On Monday I opened up my laptop, went into my emails and saw 4 big fat NOs in my inbox!
These were NOs to things that I'd really banked on and looked forward to.
For a moment I felt myself shrink and want to hide. I felt sick, embarrassed, ashamed, like I had let everyone down. I think I may have even cried a little (but that one is just between me and you!)
I closed up my laptop and my instinct was to go onto LinkedIN and start looking for jobs! That was it! End of self-employment for good!
Running a business is flipping tough and even with the most exciting and popular product or service you still get a million and 1 NOs!
And it can be tough to keep on going!
Luckily, these days I am quite quick to check myself before I wreck myself! In the past I'd have thrown in the towel long before now.
This is how I know that I am resilient! #Winning!
But for me resilience is the ability to keep on going even when you hear NO everyday, to keep bouncing back with new ideas and motivation, to believe when it looks like there is no way in hell you're ever pulling this off!
It's also the ability to ask for support rather than just soldiering on to burn out land.
It's having the courage to try things a new way, to explore and investigate new possibilities when the old way has failed or back fired.
That is resilience! And finally I've truly found it!
So how do you keep going when you really, really, really want to give up?
You learn to recognise when you are telling yourself a story.
When I heard those NOs my mind starting pulling together this story about how they meant that I wasn't good enough, that my business was doomed to fail, that I shouldn't bother, that no-body bothers about me or about my business and that this was a permanent situation...
It could've been a never ending journey into self-criticism and judgement.
But luckily, I noticed that it was just a story, just a construct born out of self-doubt and fear and past experiences, rather than something that I should use to shape my belief around how I fit into the world and how the world views me.
I was able to catch myself before I jumped down that rabbit hole that only led to job applications and CV writing, despite having a growing business which is flooded with amazing feedback from our clients each and every day!
I could've thrown all that away just because I got in my own head and held onto that story and started to change how I showed up in the world because of it.
Learning to catch these stories hasn't come over night.
That ability to be able to step out of auto-pilot thinking and identify when you've got your Negative Nancy pants on has come through sitting along side my thoughts without changing them, stopping them , or chasing them... just allowing them to exist without me needing to react to them.
Doing that consistently as part of my meditation practice has allowed me to calm and control that knee-jerk reaction instinct and as a result I still get the thoughts, we all do, it's part of human nature to protect yourself, to seek out and crave love, connection, understanding, reassurance, acceptance, validation; but I have the breathing space to be able to question them.
And that space, that clarity, is what gives me the motivation and strength to keep going even when I want to give it all up.
Here at X-HAIL we believe that the best way to develop this skill is to practice meditation regularly.
So you know what to do!
We run meditation classes, without all the fuss, fidgeting and frustration and full of music and down-to-earth teaching, for people age 2-102.
Visit the website WWW.X-HAIL.ORG to find your nearest instructor and for now...
...Here is a TOP TIP for supporting your child to build their resilience:
What is your natural instinct when you see bubbles floating towards you? Pop them right? This short and fun activity teaching children self-regulation but also encourage sthem to pause and sit with their thoughts before reacting. This is literally laying the foundations for spotting those stories that we tell ourselves about who we are and how we fit into the world as we get older.
Lay your child down and blow some bubbles over them. Let them grab and pop them first time around. The second time ask your child if they can just let them float on by. Support them to describe the feelings in their bodies that they experience when they are trying to resist popping those bubbles. Next time ask them to try to blow the bubbles away and finally for the last time allow them to pop and grab the bubbles again.
X-HAIL Founder and Lead Trainer.