Rebuilding, Re-Envisioning, and Reengaging Life with a Purpose

Dr. Rick Petronella

As we navigate back into life emerging from COVID and lockdown, those who have experienced resilience tend to become more balanced, positive, connected, determined, and hopeful. They have lived- and are living- with higher self-awareness. The journey is often not an easy path. There are tests that will challenge you, but more importantly, will inspire you to move forward with confidence and courage. As you do, your resolve will be strengthened, new-found hope will be established, and the lasting desire to live fully will become more evident. It is hard, but worth the time and work. As you are in your current challenges, don’t give up. I have identified eleven areas that often are needed for us to “stay the course”. See where you align with these qualities.

1) Stay honest with yourself and others.
Resilience is built on integrity and honesty. This critical trait becomes both the starting point and the foundation of one’s purpose. Understanding the problem, admitting its depth, and acknowledging the consequences that have followed pushes the start button on the entire process. We have been consumed with deception, minimization, denial, and rationalization that locks our mind into a pattern of self-defeat keeping us bound and stuck. Honesty breaks that locked pattern and moves us towards resilience. What attitudes or habits do you need to adjust in to stay honest with others?

2) Be aware of your own vulnerabilities.
Be aware of your own temptations and triggers to slip back to old patterns. Even though you have begun your journey with honesty and enthusiasm, problems may block your progress and it may be easy to fall into old, damaging patterns and destructive choices. Identifying the enemies of change allows you to build adequate defenses, strengthen yourself where you can, and avoid what you must. Ask yourself the question. Where in your life do you need to be especially cautious and aware in order to safeguard your purpose?

3) Stay grateful and remain humble and accepting.
Be grateful for another chance to get your life back. Review what you are thankful for and be aware of how others have been kind to you. Living with a humble outlook and a healthy view of what you have and who you are helps you go beyond behavior and into deep life change. It affects your mood positively and offers encouragement along the journey. How can I practice staying grateful?

4) Stay positive with an upbeat and optimistic attitude.
Smile, laugh, and enjoy your life. Being positive does not depend on your circumstances; rather it is almost entirely contingent on your attitude. Choose to look at what went right, not what went wrong. What are some ways you can practice staying positive and not allowing yourself to become trapped in the negative around you?

5) Stay close to those who support you and distance yourself from those who do not.
Being part of a closely connected social group is one of the best ways to increase overall contentment, build accountability, and establish your plan for resilience. Connections with like-minded people offer fellowship, camaraderie and encouragement. Equally, you may need to limit your contact with those who do not support your goals. Belonging to a positive support system will help you feel understood, accepted, and supported. How are you going to stay connected and accountable to others?

6) Stay determined. Find your purpose for staying the course.
Finding your purpose can be used as a dynamic and driving force to build or sustain momentum, even when plateaus occur or challenges emerge. Therefore, take charge of your purpose. Be strongminded and resolve to set your course to become the person you want to be. Motivation and commitment are strengthened as you exercise your own will and as you decide to change your own life. What primary reasons are motivating you to stay the course?

7) Stay intentional.
Get rid of haphazard and random living. Stay deliberate, determined, and purposeful. Forge your new goals with thoughtfulness and purpose. Stay motivated. Don’t let “I will do whatever it takes” slip into “how little can I do and still get by?” You can ignore interruptions and delay gratification in order to accomplish your dreams.

8) Stay balanced. Keep work, love, projects, and people in proper priority.
As time moves on, life becomes more complicated, and sometimes chaotic. The routines of life make ever-increasing demands for time and attention. Living an unbalanced and narrowly focused life can increase stress and may lead to distraction. Allow friendships, humor, rest, and relaxation to bring a balance to the strains and demands of life around you. What are some changes you can make today, and this next week, to stay balanced?

9) Stay strong. Be known for best attitude, best effort, and best character.
This is a reminder to watch your attitude and your behavior. The journey can feel long and exhausting; those who are most successful maintain a great attitude. Even when inconvenienced or bothered, respond with a good attitude. When you are tired and tempted to coast, give your best effort. When you are mistreated or disrespected, display your best self. Those who stay strong and motivated make the most progress in life.

10) Stay hopeful and remain confident.
Your future is not determined by your past failures and mistakes. Each day you can build confidence, increase inspiration, and stay encouraged. Your energy, enthusiasm, and optimism are being restored. As you are healed you become positive and your possibilities become more of a reality. Regrets of the past fade as your view of the future becomes clear and bright. As you progress, what strategies can you use to stay hopeful and remain confident?

11) Stay the course.
Wholeheartedly pursuing these qualities and characteristics can make your purpose possible. Character transformation is rarely instantaneous.

Be willing to systematically develop these essential traits over time. As you do, you will strengthen your resolve, establish a new-found hope, and obtain the lasting purpose you desire.

“For I know the plans I have for you, Declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope”. Jeremiah 29:11

Quiz: How Emotionally Resilient Are You at Engaging?

Emotional resilience is the ability to successfully cope with change or misfortune. Even when afraid, resilient people respond to life’s challenges with courage and emotional stamina. 

While we can’t always control what life brings, we can use adversity as an opportunity for growth. Respond True or False to the following statements to discover how well you cope with life’s many challenges.

Set 1

1. When bad things happen, I think “why me?” I feel fear and self-pity; I want to find someone to blame.

2. When I feel overwhelmed by negative emotions, I overeat or drink too much alcohol, or do other things I know aren’t good for me.

3. I don’t trust I can handle adversity by myself, nor do I have supportive people I can truly count on in a crisis.

4. Even when my life seems stable, I worry that some kind of misfortune is around the corner. I also have a tendency to create catastrophes out of the little things that happen. 

5. I find it hard to feel faith when bad things happen to good people. I feel despairing, hopeless and unable to move forward.

Set 2

1. I handle everything better when I take good care of myself. Exercising raises my endorphins; eating right and sleeping well gives me more physical, mental and emotional stamina; and setting aside time for play and positive connections makes me feel more joyful and optimistic.

2. I have faith in my ability to handle life’s challenges. At the same time, I know the importance of having loving, supportive people to help me face difficulties, large and small.

3. Even when faced with misfortune, I look for the “silver lining.” I believe that ultimately there’s a positive opportunity from which I can learn and grow.

4. I have a strong sense of meaning and purpose in my life that helps me move forward despite any obstacles.

5. I’m very persistent. Even when I get knocked down, I trust myself to eventually get back up. 

If you answered true more often in Set 1 and false more often in Set 2, you may wish to learn some effective ways to develop more emotional resilience. 

You can strengthen your resilience by becoming more emotionally self-aware, improving your mood with exercise, good diet, play and laughter, building self-reliance and a strong support network, and by developing perseverance, purpose and a more positive attitude.

Please call if you’d like support in exploring this further.  678-395-7922

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