Why is it that other people keep going, and I just want to give up? It’s easier to sit on the couch, rather than getting up and going on a date. Sometimes, it feels like you’re getting nowhere.
I never realised that I was resilient. I felt weak and like my life was going round in circles. When things got tough, I felt like stopping. I remember asking ‘Why me?’ ‘Why does it seem like everyone else is in a relationship, has their dream job, or heaps of friends to have fun with, but I don’t?’ Instead of all that I’d be at home, I was so lonely, watching TV and working everyday in a job I didn’t enjoy.
My grandma has the most impressive garden, really beautiful, she loves it and tends to it everyday. What I love about my grandma and her garden though, is that she knows that there are weeds, and she appreciates the roses as they bloom, enjoys the scent and pulls out the weeds as they pop up.
First, you need to clear out the weeds
But, it wasn’t always like this. There was a time that she would only focus on her favourite plants, on her roses, and ignored the weeds. I would visit her sometimes and point them out and she would say ‘Why do you keep focusing on what’s wrong with my garden, can’t you see the beautiful roses, there are no weeds when you focus on them’. As the weeks and months went by the weeds grew larger and larger and started taking over the garden. Still my grandma would say ‘Focus on the roses, look at the lovely roses’, as if she couldn’t even see the weeds. ‘If we don’t focus on them they will go away’ only they didn’t go away and they kept growing. The roses became so overgrown with weeds that you could hardly see them.
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It took my grandma a long time to begin to accept and notice that there were weeds. As soon as she did, it took some time getting rid of the weeds, but she did a little every day, her friends and family helped and now her garden is beautiful again. And she knows that the weeds are there and pulls them out regularly, and also appreciates the roses and all the other beautiful flowers.
This experience taught me that having perspective on where you are and where you are going, that facing the little challenges would become a lot easier.
I started to think of small things that would help me to get ahead. I heard someone say that doing a little thing you don’t want to do first thing in the morning can get you started, and sets you up for facing the challenges of the day. I started small. I never saw the point of making my bed. I had a doona and a pillow and getting into bed each night I could throw the doona wherever I wanted to and get comfy. I made excuses each morning like ‘I’m too busy to make my bed’, ‘I don’t see the point’, ‘No one will see my room so it doesn’t matter’.
The smallest change can make the biggest difference
So, I started making my bed. Surprisingly it took very little time, and I felt good walking out of my room each morning knowing my bed was made. And even better at the end of the day walking into my room seeing my bed made. I’d remind myself throughout the day that if I can face the small challenge of getting a good start to the day, then I can face whatever else comes. I’m more prepared. It may seem silly, and small, but the little things can count, if you choose for them to.
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Before long I started getting up a little earlier and going for a jog or walk in the morning. This gave me time to think, and to get even more prepared for my day. And, it was another little challenge for me to get through. Starting your day overcoming little hurdles, doesn’t make the bigger challenges throughout the day easier, it’s not supposed to be easy, but doing them created an encouragement and ability to keep going, to build my resilience. So that when it was called for, I could keep going at the harder times.
Resilience is developed through facing life’s challenges. Through showing up, asking questions and doing the little things that help you learn and grow. When what we think is going to happen, doesn’t match our experience we have a choice. We can get upset, ignore it, complain about how life isn’t fair. Or we can keep going; learn from it and grow as a person.
A great example is meeting someone for the first time, especially when going on a date. You’ve created a picture of how the date is going to go, maybe you’ve been chatting online or a friend has set you up. You imagine this amazing connection, incredible conversation with someone you are attracted to, who is intelligent and funny, someone you feel relaxed and comfortable with straight away. More often though, it doesn’t go as planned. They look different to what you expect or they say something that puts you off, or you’re so nervous because you think they won’t like you so you don’t act quite like yourself.
What people are saying about Emotion Academy:
"After many years of training, courses, and counselling in various forms I thought I had certain aspects of my life sorted. Yet completing Emotion Academy showed me that I had been running away from my emotions and not facing them. After Emotion Academy, now I have the tools to engage with myself and win the internal battles once and for all - Neil Welsh, Victoria
I know these situations well because I used to do this. I’d walk in, meet a guy for a coffee and get stuck in boring conversation, end the date early and go home thinking that there are no good guys. Or I used to think that I wasn’t wearing the right clothes, saying the right thing or wasn’t funny or interesting enough and leave unhappy, never to hear from him again. I’d end up back at home feeling like I’d never meet someone.
If it doesn’t work the first time, try and try again
What I didn’t consider was, what if he was just as nervous as me? What if it was going to take more than one date to get to know a person? How long did it take to get to know my closest friends? It’s going to take a little bit of getting out of your comfort zone, of not knowing what to say sometimes. It may take some inner resilience to keep going to get to know a person, and letting go of the picture you created of how you think things will go.
When we draw it’s not like we pick up a pencil and instantly the full perfect picture is on the page. We start with one line, and the picture develops and becomes more defined with each stroke. Sometimes it doesn’t come out the way you think it will and then it’s our choice to change the picture, start again, adapt it and keep going.
Melisa Grigg - Head Coach & Trainer
Melisa was stuck in sadness for 15 years, hated her job, was overweight and her relationship had just ended. Melisa inspires people with her story and now teaches how she sorted her life out. She worked out how to be happy and how to lose over 30kg of body weight. In simple steps she teaches how you can stop procrastinating, find confidence, stop being so sad and finally start to find true meaning and purpose in your life.
Sometimes it can help having the strength to look in from a different perspective, to challenge you on what’s really possible. Focusing on what is possible while keeping your feet on the ground of where you are at, and finding a way.
It’s important to take a moment every now and then and appreciate all you have. Remember what it took you to be where you are and notice the moments when resilience showed up. Appreciate these times. Appreciation increases our awareness and gives us a reason to keep going, to have a reason to keep facing the next challenge.
Take time each week just for you even if it’s just half an hour go for a walk, read a book, go to the movies, go dancing, go have coffee with a friend. Whatever you need to do to build yourself and your resilience up, build up your reserves, so then you can keep going and call on it when it’s needed.
And remember why you are doing it, what’s the bigger picture? What can you learn from this experience, how can you learn from this experience to make it valuable? That’s the difference between resilience and giving up. Knowing why you are doing it, knowing why you keep going. Using the experience and learn from it to keep going, keep growing, keep getting better. Be the best version of yourself, for yourself, for your partner, for your kids, for your future partner, for your family, for your friends. Resilience is like a muscle, you develop it so then you have it to use. As we grow we get better at it.
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