Imagine being charged with drug smuggling 1000s of miles away from home. Would you survive and thrive or sink to your lowest ever? Or what would happen if you had a surfing accident? Would you give up?
What happens when you feel overwhelmed but under-supported in a relationship? Will you survive and thrive?
Do your perfectionist ways mean that you are a control freak unable to ask for help from others?
In this audiobook, 9 Secrets to Thriving, Emma Bell has travelled over 35,000 miles in order to interview more than 50 individuals to find out how they have dealt with extraordinary adversity in their lives and still managed to thrive and flourish. She shares resilience strategies to thrive in life, relationships, and the everyday challenges we all face.
Life is difficult and disappointing at times and we are often left wondering if there is more we could achieve. This audiobook is designed to enable you to grow, express yourself, and develop. The aim is to help inspire you to engage with life again, to live authentically, and be in charge of your own destiny.
Why will this book work really work though if others haven’t? What if you are just not meant to thrive?
Don’t just bounce back, bounce forward
Emma highlights that thriving is a step within our own control and that commitment is the key to go from ordinary to extraordinary. However, in order to achieve all this, we need to realise that we are so much stronger than we think currently.
In order to thrive in our everyday lives, Emma shares with us her nine resilience strategies; strategies that people should adopt not only during times of adversity but daily to help overcome any hurdles faced.
You just need to consciously decide to embrace the opportunity to steer yourself to a better life.
I don’t want to take the limelight away from Emma’s book and I do honestly believe that should you really want to adopt her ideas, you need to listen to it for yourself. What I do want to do, however, is give you a high-level overview of her steps so that you can see just how easy it could be, should you wish to, to thrive.
Emma’s 9 Steps to Thriving
#1 Make self-care a priority
This doesn’t mean just taking care of yourself in the sense of going to the gym, or eating more vegetables. It is also about your mental well-being. She encourages us to stop focusing solely on everyone else and to start focusing on ourselves more. We need to remember that self-care is not selfish, it is necessary; we can’t help others if we don’t help ourselves. She advises us to develop daily and weekly self-care rituals so that we don’t even us resenting others because we have put them first. These rituals don’t have to take up a lot of time but we need to be able to give ourselves time to break away from others and rebalance ourselves.
She highlights that we are happy to recharge our phones daily but often forget about ourselves.
Emma mentions that sleep is also considered a form of self-care and that a lack of sleep has been linked to major illnesses, depression, and weight gain. Sleeping well will lead to a more positive outlook and is linked to how well we make rational decisions. (For more information on the advantages of sleep read Matthew Walker’s ‘Why We Sleep’).
We need to stop wishing that things were different, instead look at what is within our control and how we can influence a change. If we don’t like something about ourselves, then we hold the power to do something about it. Also, instead of focusing on the negative, start to focus on the positive aspects of our personality and you will quickly find others do the same.
Start presenting an image to the world that reflects the true you
Be clear about your needs and boundaries. Stop getting angry with those around you because you think no one is listening to you – have you even told them what you want? In order to grow, we need to stop playing the victim and stop feeling guilty for your choices or feel that you are undeserving of something.
#2 Seek out support and build close connections
Do not isolate yourself. It can be dangerous if you don’t reach out for support when needed but also be deliberate with whom you spend time with. Consciously choose to spend time with those who will build you up and challenge you in a constructive, positive way.
#3 Live your life authentically
According to a Harvard report, the majority of people feel lost for around 47% of the time and over 60% of our thoughts are negative. No wonder we struggle to feel positive sometimes.
Instead of focusing on the negative therefore we need to concentrate on developing the true us. We need to rely on our own thoughts and seek our own approval rather than always worrying about what others think.
Knowing and accepting yourself is far more important than the acceptance of others. If you are not careful, the comments others make will change you, and not always for the better. You need to find people that will help to uncover your inner determination. At the same time, stop worrying about how others see you and stop striving for things that are actually the expectations of others.
Your own happiness is more important than the approval of others. Don’t let others tarnish your own thoughts. You can’t thrive until you are content with yourself. Live by your own values and not those of others.
Stop betraying yourself in order to fit in.
Stop seeing yourself as worthless, start believing you can achieve whatever you want to achieve. Become the director of your own destiny but remember no one is perfect, everyone has flaws.
