How To Bounce Back

You know that feeling when you realize you’re not perfect?
And then you realize you’re more than not perfect, you’re completely useless?

And then you start to question what you’re doing, who you’re with, and why you’re doing it?

Yeah.

It happens.

The trick isn’t not having it happen.

The trick is bouncing back.

This is one of those “simple but not easy” kind of things.

How to get through it:

Have an anchor or two.

It helps if you have a list of things you believe in or core values. This will help you focus on what you know to be true about yourself in a time where uncertainty fogs your vision.

Have a mentor.

If you have 3 people in your life who you can talk to for a half-hour a month about what you’re afraid of and how to develop more strength, you’ve won the lottery.

Have some forgiveness.

You’re where you are. Seriously. Accept it. That doesn’t mean you’re not going where you want to go. It just means a little forgiveness will help you focus on bouncing back instead of wasting energy beating yourself up.

These are just three things that have worked for me.

I like to say “a lot of advice is people saying: ‘here are the numbers I used to win the lottery,'” so these might not work the same way for you.

Let me know what you think.

2 Minute Action

  • Think of one person who you admire. Call them and ask if they will be your advisor and talk with you once a month.
  • Write down a few core values. They won’t all be perfect or right, but you can re-evaluate every couple of months and evolve over time.
  • Look at where you are and consider what it would take to accept your failures. I bet you it only takes 2 minutes to do this for the first time.

Whatever You’re Doing, It’s Working

You’ve heard me talk enough about brain plasticity, the idea that the cells that make up your brain can rearrange themselves and actually change how you think.

Photo Credit: Unsplash | Marten Bjork

Don’t get too excited.

This doesn’t mean you can have an IQ of 200 or that you’ll suddenly reach enlightenment.

I’ve read far too many articles claiming that neuroplasticity can do some pretty impossible things.

The next time you read something like this, please look it up.

You’ll probably want to look it up using a better search term, though.

Try “Hebbian Theory.”

That’s the nerdy-sounding origin of this concept.

You can use this to “reality check” big, sensational claims about neurotropic drugs or the 4 Steps To Mind-Hacking Your Way To Being A Millionaire With Six Pack Abs.

Here’s what Hebbian Theory actually says:

“an increase in synaptic efficacy arises from a presynaptic cell’s repeated and persistent stimulation of a postsynaptic cell. “

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebbian_theory

Translation:

Practicing thoughts or actions can help make those thoughts and actions easier.

This means that if you’re complaining, you’re getting better at complaining.

If you’re playing scales on the piano, you’re getting better at playing scales on the piano.

If you’re frying an egg . . . well, you get the idea.

You’re getting better at whatever you’re doing right now.

Here’s an old articulation of this:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

– Aristotle

The Punchline

Who you become is largely up to you and how you spend your time.

No matter what you’re doing, you’re moving in that direction.

Choosing your habits from here, now that you have this knowledge, is up to you.

“”You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.””

– Jane Goodall