Three Ways to Bounce Forward

The idea we have for our life rarely matches up with the life we end up with.

Plan A is fantasy.

Plan B is reality.

Growth is not a straight line, which is often a blessing in disguise, yet something we seldom realize in the thick of life.

How do we move on from what was to what will be?

How do we bridge the gap between expectations and reality?

Three Ways to Bounce Forward

1. Celebrate All You Have Overcome

Honour the trials and tribulations you have been through already. All of it preparing you for what is happening now. For it is in our dark times that we discover our light, and it is in our pain that we find our power.

Psychology Exercise:

Take Inventory

Make a list of all the victories you have achieved to date. Especially the ones you thought you would never achieve. Place this list in a prominent place as a reminder of how far you have come. This is especially important when navigating unchartered territory.

“You Are Stronger Than You Know.”

2. Normalize Failure and Defeat

We have become paralyzed by perfection in our society. So much so, that we often stop ourselves from trying new things, for fear of looking ridiculous. Something I see in my own psychology class with students so racked by fear of failure, that they frequently miss out on the joy of learning new things.

Psychology Exercise:

Plan to Fail

Ask a friend to join you on a failure challenge. For the next seven days, make a list of all the things you have wanted to try but stopped yourself from doing so because you lacked the confidence or the skills. The sky is the limit. Each day, try something new from the list and give yourself the FREEDOM to fail.

“Some paths cannot be discovered without getting lost.”

3. Adopt a Growth Mindset

How we talk to ourselves matters tremendously, especially during difficult times. Staying open to everything is what helps me through difficult times. This is because openness shifts our mindset from one that is fixed to one that is expansive.

Psychology Exercise:

Create a Resilience Mantra

Re-imagine stressful moments as growth moments. Moving you one step closer to your dreams. Say “I am expanding, I am growing” the next time you experience uncertainty.

“Stop Shrinking Yourself to Places You’ve Outgrown”

Final Thoughts

No one begins their journey at the top of the mountain.

We all must earn our way up.

A universal human experience of trying, failing, learning, and repeating.

Ultimately understanding that adversity is not bad, it is an opportunity to build strength and discover who we are.


Three Ways to Bounce Forward first appeared in The Drive Magazine. ™️

Featured Image of Fish Jumping Out of Water:

Watch Video: Three Ways to Bounce Forward

15 thoughts on “Three Ways to Bounce Forward

Add yours

  1. Love this and the video.

    It so important to normalise failure and feeling safe to fail.

    Personally I feel we need get away from the words success and failure. They don’t help us. We are all wipe, we can’t be good at everything. We can try and we must try.

    But we have to be truthful to ourselves if we are being lazy and not trying. If we are failing because we can’t be bother to try, or ourself talk isn’t helping us get there. I don’t like to use the word failing – I mean we let ourselves down because it’s like self sabotage. If I make any sense at all

  2. Today’s takeaways: Plan A is fantasy, and Plan B is reality. (Thank you!)

    Also, I see my students not show up when they’re not prepared. I feel like they think they’re working the system, but unfortunately they are the ones missing out. It’s a good lesson for all of us. When you’re scared, do it anyway. When you’re not prepared, do it anyway. Half of life is just showing up.

  3. This has got to be one of your best and most insightful/helpful/encouraging blogs to date. Love this! Especially celebrating the good that has happened and normalizing failure and defeat. You’re so right–we have this attitude of “we must do it all and be perfect”–paralyzed by perfection is a great way of looking at it. There’s always hope in moving forward–growth is what we should focus on and not what we’re not doing. Thanks for this, my friend!

  4. After reading and listening to your (as always) excellent article, I found this definition for resilience in the Cambridge dictionary: ‘the ability of a substance to return to its usual shape after being bent, stretched or pressed.’I should imagine that each of us (including your students) can attest to the feeling of being bent, stretched, or pressed. Your instruction shows us how to stand up and carry on to being in better shape than before. Bless you, Dr. D.

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