Calling BS on the eternal optimist

ETERNAL OPTIMIST...

I’ve been called that a time or two.

Sure, it’s not the worst thing someone could call you… but it’s not a label I want to live by.

Rather, I want to live by the words strong, brave, resilient, and vibrant. Because under the surface of my sunshine and rainbows for many years was insecurity, trauma, and fear. Pains I had to heal, dysfunction I had to unlearn, stories I had to own and rewrite for myself.

I had to work to get here, dammit, and I won’t blame it on a predisposition towards optimism. 

It was work. Hard work.

I wanted it to be easier to work through the past, to learn new habits, and to create a life I was proud to live. There were times I thought divorce was an option, where I didn’t see my growth, where I was disappointed in myself, and wondered if I was a lost cause. But I kept going.

Kept seeing my counselor. Kept reading. Kept making decisions that served my highest self.

I had hard conversations, made hard choices, and did a lot of hard work seeing myself and loving myself.

It was so worth it.

When I look back over the past 5 years, I see a woman who went from fear, shame, and insecurity, to a woman who owns her life, is brave to step out, and truly created her dream life.

I’m damn proud of what I’ve done, and I refuse to believe I did it because I’m special. So I'm calling BS on being an eternal optimist, because optimism didn't get me here. What got me here was being brave enough to lean into the discomfort. 

LEAN INTO THE DISCOMFORT. 

I put myself in the way of growth. I sought out hard things and I did them because they helped me become the resilient woman I wanted to be.

Just like working out your body, you must work out your spirit to become resilient. You must persevere and keep going. You can do it, but you must be willing to lean into the work.

“Why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.” -Carol Dweck

Choosing to put yourself in situations where you’re stretched will remind you how flexible you are. Resilience is a muscle. The more you stretch it, bend it, and work it out, the more it will be stronger and able to bounce back to it’s original form.

Choose to step out of what’s comfortable and do a couple hard things. You’ll surprise yourself at how resilient you really are.

IT’S THE RESISTANCE THAT BRINGS RESILIENCE. LEAN IN.

-Madison

 


If you’re in Springfield, MO this Saturday August 13, join me as Seth Jaeger and I speak at The Bravery Board’s gathering on Resiliency. Get more info here!