Been thinking a lot lately about being mentally tough. Some have it, some don’t…why? My parents have always led by example and when they fell short of what they believed was honorable or right, they always said I’m sorry or made restitution. I believe being mentally tough is best ingrained in a person when it is modeled from a very young age. There are some people we meet in our lifetime that reinforce the benefits of being tough and serve as inspiring examples that make us want to emulate them. So, if you didn’t have parents who nurtured and modeled being mentally tough…seek those people out. Modeling toughness is when you make it a habit to make your bed every day, push your chair in, turn the lights out, stand up for the elderly or weak on a bus etc. Show UP even if you don’t want to if you made a commitment. Keep commitments. Honor your parents and thereby yourself. You CAN do “it” even if it’s just one breath or one step at a time.
We all have these things called telomeres. Telomeres help us stay strong in the face of adversity and we need to take care of them so we have them for a lifetime. Some people, due to life circumstances and stressors, have very short telomeres and don’t have the ability to stay mentally tough for long periods of time. Personally, I have my moments. You know the ones, where where in your heart of hearts you know you have dropped the ball, gave up and let people down and ultimately
yourself too. If you’ve been trained to be mentally tough, you forgive yourself in those moments and pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on.
As a teacher, one of my favorite books was and still is “The Little Engine That Could”. The excitement of thinking, will the train make it and cheering him on still resonates with me. Seek out inspiration anywhere you can find it! It’s easy to get sucked into someone’s negative nature. Don’t let yourself do so. There are always those people who need our joy or our inspiration in times of need…the trick is to lend it to them but keep from getting mired in their weakness. I have learned to give myself 3 days to solve a problem. One day to fuss and stew, one day to problem solve for solutions, and lastly, take steps to remediate the issue. If I stick to this formula, life and my emotions don’t get stuck…stuck does us no good!
I look forward to hearing your stories of who inspired you and how you have been guided to be mentally tough. Please post them on Facebook or send an email…we’ll compile them for those coming after us who will need our collective toughness to face not only the challenges of a SWS diagnosis, but in life too!