What happens when your Plan A falls apart?
Do you simply reevaluate, adjust and try again, or do you fall apart and believe that you’re not worthy of success?
When a situation doesn’t meet your expectations, where do you go in your head?
Are we teaching our children how to handle disappointment and adversity? How are we modeling this for them? Do you start to swear and shout when you are disappointed? Do you talk to your family, your friends, when disappointment happens or do you bottle it up and “stay strong”?
According to Brené Brown, in her book ‘Daring Greatly’, “Hope is the ability to “Plan B” when Plan A falls apart. Hope can be learned.”
Dr. Brown then quotes C.R. Snyder’s research on hope. “Emotions play a supporting role, but hope is really a thought process made up of what Snyder calls a trilogy of goals, pathways, and agency.”
Hope occurs when:
1) I am able to set goals,
2) I have the tenacity and perseverance to pursue my goals, and
3) I believe in my own abilities to get there.
Honestly, if hope is tenacity, confidence and flexibility, those features are not oozing from my persona 24/7. I get down on myself when the world doesn’t meet my expectations. Am I teaching my children to give up on themselves?
My son struggles with disappointment. When he experiences setbacks, he tends to cry, scream and then smash or throw objects.
I get to show my son that humans experience feelings of disappointment and then we have an opportunity to create something new as we adjust to the letdown. He will not absorb hope through my instruction, he will gain the ability to hope by watching me put that skill to use in real time.
Here are some examples of how we are teaching hope to our children in our home.
When our favorite sports team loses a game, we don’t scream obscenities. We talk about the loss and how the team will review their assets and missteps, and come back stronger next week.
We don’t scream and yell when our preferred political party loses a race. We discuss how we can get more involved in the political process to help make the changes we want to see in the world.
We talk about focusing on our work and goals, even when it feels hard.
We discuss failure in our careers and how it’s normal to struggle, reexamine and shift our energy in a new direction.
Resilience! It feels as though resilience is the big key here. Dr. Brown and C.R. Snyder’s definition of hope has really opened my eyes. I want to embody resilience, tenacity and flexibility. I want to teach that to my children. It is never too late for us to learn a new skill, especially in matters of the heart.
You can leave a legacy by learning how to have hope, practicing it, and passing that learned skill on to others.
Awake. Free. Expansive.
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