“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer
One of the best days of my life was the day a dear friend of mine told me I sounded like a victim. At the time, I was outraged with a guy who obviously didn’t fulfill all my needs and my expectations in love. In other words, he broke up with me, refusing to fill up my cup with the precious things I didn’t know how to give myself: appreciation, self-care, and self-respect.
“How could he do that to me?”, “Why do I have to go through such a thing?” – here’s a small sample of my repertoire at the time, full of guilt, shame, and blame.
While complaining, I was expecting my friend to be on my side. Shut up and listen. Accompany me in accusing that man of making me feel miserable. Instead, she chose to be brutally honest, and I will never forget what she said: “Dear, I can feel your pain. You might not realize this yet, but you sound like a victim.” It wasn’t an easy thing to digest. Not at all. I didn’t talk to my friend for several months after that discussion, but today, I am profoundly grateful for this gift of authenticity and genuine truth.
Blaming someone else for my sadness was disempowering. However, it was transformational from the inside out and here’s why I do what I do today as a profession: empower women, so that they know their own worth and keep their tank full with self-love and self-compassion.
In my coaching practice, I often get to hear powerful stories from women who’ve been through terrible life experiences: illness, divorces, significant financial issues or loss of dear ones. But despite everything they’ve been through, they are still alive and resilient.
“What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” – there’s a lot of truth in this saying.
We are all telling ourselves different stories about our past experiences. It’s all about personal filtering and what we make things mean to us. But if we switch perspective and look back on our tough experiences as a learning and an opportunity for growth, everything changes. Sometimes we win, sometimes we learn. We never lose and there’s a powerful learning through failure.
I wouldn’t say the loss of someone dear is an opportunity for growth. Let’s be honest with this one: it’s part of life, but it’s incredibly painful. But we can definitely learn from life experiences as going through a job loss and getting unemployed, going through a divorce or a separation from a romantic partner.
“What could I have done differently?”, “What am I taking with me from this experience?”, “What’s the gain in the pain?” – such questions are empowering because they liberate us from the conditioning of a victim.
Blaming others for taking our time, our money or our love is unfair because we always choose how much we give and to whom.
Taking responsibility for the way we feel, act and think is true power.
Looking back on the past with compassion instead of self-blame, without the need to punish ourselves for making mistakes and allowing ourselves to be entirely human.
So what is to be resilient?
Resilience is the power of finding the gain in pain and raise from difficult times and sorrow. Taking our power back and looking for possible blessings in disguise that finally made us wiser or stronger.
Sara Fabian is a Women’s Empowerment & Career Coach and inspirational speaker, on a mission to help professional women to discover their unique strengths, gifts and talents, boost their confidence, find their calling and live a meaningful life of purpose. For weekly inspiration, subscribe to her free newsletter at www.sarafabiancoaching.com or follow her on Facebook.
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