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  • Tara Foulkes

Life throws shit at us, its the way we deal with it that matters

Last week I shared an article on Facebook by William Berry of Psychology Today which got me thinking about how some people have the ability to bounce back from difficult events, yet others crumble and are defeated?

George Bonanno states that it’s our perception which plays a key role in resilience. He states that “We can make ourselves more or less vulnerable by how we think about things,” (Konnikova, M., 2016 paragraph 12).

This theory is along the lines of Buddhist teachings, in that, events and difficulties are not traumatic, but it is one’s perception of the events that really matter.

Say that you get into your car in the morning and realise the tyre is flat, do you:

  1. Run around like a headless chicken, shout and scream at everyone around you, get the tyre changed, then head out on your day feeling guilty for the rest of it?

  2. Think that the world is against you, take it personally, turn around and go back to bed?

  3. Calmly change the tyre or ask someone around you/ call someone too, then head out on your day?

The end result in all of these scenarios is the same – the tyre is flat and it needs sorting.

Yet, in 2 of these cases, our actions can lead us to punishing ourselves and those around us, due to something that is outside of our control.

This can happen in lots of situations throughout each and every day, we may have been cut up at traffic lights or we may have got to the shop and the thing we wanted to buy is sold out. We have no control over these situations or how other people react, but, we can make the choice to react with stress/ take it personally or, we can choose to develop our understanding of things that are outside of our control and take it on the chin.

We all know that in stressful situations we are more likely to react irrationally and do something which we may later regret, therefore gaining an understanding of this in our lives is important if you want to gain greater control your stress and emotions.

It’s about developing a greater acceptance of things that we can and cannot control, time, energy and upset spent on things outside of our control is time, energy and upset wasted. Don’t try to control situations on how they “should be” they are what they are, and life is short, spend your time on what matters not on the shit you can’t control!

I’m not saying this will happen overnight, there are times when we react without control, we are only human. But what is important is the development of our awareness which over time will lead to a stronger sense of self and with that comes control.

Have a great day everyone. Please share my blog if you like what you read.


Berry, William., 2017. Increasing Willpower and Resilience, Psychology Today, Retrieved from

Konnikova, M., 2016, How People Learn to Become Resilient, The New Yorker, Retrieved from on 9/15/17.


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