Three ways to bounce back from life’s challenges and move onto the next chapter

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Anna Brech
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In her groundbreaking tome, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, American psychologist Susan Jeffers teaches the mantra: “Whatever happens, I’ll handle it.”

It’s testament to the fact that what scares us in life is not so much that unexpected or bad things that will happen – they are, after all, unknown – but the worry that we won’t be able to cope as a result.

Tenacity is the greatest weapon we can arm ourselves with, when tackling challenges and hardships that are thrown are way.

“Resilience is the ability to not just bounce back, but bounce forward,” writes Californian self-help author Sandy Peckinpah, in a new article for Thrive Global.

“Each one of us has experienced changes caused by life-altering events. Some are stage-of-life occurrences, like an empty nest, ageing, retirement. Others emerge from unplanned circumstances like loss, divorce, financial ruin, or a health crisis.”

Peckinpah has first-hand experience of this experience, having tragically lost her son aged 16. Her fear, she says, is that she’d never recover from the staggering loss.

Yet, she managed to move forward – and despite what people told her, it was not time that healed but how she treated that time.

“The unwritten pages of the future might feel uncertain, even scary at times. The ability to activate resilience guarantees your ability to move forward,” she writes.

Here are three of Peckinpah’s tips for developing resilience, no matter what barriers lie in your way:

Use fear as a motivation

“Ask any successful person if they felt fear going to their next level, they will tell you yes, but they made fear work for them,” Peckinpah writes. Actor, Henry Fonda was so nervous going on stage, he’d throw up before each performance, even at 75! In other words, fear doesn’t always go away, and fear isn’t necessarily negative. Fear can indicate something you want so much, that it frightens you. Go for it.”

Break the pattern when you’re feeling down

This method is known as “pattern interrupt.”

“If you’re feeling down, visit a zoo, a pet shelter, the ocean, or a park,” explains Peckinpah. “Call an old friend, or take a trip to the grocery store. It will force you to get out of the house and break the pattern.”

Enlist a dream team

“Make use of your friends, a coach, a therapist, a mentor, or enroll in a program that will guide you,” says Peckinpah. “My whole life changed when I surrendered to the fact I needed help. I use the word ‘surrender’ because my unyielding pride kept saying, I should be able to do this on my own.

“Ask trusted friends for support and in turn, be a good friend to them. Enlist mentors for specific guidance and create professional alliances for business help. Draw from this pool of strength… your Dream Team.”

Images: iStock


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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.