Thursday, April 13, 2017

Building resilience by changing mindset

This chick ain't worried.

Stress and me are not a good fit.

As soon as I get stressed, I become an over-eating, under-breathing insomniac. Things play over and over (and over and over and over) in my brain, making it impossible for me to fall asleep. It's not super fun, but I've always thought that was just the way I roll.


Two weeks ago, I couldn't get to sleep. It was about 4am and I still hadn't dozed off. I was annoyed because I'd hired a building company to fix something, they'd come and done a lot of stuff around the problem, but not actually fixed it. When I'd followed up with them, they'd said they had misunderstood what I wanted, but the thing I did want was going to cost a lot more money.

I was frustrated, stressed and the victim of a bad situation. Or so I thought.

Since it was 4am in the morning and sleep was eluding me, I grabbed my phone and scrolled through my Facebook feed. This New Yorker article came up on one of my friend's feeds: How People Learn to Become Resilient.

Something about the article spoke to me on a really fundamental level. I was responding like a victim with the building company, when really, I was in a position of power. I could get quotes from other companies, I could ignore the problem until we do a full renovation later down the track, I could wait to fix the problem until I'd specifically saved the money to do so. I could pay for it now with our emergency savings and hope I don't need them for anything else. I had choices. Me. I was in the power position.

Since that revelation, I haven't stressed about the building situation at all. I keep testing my stress levels, but I feel fine. It's so weird, because nothing has changed, except my mindset.

I've realised that things happen in life. Things will always happen. But I can respond like a victim or like a person capable of rising to the challenge. And what I choose will make all the difference.

It's liberating.

So tell me, how do you respond to challenging situations in life? What are your tricks for getting through the tough times? Am I the last person to figure out that how I view a situation, changes the situation?


  1. One thing that has helped me lately is seeing people I know going through redundancy and 90% of them actually ending up with better jobs and happy that it happened. Makes me worry less about my job because it all seems to work out somehow. And with the house, I just keeping thinking "as long as its functional" and then I don't stress about perfect paint etc. I think resilience is something you have to learn. I'm going to read that link now :) good luck with your builders!

  2. That's a really positive way to look at it. Change can actually be for the good.


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