For those of you looking for more inspiration on how to live authentically, you may also enjoy Clare Pooley’s The Authenticity Project.
#4 Consciously choose your response
It’s your thinking about a situation that results in how you react, so start thinking about what you can control rather than what is lacking. Commit to taking control of your own attitude, flipping the negatives into a positive. Remember to focus your energy and attention on what you have rather than on the hardships and injustices in your life and don’t allow your past to influence your future.
You also need to learn to take 100% responsibility for where you are and how you intend to move on. Learn to accept your situation and deal with each issue step by step, one thing at a time. Don’t focus on the problems; focus on the solutions and how you will achieve the end results.
Stop asking ‘why me’ and start asking ‘what now’!
Be prepared to do something different. A positive attitude will help to give you an optimistic outlook for the future.
#5 Be clear about your purpose
The purpose is what drives you and shapes your actions. You need to stop thinking that you will be happy when… and start thinking about how I can be happy now.
Every day is a new start for all of us and we get to choose how we spend it. Focus more on creating moments that are positive, even if it is something small and when adversity comes knocking at your door learn how to grow from it and you will become a better person.
Think about what is it you want to achieve, why are you here? Who are we deep down inside?
Don’t be content with mediocre.
#6 Decide to forgive
There are many reasons not to forgive but it will affect your own growth if you hold grudges. Instead, learn to accept and move on while still acknowledging the pain caused. We need to accept that life has both ups and downs and we can’t have one without the other.
#7 Develop the attitude of being grateful
People will disappoint you and there is nothing you can do about it but don’t linger too long on it instead learn to move forward. Learn to be grateful for the little things in life and remember to show gratitude.
#8 Set and pursue goals that make you thrive
You are more likely to stick to goals if they align with your values because you will be far more motivated. Think about what the most important things are to you and how long do you actually spend doing what is important to you. Do you need to spend more time on what motivates you?
You need to deliberately take action to achieve your goals. In life we are all given the power to make choices and depending on how you act, it will lead to either a consequence or a reward. Make steps towards a goal and be patient and persistent. Remember sometimes your plans will deviate but just remember to reflect on how far you have come.
If you don’t have laser-sharp focus, nothing will change
Did you know that people who write things down are far more successful? Sharing your goals will make you accountable and means you are therefore more likely to achieve them.
Take responsibility for your own happiness
Only you can be the master of your own thoughts. If you spend your life in the shadows of negativity, then that is where you will stay. Developing something meaningful will lead to a more rewarding life.
#9 Cultivate peace of mind in a frantic world
Practice actions that promote calm in your life and remember sometimes you need to slow down in life in order to move forward. Stillness helps with reflection so find somewhere peaceful to relax and ponder your goals. Somewhere that will help to restore your equilibrium.
My Thoughts on 9 Secrets to Thriving
I have read many self-help books over the years in the hope that they will enlighten me on how to strive forward and succeed in life. Often I have picked out one or two points that resonant with me, making me want to change however, I then slip back into bad habits.
9 Secrets to Thriving is different, however. Everything I heard makes perfect sense. How can we move forward if we are stuck in the past? How do people know they have upset us if they don’t even know our thoughts?
Nothing in the book is new. We all know and, when you are listening, will acknowledge that what she is saying is true. In fact, I would say it is common sense. However, we have been conditioned to think differently. We have been taught that in order to develop we need to focus on what went wrong and what we would do differently. We then go on to spend too long focusing on the part that went wrong that we never change our habits, but in fact, often repeat those bad habits.
Emma J. Bell instead asks us to focus on the positive in order to grow and invites us to undertake small activities each and every day that will result in us thriving rather than just existing.
She shares stories of triumph after tragedy and asks whether, if these individuals that have undergone harrowing events can strive and thrive then why can’t others? The choice is always present, we just need to decide whether we want to change.
She highlights that if you are unhappy with your current life you need to make a deliberate decision to change if not you will always remain stuck where you are. She believes that if you choose to, you will thrive no matter what is thrown at you.
Honestly, it is a book that breaths life back into you and one that anyone stuck in a rut really needs to listen to. We all deserve to thrive, sometimes we just need guidance on how to do that.
Have you listened to 9 Secrets to Thriving? Perhaps you have read similar motivational books that have made a difference to you and that you would like to share with others.
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