Building Resilience

The world is not interested in the difficulties you face. You must learn to pursue excellence and show remarkable resilience no matter the circumstances.”
~Germany Kent

How Resilient are you? We associate resilience with being able to consistently cope with hardships, pushing ourselves to the limit without a physical or emotional breakdown. In truth, resilience is the ability to recover quickly from hardships or stress. It’s not about pushing yourself and pushing yourself, it’s not about a test of strength. It’s about our ability to adjust and preserve ourselves while still having the emotional capacity to function, it’s not about stamina. 

Resilience doesn’t ease the pressures of life’s difficulties, it allows us to understand the setbacks, make the necessary adjustments to deal with those setbacks, and reevaluate our next move. We build resilience through trial and error and by constantly evolving. Once you understand what works and what doesn’t work for you, it becomes easier to pick up the pieces when things fall apart. Resilient people create a coping mechanism that helps them deal with a crisis more effectively.

4 Ways you can build Resilience

1. Manage Stress Trigger- This can be difficult especially when the unexpected happens. Learning to manage stress will help you become more resilient, allowing you to mentally bounce back after going through difficult, sometimes, life-changing situations. 

2.  Take Action-learn to deal with your problems instead of waiting for them to magically disappear. Work on resolving issues before they escalate into something so overwhelming it sends you into a tailspin. Pause, Reflect,  Take Action!

3.  Challenge Yourself- A sharp mind leads to a resilient mind. Learn a new skill, remain focus on your goals. It’s not about how long you can stay in the race but rather how well you run your race. Life is about learning and you’re never too old to learn something new.  We all have our own timelines, while someone may be finishing their race, yours may have just begun. Remember you don’t have to race to the finish line, make the necessary adjustments to achieve your goals, without sacrificing yourself in the process.

4. Self-Confidence- If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will!! The most important part of building resilience is self-confidence. How can you cope with what life throws at you if you don’t believe in your own ability to overcome? Self- Confidence is not about being boastful, it’s about being able to respond and deal with a crisis. For every positive thought, there are dozens of negative thoughts that overshadow those positive tones recognize the difference, replace the negative with the positive.  

Pinned Message: You never know how strong you are, until being strong is all your only choice! Resilience is not something that’s built overnight, it takes time and effort. Life can sometimes be a struggle for all of us and sometimes our coping mechanism may take a while to kick in but don’t be discouraged if you find yourself struggling. I think this past year has made us all more resilient, you just have to stay in that zone of evolution.

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©Etta  D. Richards

How To Deal With Disappointments

“Disappointment is a blessing. If you were never disappointed, you’d never know what was important to you.”
― Kamand Kojouri

Unless you live in a vacuum or totally off-grid without human contact, people will disappoint you. Our days flow according to our expectations and so does our disappointments. Time has always been a commodity, the more things you have to do the less time you seem to have and people now more than ever guard their time jealously. While there’s not much you can do about people disappointing you, you can do something about how quickly you bounce back. It’s hard when someone disappoints you, whether it’s a trusted friend or colleague tossing you under the bus and hitting reverse speed, a dinner date cancelling last minute or family members who you thought would always have your back suddenly not there when you need them most. Life is filled with disappointments and you have a choice in your reaction to those disappointments.

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Every Stage Of Life Demands A New You!

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.

Heraclitus

Sometimes life breaks us, sometimes it bends us as every stage of your life requires a different you. The person you were yesterday is not the same person you are today or the person you will be tomorrow because something is going to happen that will require a different you. It could be a new job, marriage, becoming a parent, it could be being diagnosed with some life threatening disease or a bad break.  Change is inevitable, we can’t stop it. Life happens to all of us and when it does our lives are forever changed, it forces us to shift our way of thinking, our way of life. For me, this has never been more evident than now. I think, no, I know, I have changed more in the past few months than I have in the past year. I never expected my life to change to drastic, if there was a choice, it would’ve been a definite NO for me. This year demanded drastic shift,  a new me! This was not optional and it came without warning. But that’s life!


The difficult part is, when life demands a new us, there are people around us who are still expecting us to remain the same. Never compromise your peace for the sake of keeping a relationship that doesn’t support you! The whole point of your transformation is for you to prepare you for whatever life has thrown your way. There’s no time to comprise your values to accommodate those people who can’t accept the new you. Trust that life will bring people to you that will accept, and appreciate the new you, support  you during your time of struggle, and  celebrate you during your time of achievements.  Understand that pain is temporary but the  change is permanent, until you’ve come to the next stage that requires a new you because on this journey we’re in a continuous cycle of growing, becoming better and wiser. 

