Aspire for More with Erin

Fear.Grit.Resiliency

July 24, 2023 Erin Thompson
Aspire for More with Erin
Fear.Grit.Resiliency
Show Notes Transcript

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Welcome back. It is Erin and I am coming at you with a new episode of the aspire for more with Erin podcast Where we are going to dive deep Into fear, grit, and resiliency. The previous episode was about overwhelm and burnout and anxiety. And it was a real vulnerable look at my journey through my life, through the senior living industry, and probably even before that, because I have been through quite a few challenging times in my 42 years of life that I believe led me to the point where I had to change the way I operated and the year of 2023 has been that for me and actually this month has been the anniversary of me taking a full year to figure out how to change the story I tell myself about myself. This year, I realized more than ever, through the help of many, many podcasts and books and church and scriptures, that there's a difference between the story of our life and the way that we narrate it to ourselves. There's a lot to the meaning of the events of our life that we... That we internally, that internal dialogue that we define to ourselves. And I think it's important for us to really put a spotlight on how we talk to ourselves and how we tell ourselves the story that happened, the meaning behind them, why it happened. What is that tone of voice? That is the problem that I have been trying to solve for me this past year, and I think I have finally figured the puzzle out, and I'm excited about it. So, one of the things that I think is important to know is that Life's biggest challenges, the hardest things that life throws at you, if you allow it, are the biggest blessings in your life. When you go through the events of life that knock you down to the ground, the ultimate betrayals, the ultimate losses, the rejections that knock you to your core, all of these have the opportunity to propel you to become the best version of yourselves. Or of yourself. Because there is... Power and the fact that you own your story. We all play a role in every rejection, in every disappointment, and in some betrayals. Right? When it comes to losses, The loss of a child or a spouse or parents. I mean, we don't play a role in that, but we can still learn from that. We can still apply meaning that gives those events purpose. A positive purpose in our life. One of the hardest parts of my life, and if you've listened to earlier episodes of My podcast is that I do have a special needs child. I did lose his twin, um, at 28 weeks and my child had to have a trach his first two years of life. That started my journey 11 years ago. That event changed my life. It radically taught me that I am in control of nothing and that I had to I did not have a lot of faith, I did not want to, nor did I have any confidence in keeping a child alive who had a trach in his neck keeping him alive. I did not want to do that. But I did it, and that's where grit comes in. Grit comes in when you just put your head down and do what you have to do in order to survive. That's grit. Most athletes have grit. But when it comes to betrayals and rejections and failures, that hits differently because we play a role in those. Even though we give it everything we have and we are successful, somebody can do something and make it all go away. And that hurts. That's hard. Dane Cook is a great example of this. He's a comedian. He has Netflix specials and, he was certainly big in the early 2000s. And he had an ultimate betrayal by a family member who stole money from him and left him in debt and everything he thought he had, he no longer had. And on a podcast episode, I listened to him, it was on the Ed Mylett podcast. And he talked about how that was the lowest point of his life to where he trusted somebody in his family and they took advantage of that trust and they took everything from him and how angry he was and resentful he was. And he made this comment that really stuck with me. He said, of course, this is hindsight, right? Of course. He's already walked through the hard parts of that disappointing part of his life. He said the greatest moments in life are when you are knocked down on the floor due to failure or rejection or betrayal, whatever it may be. And you stay there and you look for the treasures because when you rise from those ashes, When you put yourself back together again, there are treasures that you can take with you to create a beautiful experience moving forward. Now, of course, that's paraphrased. That's not exactly what he said, but that's what I took from it. And so in that moment, when I was dealing with my own hard time, I decided, okay. I will take his advice. And, and rather than being resentful and angry, I decided to say, I want to own my own power. I want to own my story. And I looked for patterns in my life. They did not make sense. And I wanted to change those. And I wanted to start making sense with new patterns. And that was one of the best things I ever did for myself. It's that resiliency, because honestly, resiliency is not snapping back after life altering events happen, right? We think that we have to come back and just snap back into place and be who we were used to be after this. I will never be the same after... Losing a baby at 28 weeks or having a child with a tracheostomy for two years. I will never be the same person, but I am a different person, a stronger person, a much more open minded person. You cannot have an atypical child and not be open minded. He taught me more than anything that expectations are just Chains that we put on people and how great it is to live life, to just be excited and happy that we're alive, to be who we were made to be instead of who my parents wanted me to be. Right. But resiliency is actually changing and having the ability to move forward an improved version of yourself, uh, bouncing back. rather than a snapping back into place. Dr. Taryn Marie is an expert on resiliency. And she was also on the Ed Mylett podcast and talked about the differences between grit and resiliency and her research in resiliency. And it was a beautiful podcast to listen to. And her book is really, of course, very good as well. And I just learned a lot of valuable concepts through that. So we want to start with fear. I think fear is really where grit and resiliency comes from when we face our fears, when we attack our