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I am an elite athlete, and I'm known for running insanely long distances, and for brushing up against the limits of human endurance. But over the past 4 years, I've quite literally run myself into the...
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We often think of resilience as a manifestation of the human spirit's ability to survive the unfathomable -- those grand disasters and tragedies that populate news headlines and our social media feeds. It's as though we don't believe resilience could possible be at play in the midst of our own "mundane" life.
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The day will come. Someone will disappoint you. Someone will betray you. Your day won't go as planned. Your boss will get angry. Your client will get angry. You'll lose something. You'll lose someone. The list of potential setbacks is never ending. These challenges can make it feel impossible to keep it together, and that's normal.
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Have you ever wondered what separates those rare individuals who are able to step forward after trauma and adversity from those of us who are stunted, derailed, or in some way consumed by similar life circumstances or events? As a society, we tend to gravitate to the "bounce back" narrative so often espoused in the media, and one that is particularly true of the stories most commonly shared on social media.
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If you drop me, I bounce. In fact, as crazy as that sounds, for much of my life it certainly felt like that was true. As is the case with far too many children around the world, I grew up in a violent home and it was within this violence that a nascent spirit of resilience began to germinate.
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We may not get to choose the bad surprises that befall us, but we definitely get to choose how we handle these experiences. If we use them as opportunities for personal growth, we'll always come out as winners.
So, is there a lesson in PTSD for all of us? Yes, most definitely. If abandoned in fear, past trauma has a way of writing itself into your future like a voracious virus, but if you are willing to face it head on, you may find yourself attuned to the lesson of growth within its whisper.
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Is there a blueprint for "cultivating grit," and are there steps you can take right now to build it within your life? These are questions that come up a lot whenever I give a talk on overcoming adversity, so I thought I would share a few of my strategies with you.
If you always want to be somewhere else or be someone else, you'll lose sight of the fact that "peace is in the present. Thus, I have developed three techniques to place me squarely in the here and now and anchor me there.
Imagine being in total darkness, knowing if you fall you die, and being so completely out of breath and energy that you can only move forward an inch at a time. I'm wasted. Finished. Out of energy. My only savior at this point is the sun.
The reality here is this: People die on 8,000-meter mountains and it is irresponsible not to have a plan in place in the event that something goes wrong. I found myself packing all of my gear as though I was never going to return.