Category Archives: Resilience

I am feeling vulnerable. That is okay.

I reread Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection. Once again, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

What jumped out at me this time? Brené offers this self-soothing for the times when we are afraid. “I am feeling vulnerable. That is okay. I am thankful for….”

I’ve been using that, over and over, in my times of fear. (Often irrational fear.) I know that I can be overcome with fear. I know that many of my fears are completely irrational. And I know that it makes complete sense that I have some – if not all – of my fears.

But I don’t have to live my life ruled – or restrained – by my fears. I told a client the other day that I’ve learned to admit to others, and to ask for help, when I’m overcome with irrational fears. When my kids are twenty minutes late, I know it’s irrational to be afraid that something awful has happened, and I know it’s where I’ll go left to my own devices. So I nearly always turn to my husband and say, “I’m afraid, and I know it’s irrational, but I’m afraid.” That always eases my fear.

As does Brené’s self-soothing. I place my hand on my heart and say (sometimes out loud), “I am afraid. I feel vulnerable. That’s okay. I’m thankful for…” and I’m overwhelmed with the number of people and things I have to be thankful for.

I think somewhere along the way we somehow learned that we’re never supposed to be afraid, while we also learned how many rational and irrational reasons there are to be afraid. When we can let our vulnerability and fear be okay, it lessens, and it lessens its ability to rule or ruin us. When I pause and breathe and self-soothe and bring to mind even one of the many blessings in my life, my fear decreases and sometimes subsides.

It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to not feel strong or equipped. We’re usually a lot less vulnerable than we feel or think we are, and a lot stronger than we feel or think we are. But it’s okay to have fears and challenges and difficult times. And it’s okay to not have your life be defined by them.

I feel a bit vulnerable for putting this out there. I feel a bit vulnerable when I open my heart and soul in this blog. I feel a bit vulnerable when I let people in and love people deeply. And that’s okay. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay.

I am thankful for so much.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Resilience, , , Tags:

Permission to be human

Perhaps you’ve heard this concept – permission to be human. I was reminded of it yesterday during the completion of my Positive Psychology program. Someone in the room mentioned that the process we’d gone through, and the Positive Psychology content (as well as the people in the class), had given them the permission to be human. To have feelings. To make mistakes. To not know. And not do.

Over the years I have learned to give myself permission to be human. I learn it again and again and again. I’ve learned to embrace “Oops!” again and again and again.

I used to think I was alone in my need to be more than human. Or super human. Or above human. It astounds me that so many – if not all – of us carry that internal critic and pressure. So many – if not all – of us feel compelled to never let anyone down, to never drop any balls, to never make a wrong choice.

Let’s give it up, huh?

Just like, as we sit in stopped traffic on the highway, my husband and I wonder what might happen if everyone just went 60 mph at the same time (jokingly of course), I wonder what would happen if we all agreed to drop the (internally imposed) obligation to be more than human and gave ourselves permission to be just as we are.

I grant you that permission, in case you need it from someone outside of yourself. I wave my magic wand, sprinkle my fairy dust, and click my heels three times, and behold, your compulsion to try harder can be eased.

I give you permission to be human. Today. All day. I give myself permission to be human. To take a breath and a break. To delight in the sunshine and the flowers in my garden. To connect with strangers, friends, and family.

I give you permission to be human. Enjoy it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Resilience, Tags:

A good exercise in not beating myself up

Something is not going exactly as I want it to go. I hate that. ☺

I faced a personal challenge a few years back, and I mostly eased and allowed myself all the way through it. I learned a great deal. I grew a lot. I evolved and changed and became even more of myself and more of whom I want to be.

And then it came back. At least a little bit. I hate that as well. ☺

I know – at least most of the time – that I will ease and allow and get through this again. I remember – from my positive psychology certification – to remind myself that I have handled everything that has happened to me so far, and I therefore can and will handle (and am handling) this as well. I realize – when I’m thinking clearly – that I will, once again, learn and grow and evolve and change and become.

And mostly I recognize that one of my first reactions to the struggle and challenge is to somehow blame myself for being here again. And that not only will not help me, but also there’s no reason to blame myself.

That’s an old, non-helpful habit – beating myself up. It doesn’t help. It doesn’t make things better. It, perhaps, does make sense based on my past, but it’s something I’m happily outgrowing and leaving behind.

This is a(nother) good exercise in not beating myself up.

Many of us seem to have a first impulse to hit ourselves when we’re down. “How could I be so stupid!” we berate ourselves. “If only I hadn’t…. (or had…)” we scold. “I should have known better!” we criticize.

None of this helps. Not at all. Just as “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” you help yourself learn and grow and evolve and change and become more with self-compassion than with self-lambasting. I help myself learn and grow and evolve and change and become more with self-compassion than with self-lambasting.

“This sucks,” I’ve learned to say to myself. “No wonder you’re scared,” I remind myself. “You’re doing great and I love you,” I say to myself over and over and over again.

Maybe some, or all, of you don’t need to say and hear these things, but I know that they certainly help and heal me.

This is a(nother) good exercise in not beating myself up.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Resilience, , Tags: