Develop a resilient mindset to help you survive
Find the strength to carry on.
In his magnificent and moving book Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl tells how he knew when a fellow prisoner in the concentration camp had “given up faith in his strength to carry on”, or the resilient mindset as we might call it today. He wanted to “enjoy” his last days by smoking his own cigarettes.
Compared to the camps, my woes were minor, but together, they left me feeling unmotivated, uncertain, and anxious. My optimistic and creative mindset, in other words, had slumped even though other elements of my resilience – money, health, integrity, relationships – were okay.
Others I spoke to felt the same. They had lost the frame of mind they needed to thrive and, in some cases, to survive. So, if it is common to feel underpar sometimes, a way to recover a positive and healthy mindset and get your resilience back on track is essential. Here’s how.
Define your purpose and remember your strengths and successes.
Define your purpose. It isn’t easy, so focus on little bits of your life to make you more optimistic. For instance, at the beginning of the first lockdown, I took over our village newsletter. The help, entertainment and information I provided to our village made me feel more positive.
Remember your successes. It’s easy to forget, so write down your life story as a way of developing your confidence from your past successes. I reminded myself I had built a successful and unique financial life planning practice from scratch.
And remember that stories repeat themselves. The circumstances may be different, but the cycle of the initial situation, the messy middle and the resulting change remains the same. Your experience should tell you that something will work out in the end, even if today seems dark and confusing.
Remember your strengths. As an empty nester, probably in your 50s, you have done so much in the past. You have gained skills, qualifications, and experience. You probably have more to offer than many, so remember you are not a fraud, and others look to you for guidance and help.
Don’t let down your kids.
Your mindset is all in your mind, but feeling anxious and scared will not make your kids feel as proud of you as you are of them, especially when they still need your support and love.
So, if your resilient mindset isn’t working for you, use the tips above as a framework for recovery. Write down why you are not a fraud and an incompetent, trim them into short messages and repeat them often.
Photo by Monica Melton on Unsplash
Frankl, Viktor. Man’s Search for Meaning. Pocket, 1946.
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Your views are important, and your fellow readers would love to hear your opinion, so share your thoughts in the comments box below, and thank you for your time and generosity.