Sunday, December 19, 2010

Learning Resilience

Something amazing has happened! I've acquired a new tool in the toolbox of life which makes it that much easier to cope with any problem I seem to have. This tool helps me see my problems in a whole new light--the light of opportunity. I am no longer afraid of mistakes. They have become my friends as I choose to understand mistakes are not bad things because of the growth they produce.

I used to be extremely perfectionistic. I was a rule-follower of the highest calliber so that I could avoid the conflicts in life. As I was quite good at it, this stategy usually worked well for me. Well, at least until I encountered an unavoidable problem. At that point, I would beat myself up a bit and try to figure out ways to avoid the conflict in the future. Then I would try to ignore it altogether. If I couldn't ignore the problem I would often end up in a state of learned helplessness until someone else kick-started me into activity. Needless to say, my coping skills were seriously flawed and ineffective.

Because I have taken time lately to review the experiences of my life, I have made a very important discovery. The times I was faced with life's biggest challenges were my times of highest learning and growth. Challenging experiences brought me so much more than the routine ones. Because I now understand this, I look at problems in a whole new light. Problems are not pitfalls, but opportunities. The fear I used to feel in life is being replaced by joy as I accept and even look forward to these new opportunities for growth. I am learning resilience, and my life will never be the same.

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