How’s it going? Alright? You don’t look alright to me.
You look like you’re going through rough times. Like you’ve had a couple setbacks and now you’re not so sure of yourself. Like maybe you’ve lost your way.
I don’t see that swagger in your walk any more. No wink and grin that says “Watch what I’m about to do.”
And of course, your results.
Your work is dull. Mediocre. You’re going through the motions – putting in the hours but not really giving it your best. You’re playing scared. You’re watching your back instead of charging ahead. You’ve lowered both the expectations you’ve set for yourself, and for how others will treat you.
You look like you’ve given up on yourself.
But guess what? Even if you’re giving up on you, I’m not.
I believe in you. I believe in what you’re capable of. I believe in what you’ve done, where you’re going and who you will grow to become.
I’ve been there man – been in the dumps because I screwed up. Everyone was counting on me and I blew it. It sucked. Hard. I know things have been hard for you. But you gotta shake that off. Don’t let the bastards get you down you know?
I know, easier said that done, right?
But there are tangible ways of getting there. Like winning some small victories.
Set some little goals for yourself. Maybe it’s going for a 10 minute walk. Or finishing two chapters of the book each week. Or it’s coding up one tiny shippable change to the codebase.
Earn little wins and start remembering what success feels like.
Take some time everyday to feed your mind.
From now on your mental diet is cutting out junk food. Like Fox News. Or any news for that matter. No more bad economy crap. No more getting into flame wars with trolls on Reddit.
Instead read about how Airbnb almost hung up the towel again and again before becoming a $1B company. See Heather Dorniden fall flat on her face in a championship 600m race only to come back and win. Or how Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison, many of them in solitary confinement before getting elected President of South Africa in their first ever multi-racial elections.
Or just order one of the many Chicken Soup for the Soul books off Amazon. Seriously! There’s a reason they’ve sold hundreds of millions of copies.
Our world is one of second chances, of comebacks and turn arounds. The more you fill yourself with the strength of others who have turned around, the sooner yours will be.
Next, find some people to support, encourage and push you.
I’ll always be there, but you might want to find other peers as well. People you respect and like. Work with them. Find ways to partner, help each other and build each other up.
Lean on your friends and family – you’ll be surprised at how willing they are to help. Coming back isn’t as hard when you have a team to rely on.
Finally, you’re going to have to rewire your brain a little bit.
Don’t worry, I promise it won’t hurt. When you lose confidence, you get scared. You hold back. You cut corners. You make half-hearted efforts.
But no more.
- The next time you find yourself saying “I have to” instead say “I choose to”
- Instead of saying “I’m not sure”, say “I’ll make the best choice possible”
- Instead of “I’ll give it a shot”, “I’ll do whatever it takes to make things happen”
You can do all that right? Of course you can. You’re looking better already.
Remember that we’re all here for a very short time. No point in wasting it on feeling sorry for yourself and playing small. Find that fighting spirit and reclaim your place in the Universe – a fierce competitor who hustles, plays fair and won’t let you down.
Chin up man – and I’ll see you out there.
Jason Shen | Cultivating Resilience Newsletter
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