Hope your first week of the new year has been a good one. Thank you for all your messages on my last blog post (click here if you missed it), they were very encouraging. But one of the questions stuck with me “How do you keep getting back up after each time you get knocked down?” I didn’t expect to receive that question on a Friday night in the middle of watching Star Wars. I kept thinking about how to reply to this message, throughout the film and even wrote several replies when I got home but didn’t think I could do it justice in a few lines. So I decided to write a blog post.
After all the epileptic attacks, the daily chronic pain and aspects of my cognitive skills declining- how do I keep getting back up?
One word that often resonates with me is RESILIENCE. The best definition I found is “Resilience involves the ability to get back up when you’ve been knocked down or to come back fighting stronger after a setback.” I have always been a fighter when I reflect on my past failings and setbacks. Failing and then re-sitting my GCSE’s and then graduating with a 2:1 in Software Engineering despite a period of amnesia in my second year which meant I had to re-learn skills and content in time for the end of year exams was a tough time. Another example of my resilience was learning to walk again after a severe epileptic attack. The pain I felt literally brought me to my knees and each time I fell down I knew it would be easy to just give up and accept that life won’t ever be the same. But I kept trying, I never want to fail at anything I do. I suppose I can’t accept failure and never want to be limited by my circumstances or events I can’t control.
Another characteristic I think I have is GRIT (Anyone that has read anything by Angela Lee Duckworth knows about this term). For me resilience is having the optimism to continue when you’ve experienced some failures and see things through. While grit is the motivational drive that keeps you on a difficult task over a sustained period of time. I think of a Rottweiler not letting go of what it wants and how I need grab things in the same way.
I’m not saying I think any of this is easy. Believe me I have been at rock bottom, struggling to get back up or not knowing whether it was possible for me to recover. The truth is I had to accept that my life was never going to be same again and so I had to make life changing adjustments which were incredibly hard and frustrating. But I’ve decided to keep growing and moving forward in life I have to continue to be a positive force. When I feel things slipping out of my control I imagine that Rotweiller in me and simply hang on. I am determined to make my mark on this world before I leave it. For me life is about having no regrets and knowing you have had a positive impact that remains after my last breath.
I know that I wouldn’t have been able to do so much without the incredible support from my FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
My take away tips to develop Resilience and Grit
- Talk to and learn from people who persevere. Everyone has a story and the more you share with others the more likely we can inspire and feed each other’s ambitions.
- Set small goals that align with your purpose and work towards them every day. If an action doesn’t fit your vision, don’t give it your time or energy.
- Build time into your day for reflection. Time to take stock of your successes, who you need to thank or show some appreciation for what you already have.
Even though you may not think it, we have all shown resilience and grit at some point in our lives, whether that’s bouncing back from someone’s harsh words or achieving a goal when people doubted you. Share your moment in the comments below and let’s keep inspiring each other.