique to each of them. So it is true in our lives.

The truth is though that we may not want a season to end and that can be our first hurdle. To get through to the point of permission, perspective and possibility we have to first allow ourselves to grieve for what is left behind. How we do that is as individual as our fingerprints. But it is essential. The most effective approach for this is quite simple: Gratitude. Once we commit to seeing everything through the lens of grace it becomes much easier to live from a point of gratitude. This isn’t just a platitude and I also don’t think it’s valid to say that we have to be grateful for everything. It’s not realistic. But we can always be grateful for something. And that’s the difference. Focus on what we can be grateful for and the rest becomes much easier to carry.

There are also some other very practical things that we can do that will help us re-feather our nest we will cover in part two of our discussion. I’ve come to think of them as life practices or personal strategies. What makes them powerful is the fact that they are a part of our everyday life.

The key question is always this: What does this make possible? That is the essence of resilience and how we move with grace to what we create next in and with our lives.

Live (change) today like you want tomorrow to be. Live (change) well!

Build Up Your Ability to Bounce Back From Setback

Stamina.

“Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans.” Betty Talmadge, American meat broker and cookbook author, is the first one who is credited with this adage. Setbacks happen in business and in life.

By building up your resilience, your bounce-back ability, you will know how to get back up after you have been knocked down. Follow these principles to soar through setbacks and keep your resilience revved up. 

Read More

The best laid plans vs. life

The best laid plans… ah yes. Those great plans we have. And then life happens. It’s a challenge for all of us at some point. How can we be prepared to cope?

It is not enough to know ourselves. To be prepared for life we need to be compelled to develop our personal best by practicing life skills that in driving change within us can change our interactions and influence in the world in a meaningful way.

After all, even without disruption, those best laid plans are just that, only plans.  It is in the execution that we discover and enjoy the best experience.

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6 Essentials on how to THRIVE in the New Year (Episode #18)

Play

dr.mollie-thrive-resilienceToday on the show we’re talking leadership with resilience researcher, Dr. Mollie Marti. She shares what the research shows is needed to thrive in our quickly-changing fast-paced world. You will leave this interview equipped to better cope with and grow through adversity while supporting others on how to thrive, including:

  • What resilience is and how it unleashes innovation
  • The foundational piece needed to grow through adversity
  • Recognizing the important difference between good and bad stress
  • Making the connection between leading yourself and leading others
  • How passion guides you on your path to success
  • A prescription for whole-hearted living

About Dr. Mollie Marti

Dr. Mollie is a resilience researcher, professional speaker, author, and educator. Her mission is crystal clear: mentor leaders to thrive and serve. Trained as both a social psychologist and lawyer with a background in communications, Mollie brings years of experience in motivation, peak performance, and resilience to her teaching. Her newest book; Walking with Justice: Uncommon Lessons from One of Life’s Greatest Mentors has been welcomed into homes, schools, business organizations, and places of worship as a timeless handbook for being human. With her unique ability to combine the science of success with the art of exceptional living, Mollie frequently serves as a media and educational resource. Join her community HERE  for fresh resources to grow your leadership resiliency. You can also follow Dr. Mollie on Facebook and Twitter.