How to become the Hero of your own story

“Once we truly know that life is difficult — once we truly understand and accept it — then life is no longer difficult.” M Scott Peck

Resilience.

How do you know if you have it?

It’s the voice inside your head that tells you to try again when something didn’t work out quite as planned. It’s that inner resolve that kicks in when you realise that the path to the goal you’re trying to attain is more difficult than originally anticipated. It’s holding onto hope that even though you keep facing obstacles, one day you will have what you’ve been dreaming of for years.

The people who will not just survive — but thrive — in the new world of work (and in the world post-coronavirus) will be those who have developed the characteristic of resilience. As a writer, I’ve always been intrigued by Joseph Campbell’s monomyth of The Hero’s Journey.

Not only does it serve as a narrative key to most of the books we read and movies we watch but it can also be applied as a powerful personal development tool. Heroism is not reserved for the brave few, it is a process that is open to all.

Real life is more than magical Instagram moments or showcasing highlight reels on social media. The real stuff of life hardly makes it onscreen. Success comes from accepting that there will be challenges and uncertainties that you will face and exercising determination to meet — and overcome — whatever life throws your way.

Building resilience

1. Believe that you’re valuable: We cannot act in contradiction to our core beliefs. So, if you don’t believe that you are worthy of success, you will unconsciously sabotage yourself to prove this negative self-belief (like not studying for an exam or being late to an important interview).

2. Keep the big picture in mind: If you have a clear vision of your destination, it helps to make the process to get there a little easier. The start of something (like your first week on campus, a new relationship or starting a new job) is always exciting and feeds your energy. Eventually the momentum slows down because it takes time for real learning and growth to happen. This part of the journey is often where a lot of people get bored or discouraged.

3. Harness your emotions: Your emotions are important messengers, helping you navigate difficult circumstances. For example, it is normal to feel frustrated and disappointed if your job search is taking longer than expected, or you lose your job through unseen circumstances). Allow yourself to feel but never allow your emotions to dictate your decisions.

Resilient people are masters of their emotions and make decisions based on their commitment to their goals.

4. Cultivate your tribe: You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. It might seem harmless to hang out with negative and toxic people just because they’re in your family or friendship circle. In the long term, their negativity and lack of drive will influence you to give up on the things most important to you. Rather seek out people that inspire, challenge and support you in becoming the best version of yourself.

5. Keep taking the next step: We can often turn the challenges we face into mountains in our head. Resilient people don’t see failure as fatal but rather as part of the process to continuous learning. Taking small steps towards solving problems, instead of ignoring them and hoping they will go away, will eventually lead to their resolution.

6. Run your own race: It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that everyone else has it better than you. Comparing your situation to someone else’s is futile because you have no way of knowing what someone else has been through just by what they wear and where they grew up. You are responsible for your own path. Be the hero of your own story.

Your personal guide on your path to wholeness

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