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©Etta  D. Richards

Connecting With Our Emotions

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
~Oscar Wilde

I have always been able to keep my emotions in check, I dislike crying because it gives me a headache, I especially don’t like that sullen feeling of sadness because it bruises the soul and hangs like a dark cloud overhead. You don’t know if the rain of tears is going to flow to a trickle or if there’ll be a thunderstorm. Unless you can claw yourself free from its temporary state of despair,  emotions can sometimes paralyze, trapping us in a vacuum of fear and doubt.  I can honestly say that for me, they make no sense because our emotions never do what we want them to do.  We try to suppress the tears but they come anyway. We try to suppress the love, grief, heartache but they still manage to express themselves even when you don’t want them to thus we are all slaves to our emotions.


This has not been an easy week, but there haven’t been many easy weeks since Cancer entered our lives back in February, it’s not the first time someone close to me has had to battle the disease but it still leaves me in a tailspin because it’s never easy seeing someone you love suffer through the treatments of the disease and dear I say, it’s not fair on either side. Not fair for the sufferer or the family having to watch it all unfold. This time it really feels like the straw that’s breaking the camel’s back. Most days it’s a struggle to keep my emotions in check as it has become an uphill battle of trying to maintain a work/ life balance and trying to keep up the appearances that all is well while my emotions are boiling just underneath trying to claw themselves out. What I’ve learned in these past few months is that even if you know what to do to keep yourself going, there are moments when the mind and body become so overwhelmed that everything we know that’s good for us, go out the window then everything starts to shut down and our emotions take over. A few times I’ve found myself overflowing in joy, gratitude, sorrow, sadness, love, fear, anger during the most inconvenient! Bu through it all I’m grateful.


Why do we need emotions that leaves us so vulnerable and raw? I come to the harsh reality that our emotions may not always make sense but they’re necessary and that they help us in ways we don’t always understand.  They help us to survive by forcing us to take action in situations that would otherwise pose a danger to our well-being. Emotions also work to help us understand those around us and help them understand us. They can’t be reasoned with, they won’t submit to logic and they our emotions are what makes us human, all we can do it rationalise our situation and determined the best response for the situation or situations we’re faced with.

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Recognising Your Self-Worth and Value

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“Your worth is determined by you, not the judgmental measuring cups of a fickle world.”
Katie St. Claire

Self-love and Self-care have both become quite popular in the circles of Self- Help. Not to be neglected, two words that are often used interchangeable to describe how we feel about ourselves, are  Self-worth and Self-value, they reflect how we look at our worth and how much we value ourselves.  To have Self-worth  means to value one’s self. Self-value is a behavioural response to how worthy you think you are. There’s not a huge difference between their meaning and they can both be used to generalize the concept of  how we see our selves and how we project ourselves to others.  People who often know a person’s worth tend to use it to their advantage, by exploiting that person’s abilities.  I’m not saying it doesn’t exists but rarely would you will find someone, whether it’s an employer, a partner or family who will value your self-worth and honor you for that.  If you do find people who hold you to the highest esteem, cherish them.

 

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Even The Best Laid Plans Fall Apart

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The best laid plans, even the ones perfectly sketched and ready for print, are sometimes scribbled over. Be prepared, with extra paper and pencils, so you can start your drawing over again.
Christine E. Szymanski

This week someone reminded me that even the best laid plans fall apart, the key is not to fall a part with them. But I knew this! So why do I still rise to a vibration of falling completely asunder when plans fail? It’s easy to become overwhelmed when trying to find all the hacks and tricks to help you to achieve something, then human mature steps in and we allow frustration to anchor us in that moment of defeat and disappointment. Not to discourage you, but as I was reminded, even with a plan, success is not guaranteed and though you maybe aware of this, each time a things don’t go as plan our nature is to pause, question our motives and wallow in defeat. The great news is, you really don’t need a grandiose plan to succeed in anything. All you need is the motivation to hit the restart button on that goal you’ve set out for yourself when plans fail.

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Simple Essentials That Can Promote Happiness

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“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.”
~Audrey Hepburn

It’s said that in life we need just three things to be happy, money, a job that brings contentment and someone to love. If you ask a room full of people what brings them happiness, you will get more than those three things but they will no doubt be at the top of the list because people often them with happiness. There are many roads to happiness and recognising these without falling into the trap of shallow happiness is sometimes complicated. Think back to a time when you felt true happiness and let that guide you to finding that again.

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Learning To Express My Authentic Self

Empath/ˈɛmpaθ/noun

  1. a person with the ability to perceive the mental or emotional state of another individual.

