Guest post by
Increase the Joy in Your Life by Using Intentional Living Strategies
As humans we want to seek more joy and happiness in our lives. When it comes to coping with pain or adversity, we tend to try to avoid those experiences at all costs. However, it is when we face challenges head on that we learn the most and discover strategies to thrive in our environment.
I don’t know about you, but I want to do more than just survive this life. I want to thrive and grow and become all I can be. Creating a personal growth plan with intentional actions is key to charting a path of success and fulfillment.
My first business as an entrepreneur was a mortgage brokerage company. It was a thriving company that specialized in the subprime credit market. We created programs to help people rebuild their credit in order to qualify for a home loan. We helped people in high-interest loans re-finance into a better loan that was more budget friendly.
It was fulfilling to facilitate a family’s ability to realize the dream of homeownership. Providing information to make educated decisions about the financial instruments they were using to build their family wealth was empowering.
We operated in the black from our first year and we continued to grow in our niche. We offered unique services that set us apart from our competition. Word of mouth referrals was our bread and butter. We had a growth plan that would take our family business national within five years. We were poised for success on a monumental scale. And then overnight the mortgage industry crashed in 2008.
At first, we thought it was just a bubble that had popped and the market would bounce back. Not only did it not bounce back, but it took us down with it. We tried to stay afloat but the lenders we worked with closed their doors on a daily basis. We no longer had lenders or loan products that fit our clients’ credit profile.
In the downward economic spiral, we lost everything. Our business, our homes, our cars. We had to start over. We had to reinvent ourselves and find a new way of creating income. We had to come to grips with the fact that when you’re self-employed, you are a risk taker. Sometimes the risk pays off and sometimes you lose it all.
Resilience is not something we are born with, it is a skill that is cultivated by facing fears and challenges, and overcoming adverse situations. We all will face many uncomfortable events in our life, how we choose to deal with them will either build up or tear down our resiliency.
Try these five strategies for increasing your resilience the next time you’re faced with an adverse life event.
Choose your attitude
We can let our emotions rule our lives, or we can intentionally choose how we are going to feel each day. Recognizing that setbacks are temporary can make it easier to face life’s transitions with a positive attitude. Resilient people look for the lessons that can be learned from each life experience.
Choose a growth mindset
When we adopt a growth mindset we are open to possibilities. Focus on solutions rather than getting stuck in the negativity of any given situation.
Resilient people don’t allow themselves to become a victim of their circumstances or place blame on others.
Choose to believe in yourself
Use the art of journaling to capture the experiences of your life. Having a record of events that we have overcome will build confidence in our ability to get through a current setback.
Resilient people believe in their strength, and possess the courage to face what life throws at them. They celebrate small and large wins to cultivate joy in their lives.
Choose to focus outwardly
When we focus inwardly, we can get stuck in a pity party. Taking time to focus and give to others can help put life’s situations in perspective.
Resilient people look outside of themselves and realize that life happens within us by the choices we make and the actions we take.
Choose to cultivate relationships
We can achieve so much more when we are in a community than we can on our own. Dealing with crisis and transitions is no different.
Resilient people make nurturing, supporting and lasting relationships a priority. They recognize that there is strength in community, and having the ability to draw on the wisdom and compassion of others.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of living up to other people’s expectations of how we should live our lives. We try to adopt what success or happiness means to others. Part of creating a resilient life is creating our own definitions and understanding our personal “why.” Knowing our “why” helps develop purpose in our lives. Having a strong sense of purpose can broaden our perspective when setbacks occur.
If you find yourself stuck after a major life setback, focus on a cause you can get behind. Cultivating positive action can recreate a sense of purpose and restore meaning to your life. Helping others is restorative and brings about healing.
Be optimistic and be open to possibilities. You never know where your next opportunity will come from. Be bold and share your circumstances with others and allow your network to support you during the crucial time of rebuilding.