fears. I love this quote where, where it says fear is a mile wide and an inch deep. I mean, think about that. It's a mile wide and it's an inch deep. Fear prevents us from so much. I mean, I know that it prevented me from a lot of different things in every element of my life. But fear is in everyone's life. And I think sometimes, Well, I know that I did I thought that I was the only one that struggled with fear the way that I did. But even Reese Witherspoon, of course, the actress who everyone knows from all the her popular films, talked about how fear ruled her life when she was playing June Cash on Walk the Line. Which she won an Oscar for, right? But she was excited. She signed everything. She was excited to do it. And then, like, the reality hit. Oh my god. A. I'm playing June Carter Cash. I mean, that's kind of a big deal, right? Now I'm gonna have to learn how to sing. Play the guitar. And then be judged for that, and what is so great about her and some of her authentic and very vulnerable interviews, she talked about how she tried to get out of that contract. She didn't want to do it. She was scared of the three types of fear, right? The fear of rejection, the fear of judgment, and the fear of failure. And she talked about how She fought and fought every avenue that she could ever try to not have to do that movie. But she lost. And so she had to develop grit. She had to put her head down and embrace the suck, right? To embrace the suck of what it took to learn how to play the guitar, to learn how to sing, and to become an icon in country music. That is grit. Grit is the senior living leaders and the caregivers who took care of our residents through COVID. We had to do what we had to do and we couldn't really spend too much time thinking about it. We had to do it. We had to put our head down, have the stamina, and handle the challenges like it's a marathon and not a sprint. It took courage, it took passion, it took a hell of a lot of perseverance, and we stayed mission and goal oriented. That is grit. It's like a component, right, of resiliency. It's literally putting your head down and keep going. Going and that's what we have to do whenever we feel that fear and, you know, inside the senior living industry, failure, rejection and judgment. Yeah, I feel like we're all just swimming in it. The areas that I believe represent the judgment are our surveys. When we have the survey or walk in. And judge us. Judge our incident reports. Judge our investigations. Judge how we communicate with each other. Judge all of it. That is enough to send anyone over the edge. And then we gotta worry about occupancy. Which, to me, symbolizes the fear of rejection. You know, how do we get people to choose us? And what, how do we feel about us whenever they don't choose us? And then, of course, the fear of... Failure, which is the constant turnover carousel that we have in our industry. Whether it's in the regional realm or the community realm, you've been in it long enough to know. It's just a revolving door inside of our industry. These three elements certainly can affect us in a negative way. And some of us put our head down and grit it out. And some of us tap out and say, we don't want a part of it, because honestly, it's hard to have five bosses. We have five groups of people that we need to keep happy. And that's our residents, their families, the associates, home office, and the surveyors. And you fear judgment, rejection, and failure in every group. That is a lot to bear. It's a lot to bear. And it's a lot of opportunity for self doubt to creep in. But the thing about fear and self doubt is that it will overtake and undermine the faith that we can have in the face of fear. You know, we have these sayings where We reap what we sow, and if you're sowing good seed, you should have the faith that it will happen. For me, occupancy and my belief that sales is service, if I serve my people well, I know that my occupancy is going to grow. So yes, we may have bumps in the road, but ultimately, I know and I believe that my occupancy will grow because I am sowing the seeds of service and love and respect. And then the fear of judgment. Let's talk about that, right? Judgment from other people doesn't really matter. But when it matters to us is because we assign that judgment to ourselves. So I could be walking through the biggest failure of my life, in my opinion, and other people could judge me. And it would pile on the negative energy. Or I could be walking through the biggest failure of my life, and I am turning it into the biggest blessing of my life. And those judgments don't matter to me, because I know the work that's taking place inside of me. I know the transition that's coming, and I know what's ahead of me, and I am ecstatic about it. That's a process. That's the definition of resiliency. Because judgment is just the meaning that we put on things. And guess who's in control of the meaning that we put on things? We are. Whose opinion do you value most? Do you value people's opinions that haven't achieved as much as you have? Who haven't been in the same arenas that you have? Who haven't fought the same fights that you have? Are you allowing people who don't even understand your vision to assign judgment to circumstances they really do not have the correct context for? Are you allowing people's judgments who you don't even respect dictate your life? Valuate. Whose opinions, whose judgments you are allowing yourself to listen to because they probably don't deserve to be there. And then the fear of failure is a great one. But if you actually focus on failing, you probably will fail. But if you actually focus on learning and you go into every challenge, every complex situation, every transition in your life with the thought process, the mindset that I'm going to learn from this, you will probably fail less and you will learn a lot. It's that element of embracing the suck. It's that judgment of failing. Look, how many times have we started something new and not been good at it? Everything. There's a pattern in my life that I was horrible at almost everything that I first started, but that made me so mad that I obsessed about it until I got better. You cannot expect to be great at everything you do at the beginning. And you cannot compare yourself to somebody who's been on the journey for three years, and you've been on the journey for one day. So, failing literally is a part of success. And when you're successful, it's