The idea we have for our life rarely matches up with the life we end up with.
Plan A is fantasy. Plan B is reality.
Growth is not a straight line, which is often a blessing in disguise, yet something we seldom realize in the thick of life.
How do we move on from what was to what will be?
How do we bridge the gap between expectations and reality?
1. Celebrate All You Have Overcome
Honour the trials and tribulations you have been through already. All of it preparing you for what is happening now. For it is in our dark times that we discover our light, and it is in our pain that we find our power.
Psychology Exercise: Take Inventory
Make a list of all the victories you have achieved to date. Especially the ones you thought you would never achieve. Place this list in a prominent place as a reminder of how far you have come. This is especially important when navigating unchartered territory.
“You Are Stronger Than You Know.”
2. Normalize Failure and Defeat
We have become paralyzed by perfection in our society. So much so, that we often stop ourselves from trying new things, for fear of looking ridiculous. Something I see in my own psychology class with students so racked by fear of failure, that they frequently miss out on the joy of learning new things.
Psychology Exercise: Plan to Fail
Ask a friend to join you on a failure challenge. For the next seven days, make a list of all the things you have wanted to try but stopped yourself from doing so because you lacked the confidence or the skills. The sky is the limit. Each day, try something new from the list and give yourself the FREEDOM to fail.
“Some paths cannot be discovered without getting lost.”
3. Adopt a Growth Mindset
How we talk to ourselves matters tremendously, especially during difficult times. Staying open to everything is what helps me through the difficult times. This is because openness shifts our mindset from one that is fixed to one that is expansive.
Psychology Exercise: Create a Resilience Mantra
Re-imagine stressful moments as growth moments. Moving you one step closer to your dreams. Say “I am expanding, I am growing” the next time you experience uncertainty.
“Stop Shrinking Yourself to Places You’ve Outgrown”
No one begins their journey at the top of the mountain. We all must earn our way up. A universal human experience of try, fail, learn, repeat. Ultimately understanding that adversity is not bad, it is an opportunity to build strength and discover who we are.
Dr. Andrea Dinardo is a psychology professor and keynote speaker with expertise in stress, resilience, and mental health. Visit DrAndreaDinardo.com to learn more about her speaking services and leadership programs.