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Mental Resilience Hacks

Life is like baseball. There is no crying in baseball!

I am not saying there is literally no crying in life, what I am saying is there is no giving up in life. According to the Webster's dictionary resilience means "an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change." If I were to simplify this definition, I would say someone who is resilient continues to try in the face of challenge. When we give up, this is the another form of lacking resilience. Giving up presents a problem because resilience is a significant ingredient to success. In the words of Winston Churchill, "never, never, never give up."

Please note I am referring to reasonable life challenges that push people down when they want to give up. There are circumstances such as violence, abuse, depression, and other symptoms or situations where people must engage in support. This is not giving up; this is appropriate. Use your judgment.

This article will provide you with four mental resilience hacks that will encourage you to keep getting back up when you face setbacks or anxiety. Pick the strategies that best resonate with you and experiment.

1. Create a mantra. Most people's minds are addicted to a constant stream of thoughts. Here is a list of thoughts many people have.

I have to get this done.

I can't believe my friend said that to me.

My boss is mad at me.

What stops my brain from incessantly thinking unhelpful thoughts is using a short mantra. As soon as my mind starts running with anxiety, I repeat this phrase three times:

It's all going to work out

It's all going to work out

It's all going to work out

This mantra short circuits my obsessive hamster brain and calms me. Shortly after saying the mantra I start focusing on a solution rather than the problem. A short mantra can change the energy and intention of your focus. I encourage you to come up with a short mantra. The mantra should be something you believe as well as a statement that aligns with your belief system. Here are some alternative examples.

I will figure this out

It will be ok

A solution will come

2. Create an alter ego. Magic Johnson, the famous basketball player, has an alter ego. There is Magic, the competitor who wants to win, and there is Ervin, who loves to smile and have a great time. If you are facing a tough situation that requires resilience, then consider calling on your alter ego. For example, if someone provoked Ervin, he would laugh and smile. On the other hand, if someone provoked Magic, he might retaliate. An alter ego may drive a different response and a different outcome. When you are facing a situation that requires resilience, you may consider calling on your alter ego. Have some fun with your alter ego. My alter ego is Thor. When I have to cold call and face rejection, I call on Thor because he doesn't take no for an answer.

3. Leverage different perspectives. Our natural state is to see things through our perspective. For example, if you received a terrible annual review. Most of us would only look at it from our perspective. As a result, our thoughts might sound like this.

My boss is a jerk!

I can't believe they said that!

I got screwed over!

If you only focus on your perspective, it closes you off to resilience and growth. Experiment with different perspectives. For example, another perspective would be to put yourself in your boss's shoes and try to understand how they might see things. Your boss might have had anxiety before speaking to you. Your boss might be frustrated because they can only promote one person a year, and you were close. Another perspective would be to ask your significant other or a friend who will be brutally honest with you. Alternative views may force you to be resilient rather than defensive. Viewing the situation through a range of perspectives may change how you react, respond, or feel.

4. Don't say, "don't think about it"or "don't worry about it". This strategy applies explicitly when you are supporting others with resilience. For example, if someone is terrified about getting laid off, many people will say, "don't think about getting laid off; it probably won't happen." This is a terrible thing to say. When you say, "don't think," it high jacks someone's brain—for example, about a pink elephant. Just don't think about that. Think about anything else. What are you thinking about? Is it pink?

Instead, say something different. Say, "it's ok to think about losing your job; that is a natural thought." Permission is powerful and provides a direct route to resilience.

Get excited about setbacks and adversity because the more adversity you face, the more resilient you will become. The more resilient you become, the more successful you will be. Who would you rather hire? Someone who is resilient or someone isn't resilient at all? The answer is pretty easy when you think about it that way.

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