Resilience. I’m fascinated by it. Turns out it’s an actual science that’s, like, studied and stuff. Very cool.
Bouncing back from life’s fails that we essentially have no control over is a tricky thing to navigate. A twisty turn in life can sometime force you into coping with grief, regret, confusion, shaken confidence, tentativeness and all kinds of junky stuff that takes us away from being self-assured and able to parent our kids with a clear head. Which is why it’s essential for parents – especially moms – to keep a few go-to motivational quotes on hand and master the art (or, science, as we’ve now found out) of resilience. The moms are head of the household… no matter what any husband will tell you. Am I right?
Recently, I was grateful and honored (and a bit shocked) to be the keynote speaker at a women-and-brands conference called ConnectHER. Yes… I said keynote speaker. I’ve given hundreds of speeches in my life, but this was the first time I’d be delivering a ” 30 minute message” to 200+ smart, professional and accomplished women working in the same TV/online/media/branding/entrepreneurial industry as me. A handful of the attendees have been my mentors in this blogging space. Every single attendee is someone I admire for one reason or another (once I started finding their social media profiles and discovering who they were… I flipped a bit… amazing… all of them). The founder of ConnectHER herself is a positive and petite powerhouse of strength whose detailed story (about undergoing surgery for a brain tumor) moved me beyond all expectation.
So what lip service could I possibly share with these women that they didn’t already know? My top 3 phrases that I’ve personally used on myself to get past the more trivial ‘fails’ in life that sometimes bring us down more that they should… Ready? Here ya go.
1) Don’t Get Bitter, Get Better. This – compliments of motivational pastor Joel Osteen, circa 2004 – bounced me back from a most heartbreaking and intense breakup that had my early 20’s self thinking “What the hell am I supposed to do now?” while crying every single day in the bathroom at work for almost a year. This phrase gave me the armor and drive to pursue farfetched dreams of becoming an entertainment reporter on TV. You know how that turned out (my Entertainment News reel to the right of this page –>). Repeat after me: Don’t get bitter, get better.
2) Stupider People Than Me Have Done This. Not to knock the countless intelligent people in this world, but hopefully you get the humor attached. No, I’m not stupid. No, you’re not stupid. No, I’m not calling anyone else stupid. This is just a silly phrase that my wacky brain created one day as a knee-jerk reaction to keep a fire lit. Don’t think you can do something? Don’t think you have the gravitas to pull it off? Don’t think you have the experience required? Stupider people that me (you!) have done it. You. Can. Too.
3) Say Yes… and Figure It Out Later. If you trap your back to the wall, I guarantee you can find a way out if you really are forced. So, force yourself. Forcing yourself makes you dig deep into your own well of creativity because, as we all know, where there is a will there is a way. It’s probably not the most admirable thing to admit, but this phrase pretty much scored me my first full-time job in TV. “Do you know how to produce, write and edit alongside your on-camera skills?” they asked me. “Oh YES!” I replied. I’d never produced, wrote or edited before. “YES!” I repeated. Saying yes and figuring it out later will make you learn things you never thought you could learn.
Surprisingly, I’ve found these same phrases also lift me up when I’m having a particularly challenging parenting moment (or, day) at home. Try ’em. (Although none of these phrases motivated anything inside of me when I found my 3 year old STANDING on her bathroom counter today smearing toothpaste on her mirror. I simply yelled and flipped out about how she could’ve fallen off and then we’d have to take her to the hospital. Crazy woman.)
Bottom line? Save the real grief for the big things that really matter in life (health, family, friends) and use these for the trivial and this-will-make-sense-years-from-now fails.
Oh! And one more thing to keep in mind: Standing on your own $hit makes you taller. (I made that one up too… I like it.)
I won’t tell anyone our secrets…. they’re ours to take over each of our worlds with.