How to make 2022 your year for breakthrough change!
Endings are often a time of reflection. We have the debrief, the post-mortem, the good old review. Most of these methods are focused on tallying mistakes in order to do better next time. Which is great for group projects, but not as helpful for self-reflection. Because the way we frame our life experience impacts our motivation for moving forward.
As this year of uncertainty draws to a close, how will you choose to remember it? Are you worn down or resilient? Focused or overwhelmed? Energized or stuck?
The way you storify your experiences is called your “explanatory style” and learning to narrate it optimistically is a proven way to build resilience. An optimistic explanatory style, where problems are short-lived and random, is associated with greater happiness and better outcomes than the alternative.
In one study, newly-hired teachers with an optimistic explanatory style (i.e., those who tended to attribute good events to global and stable causes and bad events to temporary and specific causes) rated themselves higher in both grit and life satisfaction before the school year began. Grit and life satisfaction, in turn, had a measurable impact on effectiveness assessed at the end of the school year.
But what about the rest of us, who are too overwhelmed or stuck in a bad situation to feel excited about the future? The good news is, as positive psychology teaches us, we can use our storytelling abilities to shift our perception to a better version of what might be possible.
The pandemic has affected us in ways still unfolding. Yet as Deepak Chopra says, Deepak Chopra — ‘Every great change is preceded by chaos’. This time of uncertainty, the loss of equilibrium, invites to re-author our story.
Yet if we narrate from a place of chaos, we’ll end up with a storified version of one. So the goal is to learn to get present, and narrate the chaos from a place of possibility.
Getting a grip on grit
The other flexible factor in building resilience, or grit, is mindset. You may be familiar with Carol Dweck’s research on growth mindset.
Dweck’s work on growth mindset encourages children to see failures and setbacks as opportunities to learn and improve, instead of evidence that they’re inept or incapable.
As adults, we’ve had years of conditioning to contend with. And if it weren’t for the wonders of neuroplasticity, it would be tempting to accept a pessimistic narrator as is.
But luckily we have options, and by learning to increase our everyday awareness, manage our thoughts and emotions and rewrite our story from a place of strength, we build the positivity and resilience we need to turn our darkest hours into our greatest source of strength.
My story of the past 2 years includes chapters of loss and sadness, but it’s also driven me to learn and grow in ways I never thought possible for a (now 56) year old woman. I see a brighter future than I could have imagined, having found purpose in helping others to do the same.
In January my book Breathe into Breakthrough; An Easy and Proven Process for Shifting Mindset, Overcoming Obstacles, and Achieving Your Goals will finally be published, and I’m so excited to announce a new weekend retreat to bring it to life.
I invite you to join me in March for Breathe into Breakthrough, a weekend of breathwork, movement and journaling on March 4-6, 2022 at the beautiful Mount Madonna Wellness Center Northern California.
Beyond the 3 days of workshops, the learning begins before and continues after the workshop. Sign up today to receive:
- A hard copy of my new book, Breathe into Breakthrough
- Accompanying workbook
- My 10-day, 10-minute a day Breathe Into Breakthrough video workshop to preview the breathing exercises we’ll explore in the class