Every day you’re confronted with a choice. In the stress and strain of everyday life, you have to choose between two different mindsets. I believe doing this is the hardest thing you’ll do each day, especially in this coronavirus day and age.
The choice is between allowing a vulnerable mindset or a resilient mindset to direct your day. That choice determines how your day is structured and your effectiveness in engaging its stress.
A vulnerable mindset tells you you’re ill equipped to handle challenges and so you respond with a weakened resolve. A vulnerable mindset creates inadequate thoughts that are easy to adopt. They’re the “I can’t…” or “I should…” statements. They don’t require anything from you but to give in. In fact, they can become excuses for not doing anything.
A resilient mindset, on the other hand, is hard to implement. It takes an act of the will. It requires a constant vigilance against vulnerable, ineffectual thoughts. You won’t always want to deal with difficult situations, but you WILL because that is what resilience requires. It takes discipline and daily practice. You can choose resilience in the following ways:
- Begin each day with the conscious resolve to confront vulnerability. The first thought when you get up each morning should be one of strength to tackle the day. Tell yourself you can and you will engage the challenges with a gritty resolve. This daily conditioning will create a habit of thought that will carry over to the rest of the day.
- Interrogate your thoughts and determine their effectiveness. Ask yourself if the thoughts are diminishing your ability to resist stress. Remember vulnerable thoughts are the white flags of surrender. Don’t give in or take the easy way out.
- Counteract a vulnerable mindset with the truth. Are you really that incapable of going where you need to go or doing what you need to do? Of course not. People who survived the holocaust did so because they knew their captors could never take away the efficacy of their inner experience.
- Interface with others that care for you. A resilient mindset is not embarrassed or too proud to ask for help. Give people the privilege of ministering to you in tough times. Spending time in relationships helps sharpen your resolve. It also normalizes any challenges you experience- you’re not alone.
Keep guard over your thoughts today. The harder a thought is to listen to and act on, the more resilient it is likely to be. It’s easy for me to give in to depression. It’s much harder to get up and complete the simple task of just taking out the trash. Doing so though, gets me out of my funk and on with day. It takes tough, concerted effort, but anything worthwhile does. The difficulty in choosing a resilient mindset is why so many people spend their days vulnerable to anxiety instead.