While driving to get some coffee this morning for our "Donut Friday" routine (anything to get the kids moving without a fight on Fridays!) I heard a quick snippet of an interview with Gabby Giffords, the Arizona Congresswoman who was shot 10 years ago.
Everyone followed her story and watched her recovery. She was far from quiet about sharing a part of herself. While listening to this interview, I was amazed at her progress. I remember in those very early days how she struggled for words, to communicate with her loving husband, and how to remain true to her own feisty spirit.
Today, she was eloquent. Not in the "back-to-normal" before her injury way, but given her unique challenges, she didn't outwardly struggle with determining her words as she spoke. She said that her recovery is a daily struggle. No doubt it is!
So as I was inspired today, I had to think of the resilience we have as unique individuals. I like to say "We get through 100% of everything we've already faced." Sounds a little cliché, but it's true. No matter how hard anything is, you've survived.
While talking to my counselor yesterday for a professional recommendation for someone, I was updating her on my own personal journey as a coach. As a new business, I struggle with being visible, imposter syndrome, and question my own judgement at times. For any clients reading, it's not while we're in session… It's usually when I'm quiet and left to my own thoughts. Yes, I get those too. What I told her is that I ripped the band-aid off. I'm still bleeding, but it's not hemorrhaging…I didn't die from doing things that scare me.
As someone who professionally chose operations as my field of interest, being front and center was not what the job was about. My manager was the face of our department and I was her right hand. I was visible when I needed to be, but could also pick and choose too. It was perfect. But that's not how I can sit back and build my business, my brand or ultimately help other people in the unique way that I'm now able to.
The definition of resilience is "The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness." I think that is so true for everyone, especially now. Look at the people in the Capitol that endured their workplace being "broken into" (for lack of a better phrase… no "trigger words" here!). That sense of violation will be there for quite some time. One building at work (where I didn't work at the time) did have an incident. Many peers were impacted and luckily not harmed. But as a unit, we all felt it. It was on the news and our feelings were "we shouldn't be news".
You don't need a major news story to feel this way. So many of us are feeling that sense of stress and anxiety. There should be no judgement on those that suffer. We're "lucky" that were in a time where we can actually speak about it. 10 years ago, it was a different time and it was still pretty hidden. Add in traumatic experiences and it can feel earth shattering.
I've shared some of my stress managing techniques with a few events that I've given in the last few weeks. I'll spare you the 45 minutes and get to this main point — Find what resources are available. Read that again. I'll wait.
Why do I focus on resources? Because we feel like we have to do it all. We'd rather stress ourselves out than to feel like a burden to others. A good friend had a family emergency a few months ago. I knew in a million years, she'd never ask for help to have someone take care of her kids. I left a message and crossed my fingers that she called. I knew she felt bad to ask, but I insisted on helping. You know what? It gave us both more joy to know we were there for each other. She was able to take care of what she needed to without having to wear multiple hats and she knew I had things under control at home. There are people very willing to have your back. Sometimes all we need to do is ASK.
We all have some toughness in us. We just forget about that sometimes, especially when things just keep happening. It's like the "black cloud" always follows. That's why I choose to look at the bright side. It's almost a coping mechanism. If I always focused on the negative, I wouldn't be a very nice person to be around! But I also recognize that sometimes in the midst "everything", it's very hard to see your way out. But start slow and focus on the positive. That could be getting out of bed and taking a glorious shower, or a walk outside in the sun. Just do something.
Before I got in the house this morning after my coffee run, the next guest on the radio was talking about service. If you're struggling with anxiety or depression, find something that you're passionate about and donate your time to it. So many organizations need volunteers and the time commitment isn't massive. But it feels really good to help. The organization is really excited to get you help, but you're grateful to them for being there too.
Believe in yourself and your capabilities. You are capable of so much more than you're giving yourself credit for. Every tough thing you'd faced, you've gotten passed. Whatever is happening today… you'll find resilience to get through it too!