because you're standing on top of all of your failures. And failures are just lessons to learn from. So... It should not have much control over us. I say this, but fear of failure, rejection, and judgment was my fuel for a very long time. And it was unhealthy. It caused me to become defensive. It caused me to feel unsafe in situations and to fight for what I believed in. I was trying to prove everyone wrong, including myself, who was really the most important one that mattered. My resiliency was strong. My grit was strong. Because I was going to prove to everybody that I can do anything that I put my mind to, that I wanted to do. Right? But where I wasn't my best... Was this other component of resiliency, which is intelligent or productive perseverance? It's easy to say grit, right? Put your head down and keep going. But it's something else when you actually assess the situation and you realize, hey, I think it's time to pivot. I'm not in an environment that serves me anymore. It appreciates me, that values me. In fact, this environment may be what's holding me back. Keeping me stuck. When you take the time to really assess the situation that you're in, does it require grit? Or does it need a little bit of intelligent perseverance to figure out, maybe this is when I should pivot. Maybe this isn't the best situation for me. One of the biggest fears, and this is to me, the newest framework that I am walking in that has dramatically changed my life is how I frame rejection. You know, we've talked about failure and we've talked about judgment. And now we're going to talk about rejection. Ooh. Um, if I could say one fear that controlled my life, my entire life, it was the fear of rejection. And it started from a child to really this year, the desire to belong to be valued. To have validation from other people was a strong need for me. And then when I didn't get that need, it became fuel for me to become the best to get it. Or to prove somebody wrong who thought that I couldn't be what I thought I could be. You know, that chip on your shoulder that says, I'm going to do this because you don't think that I can. When really that was just a projection of feelings for me to myself. And it served me well, I was successful. I did some amazing things. I changed a lot of lives, created some amazing teams inside the industry. And where I was able to turn four communities around. Into high occupancy, high performing teams. But it did not change the story in my head. It did not make me believe that I was enough. Because achieving never will. And when you have a chip on your shoulder and you're defensive, because you're trying to prove people wrong, it's just gonna make it worse. Because the fire inside of you is negative energy. And so as I've been studying rejection, I have found Jamie Kern Lima, who wrote the book Believe It, and that book was about her relationship with rejection, which to me was an eye opening experience for, for me. And one of her exercises was, what is your definition of rejection now? When you are hit with rejection, what is the first sentence? that defines that experience. I'm not enough. That was mine. And that was hers. But the truth is, through her experience, she's changed that definition for herself because of her own experiences. And she gave me new definitions that are new frameworks for me. Because rejection is God's protection. And just because they didn't see my value does not make me less valuable. Because my value was hidden from them. they're not assigned to my destiny. Those are powerful frameworks to believe in with rejection. Because it's true. In her story, there's many ways that each rejection led her. To where she was supposed to be when her company sold, she's the founder of IT Cosmetics. And the last rejection that she had was the most brutal rejection. She created a brand of makeup and the guy that rejected her to be an investor would have taken. The majority of ownership of her company, but he rejected the offer because he did not believe that women would buy makeup from someone that looked like her body type and appearance. And not a year later, she sold It Cosmetics, Jamie Kern Lima sold It Cosmetics to L'Oreal for 1. 2 billion. And had she given the majority of ownership of her company to that investor, she would not have received the payout that she did. It's God's protection. That rejection was God's protection. He was not assigned to her destiny. That... changed my life and then there's this other concept that's new that has just solidified the change in me. The chip on my shoulder my entire life was to prove people wrong and I did that and now To have peace in my life, and to bring positive energy my way, and to live out my full potential and the destiny that is my calling, I'm choosing to prove the people right who believed in me all along, who saw that special spark, that point of difference in me, and poured into me to create the best version of me. In this phase of my life, I want to honor them. And make those voices be the voices that fuel my desire to change people's lives, to become the best version of myself, and to see who the real version of Erin is that God is creating through the pain and the purpose of my life. And that is the same gift that you can give yourself because everything happens for you. It doesn't happen to you. There's parts of our life where the purpose is bigger than the pain and then it flips where the pain is bigger than the purpose. There are opportunities to be gritty in life, put your head down and make it happen and then there are opportunities for you to figure out is this what I need to be doing or do I need to pivot to a new company. Just to really spend time on my own personal and professional development to figure out What is best for you Because the story that you tell yourself about the experience and the events in your life Need to serve you They need to be positive Because that creates the energy That will bring more positive experiences to you. How you handle challenge, change, and complexity in your life is really the definition of resilience for you. I challenge you to embrace the suck in life, to learn more, to reframe every failure as a learning moment, a teachable moment, and grow from it. Take away the expectation to bounce back, and instead, bounce forward. A changed and improved version of yourself. I hope this inspires you today. I know that it does me. And I will see you on the next episode. Have a great day.