Develop Persistence And Determination And Be Prepared For Obstacles

How Well Do You Bounce? By Pat Mussieux

Life can really suck some days. Have you ever felt that way? Is today the day? I have had my fair share of technological challenges these past few months and I decided to keep notes on just how well (or not!) I was coping with the situation.

There are many times, both in business and in life, when we are tempted to just throw up our hands and give in – to surrender! Life, for me, has generally been really great. When it comes to technology, though, that’s foreign ground for me.

“Life is like five-card draw poker. Each day, a new hand; some days, junk; some days, a full house; and every day, the challenge of playing that hand to win!.” – Wendy Reid Crisp

There are many articles, books and interviews out there on the topic of Success. For this article, I want to talk about setbacks and challenges.

It is critical to be, and become, mentally fit. Life is not always a bowl of cherries. While many of us focus on physical fitness, it is just as important (if not more so) to develop mental fitness.

I was thinking about Captain “Sully” (“Miracle on the Hudson”) these past few days. That is a man who was mentally fit, capable and ready to handle the challenge of landing that huge aircraft on the Hudson River last year and saving hundreds of lives, including his own. Can you imagine what it would have been like, in the moment, had he said to his co-pilot: “Just a minute – I need to check the manual to see what to do!”

That’s what many of us do in our day-to-day lives – we leave things to chance. Building mental strength and resilience must become a daily exercise. Here’s what I learned over the past few weeks and months.

Be aware of your thinking when life knocks you down. Does your self-talk reflect “why does this always happen to me”? Or, do you shift your thinking and realize that ‘this, too, shall pass”?

Control Your Self-Talk to be positive and up-lifting. We are in full control of the dialogue that goes on in our heads, from the start of the day to the end of the day. Get in the habit of having a positive conversation with yourself (and I’m talking about things over which you have control – like challenges with the computer! – although I have used this powerful mental practice when it came time to deal with the deaths of family members, the end of my marriage, and so on.

When you get knocked down, be sure to fall on your back – ’cause when you fall on your back, you can look up – and when you can look up, you can get up! (Les Brown) This quote has stuck with me for years. It’s not how hard you fall, but how well you bounce. Become aware of your bounce-ability!

Sometimes you just need to surrender. When both my old laptop and new laptop were at the repair shop, I was told that it would just be a few hours………which turned into a full day. My anxiety was rising as the hours passed – I had work to do! After the point of mid-day, I realized it was time to just let go – to surrender.

This was something beyond my control for now and it was essential that I shifted my thinking (from frustration, anxiety, stress) to focus on other things – there WERE other things I could be doing – so I focused on catching up on some business reading. That shift in thinking not only paid off mentally, but also with respect to effective and productive use of my time.

Meditate – breathe! In times of stress and challenge, we can often forget some of the basics – like breathing calmly. This helped me tremendously just in the past week. Try it!

Don’t play the ‘blame game’. When stressed, and things are out of our control, it can be easy to fall into this trap – the blame game. Be aware of this and, again, shift your thinking.


It can be so easy to leave life, and business, to chance when it comes to our mental fitness. Setbacks happen – challenges come up – failure is just around the corner on any given day.

It’s critical to develop our mental fitness skills on a daily basis so that when a real crisis hits, we aren’t running for the “User’s Manual” to see what to do. We are prepared and we are strong and resilient! This, too, shall pass.

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.” – Dolly Parton

When have you faced a challenge recently? How did you get through it? Please share your thoughts on my blog:


What is one challenge, or setback, that you have faced recently? What was your thinking like?

What is one thing you can do differently, next time, so that you maintain control of your thinking and stress level in a positive way?

Pat Mussieux is known as America’s “Networking Queen”! She specializes in helping women entrepreneurs grow their business by getting out of their own way. For the past 30 years, she has worked in the field of personal and professional development. She is an undisputed expert on mindset and marketing, and how to make BIG money doing what you love. You can reach her at Pat is nominated for the 2010 RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.

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