My grandmother not only had a heart of gold, like most grandmothers, but she was also very intuitive. She gave this personification of someone wise and all knowing, for a young child at tine this was unsettling and I remember asking her one time if she was a psychic, she simply smiled and said no, ‘I just know things!’ I never truly appreciated her gifts of knowing what to say, when to say it or what to do and when to do it, until I got older. Her selflessness, always giving so much of herself to others, a lot of whom were undeserving, her relentless willingness to help those in need even if it meant giving her last. Often came across more as a weakness than anything else. But those who truly appreciated her, said she had a pure heart of Gold.

As the old adage goes, the chip doesn’t fall far from the block. It was not just a part of my upbringing, it was engrained in my fabric because I started noticing the same attitudes in myself that I saw in her and I was never aware of the word empath until I was well into my 40s. All of my life I was singled out as being selfish, stubborn, naive and just a little bit crazy. Some call it a gift, some say it’s a curse, I’m caught in the middle because the empathic self also comes with the uncontrollable surge of feeling the emotions of others. This made me understand better why my grandmother was so jealous of her time, why she was bordered becoming a reclusive. Empaths are not selfish, crazy or naive, we just see and experience the world differently. I have had friends who stopped communicating with me after my warning them about certain relationships only to have them to come back months or sometimes years later to ask. “how did you know?”  Over the years, I can’t say that I’ve learned to control my sense of knowing, because how do you not care about others? It’s not something that can be flicked off and on at will. But I have become more aware of my emotions and have found people who have supported me along the way.

I think Anthon S. Maarten put it best into words what he says………..

“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.”


As the world went into lockdown, there were many who buckled under the pressures of confinement. My spirit welcomed it! I no longer had to lie in bed for an hour while my brain coerces my my body into motion. I didn’t have to exhaust myself for 9 hours while trying to maintain the barrier to buffer the noise and all the different personalities around me.  In those months my spirit had the opportunity to heal, my thoughts were not randomly trying to wander off, they were more focused and gained clarity. It was a renewal of self, something I was not able to do in a long time. It felt great! Had it not been for that break I don’t think I would’ve had the mental or emotional capacity to handle all that is happening in my personal life right now. That time of rejuvenation and renewal gave me the strength to reinforce those boundaries. In doing this, I’m learning also learning to express my authentic self!

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6 Quotes To Help You Move Forward

During the past few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on everything that has happened in the past year up to this point. Looking back made me realized that many of the times when I thought were really tough and there was no way out, there was a way out. I was just staring too long at the wall to see the door that lead to that way out and on many occasion I was being redirected to someone or something I needed now. So I’ve stopped reflecting on the past and now using my energy to visualizing a future I want. I’ve reached a point now where I’m no longer worried about things that are beyond my control and appreciating the people that are here to support me now.

Here are 6 quotes that helped me move forward.

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We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Light houses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining – just shine.

Dwight L. Moody

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Trusting Your Instincts

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Being discontented doesn’t always mean you’re not satisfied with your life, or that you’re greedy for  MORE.  It’s a feeling of dissatisfaction for something or  someone.   If you are feeling discontent about something, someone or a situation in your life. It means you’re connected, on some level, with your deepest and true desires . You are connected enough to know you’ve been thrown off course and to quote Ms. Clavel, “something is not right!” You may not be able to pin point exactly what is wrong. But the instinctive is there. The more open you are to seeking peace of mind by removing unnecessary stress from your life and following your instinct, the more contented your life will be.

But when that feeling of discontent presents itself, there are measures you can take to combat those feelings.

Write, or talk to someone…
You know by now I’m a huge advocated of journaling. Sit down with pen and paper, and WRITE. Don’t think about it, write whatever comes to your mind, no matter how random or senseless it seem. Just write. Writing provides a direct link to your deepest thoughts.

Besides Journaling, talking is always good, find someone you can trust and can openly express yourself to. The more you speak about a situation, the more clarity you are going to receive about that situation. But don’t get confused and allow other’s opinion or agenda to interfere with your personal discovery. How do you do this? If the person you’re talking to spends more time talking back or interrupting what you’re trying to relate, then they’re not the right person to be speaking too. Remember you’re not really speaking to get their opinion, they’re suppose to be your support system.

Be kind to yourself.
Keep your thoughts, attitude and actions kind. I can’t express this enough, do something for you! Watch your favourite movie in your comfort clothes, read a great book. I’m pushing myself to take up running or power walking. Don’t let discontentment leave you in a lurch. Be KIND to yourself.

You’re not crazy or ungrateful, or alone…… You WILL get past this. It may take time to move past it all and regain your place of happiness and contentment, all minor or major life change begin with simple steps.

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©Etta  D. Richards