‘Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight!’ Japanese Proverb

Are you resilient? Have you got what it takes to ride the most challenging waves of life? As a psychologist with a PhD and 20 years experience I thought I did. But I was wrong. Through adversity, I found out the hard way that there is a big difference between ‘knowing’ about resiliency and stress management and being able to ‘expertly apply’ these skills when you need them most.

Resilience is not about being bullet prood or care free – its about rising every time we fall.

You see, it wasn’t that I didn’t understand the theory behind resilience and stress management – I am a reasonably bright guy with a PhD on the topic. I think, looking back now, it was that I couldn’t simply and easily put this theory into practice when I needed it most.

Resilience & Stress Management: Amateur or Pro?

Let’s face it, we all have some ability to manage the stressful waves of our lives – but there is a big difference between merely Surviving and Thriving! I would much rather learn how to Thrive amidst the Challenging Waves of Life than merely Survive! Be a ‘Pro’ rather than an ‘Amateur’.

So What Did I Do?

Simplify, simplify, simplify! If it is simple for me to understand it was easier for me to put into practice. Can becoming a ‘Pro’ at stress management become as simple to understand as traffic lights – stop on red, go on green? Well, having spent the last couple of years solving this puzzle I have found 7 simple truths that have helped me learn to ride the Waves of my Life like a Pro:

  1. Not all Waves of Life are Equal Size – I needed to stop and measure the size of the current Waves in my life objectively so I didn’t sweat the small stuff! A Pro gets this right every time!
  2. Prevent Wipeouts by Stopping the Stress Reaction Cycle – Stress reactions are normal but to become a Pro I needed to learn to prevent the stress reaction cycle which causes the Wipeouts of Anxiety and Depression.
  3. Improving Wellbeing is about positive changes to ALL 4 Elements not just 1 or 2 – In order to turn Pro I needed to learn that Wellbeing is not just about having Healthy Mindsets but also having Healthy Approaches to Emotions, Lifestyle and Purpose as well!
  4. Mindsets: Recognising & Changing Unhealthy Mindsets – I needed to switch focus – from Worry to Acceptance, from Demanding to Encouraging, from Blame to Responsibility. An amateur will only be able to change one or two negative mindsets but a Pro will be able to change all three!
  5. Emotions: Safe & Healthy Approaches to Managing Emotions – I needed to manage my emotions in healthy ways keeping relaxed while Problem Solving where I could and using coping skills at other times. A Pro never makes a mistake in selecting the right strategies – Problem Solving for things that can be changed and Coping Skills for things that cannot be changed!
  6. Lifestyle: A Healthy Body is linked to a Healthy Mind! – I needed to maximize my Sleep, keep Exercising, eat a Healthy Diet and stay in touch with positive Family and Friends. A Pro Balances all the Lifestyle needs constantly whilst an Amateur only gets the Balance right occasionally.
  7. Purpose: They who have a Why can Endure any How! – I needed to not lose sight of the Big Picture and keep doing Small Acts of Kindness each day despite the challenges. A Pro achieves purpose in the small and big picture everyday – despite the obstacles and challenges whilst an Amateur often misses opportunities for Purpose.

When I fully understood these 7 simple truths I could quickly and easily develop a comprehensive Wellbeing Strategy to respond to any stressful waves of life – I was able to thrive in the midst of life’s challenges. And, as time progressed, and some of the bigger waves and Tsunamis of Mid-Life struck – I was able to Ride the Waves of Life like a Pro and avoid the Wipeouts!

I am very passionate about helping people become more resilient and reach oput to as many people as I can through my workshops, coaching, books and articles. You can see the full list of resilkeince articles freely available on the web by clicking here or order a book here, or find out more about coaching here, or the most popular workshops I run.

Ride The Waves of Life!

Dr Pete