6 Ways to Be a Victor, Not a Victim

This is a story about unexpected surprises,  resilience, and 6 ways to be a victor, not a victim.  Buckle your seatbelts…

I just spent time at the most beautiful beach in the world—the Emerald Coast on the Florida Panhandle.  It’s been my happy place for more than 20 years.  This year, family members gathered from far and wide and there was laughter—a lot of laughter—goofiness, and great food.  Gorgeous water.  Hot sun.  Fabulous.
DramaUntil this happened.

This was not in the plan.  At the beach.  Huh.  #nothappy   What to do?

We’ll be resilient, I said.  We’ll find the absurdity in distress.  We’ll laugh some more.  Well, some of us more than others, I have to aIMG_0520dmit.  So we began to experiment with different types of transportation.





Then demented race-scooting at the Walmart.





And then this happened. 

“Hey, Sonster.  Let’s do this.”

The theme to “Star Wars” came into my mind.

So we explored our fears of this moment.  Well my fears, anyway:

Will I freak out on the helicopter?

Will it go down in the Gulf of Mexico, drowning us in beautiful surroundings?

And the big one, will I live through his?  (I took out some insurance on this one by putting on my best underwear.  For the ER or the coroner.  You know, right?)

And then the moment approached. I hope we live…I hope we live…I hope we live.  And then we’re flying.

And it was G-R-E-A-T.

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So, the bottom line about resilience is, you have to decide whether you will be a victor or a victim.  Here are my 6 tips for resilience:

1) Breathe for 20 seconds before you say a word. Do the Breath of Victory.  (See my previous blog post Breathe a Quick Reset.)  Start by exhaling slowly and deeply, with a slight constriction in your throat.  In your ears and brain, you will sound either like Darth Vader or the ocean.  Then inhale deeply and slowly.  It is inevitable that your thoughts will lighten to some degree.

2) Laugh your butt off.  I learned this from my Aunt Claire who once jumped in a lake while wearing an evening gown.  I’m not kidding.  Dark humor gets us through almost anything.  My clients know that even in difficult times, humor gets us through the next five minutes.

3) Keep going. I mean it.  You can get stuck in the negativity of the moment.  Example, how do you get to the beach on crutches?  Well, you crawl.  The water awaits you.

4) Lose the shame and embarrassment. Shame and embarrassment are internal and make you feel miserable.  It’s like carrying around a bag of boulders.  Put them down and walk away.  Hold your head up high and act like a king or queen.  Others may question you, but you just pageant wave and smile.

5) Be grateful for anything you can find in the moment. Your life.  The lives of others you love.    The love of God.  Sunshine.  The ocean.  Chocolate.  You get the idea.

6) Know that this crummy moment will pass. Do some cognitive shifting.  Example, “I’m on crutches but I can wear my awesome new shoe on my good foot.”  Take a positive neutral position, like “A month from now, things will be different.”  If you feel traumatized, I understand how powerful that can be.  Treat it with EMDR, a wonderful thing I do with clients as part of their therapy.  It’s like brain bleach.  Want to know more?  Ask me!

The bottom line is that resilience is within you.  You can be a victor or a victim.  Find your own victory.  I know you can.  How have you been resilient in your own life? Where could you be more resilient?

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