- Weathering the Storm - National Committee For Responsive Philanthropy
- Weathering the Storm
- Weathering the Storm: Hurricanes and Birth Outcomes
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There's something deeply sympathetic, and not a little familiar, in repeat failure. So often are our rehabilitations short-lived. Despite our best intentions, our mightiest resolve, we find ourselves endlessly repeating earlier failures.
But the great payoff in failing is it gives us another chance, as Alex Trebek encourages his Jeopardy contestants who risk everything and crash down to zero to "start building. In this sense, failing well amounts to taking a weird kind of pride not just in the potential positive consequences of failure but in the failure itself—the awful, agreeable humanity of it. Failure drives us out of our caves and into the world of Other People, that plane where happiness is less perishable. After Failure was published, Philip Schultz couldn't help notice the strong reactions other people had to it—the "triggering mechanism" of the word itself, as if it was a private shame or fear everyone had, and were grateful for having the entree to talk about.
The only people who don't are the ones who really are. Some people learn from failure and bounce back stronger. For others, failure destroys them. Be one of the ones who rise from the ashes. Most people who bounce back from setbacks have a sense of humor. They know when they're taking things—and themselves—too seriously.
We're often so paralyzed by fear of failure that we "self-handicap," sabotaging ourselves by putting an impediment in the way, says personal coach Steven Berglas. Because, hey, if something prevented you from trying your best, you can't be said to have failed, right? Or will you die of shame?
Weathering the Storm - National Committee For Responsive Philanthropy
But now there's a fissure in their anxiety through which the ridiculousness can seep in. It's hard to find the funny in the fine grain. Humor is about stepping back for fresh perspective. We assume that's something we're born with, but we can become better at seeing the lighter side by sheer exposure to that way of thinking.
And it does take the edge off of failure. After all, an embarrassment today makes for an entertaining story tomorrow. Misery loves company. There's real value in commiseration. When Montrealer Sylvain Henry started a Facebook support group called "Recession Survivors" after being laid off from a software company, the group became a lightning rod for pain and blame.
It was cathartic. Then something happened.
Weathering the Storm
The site transformed into a clearinghouse of resourceful coping strategies for hard times. The difference between guilt and shame is the reason we assign as to why failure occurs, notes Richard Robins, a psychologist at the University of California at Davis. Guilt says it's "something I did. But the cycle of learned helplessness can be broken. Instead of thinking "I'm a failure," think "I'm a good person who made a mistake I can learn from. On the other hand, if your story is, "It's never about me," you may need to seek out some aspects of the problem you can do something about.
Because let's face it, you do mess up—everyone does. In which case you need to own the failure, see what you can learn from it, and move on. Of the seven learnable skills of resilience—emotion awareness, impulse control , multiperspective thinking, empathy , the belief that you can solve your own problems, taking appropriate risks, and optimism—the most important is optimism, says Karen Reivich, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania. The key to resilience is thinking more flexibly and learning to increase your array of options. The psychologist Martin Seligman advocates disputation, in which you think of your mind as a courtroom where negative thoughts are instantly put on trial.
You can rebut these thoughts, and you should. Now you're acting as your own defense counsel, throwing at the court every bit of evidence you can think of to prove the belief is flawed. The bad thought is no longer a lock, and it dies amid the doubt. Getting fired and left without savings or health-care coverage is rough, but for some, it carries an unexpected message: "Now you are free. If you don't have to earn money right away, ask yourself: How can you be of service to others?
The sales manager of a Portland, Oregon radio station, Margaret Evans was let go unexpectedly in late September. As she researched new jobs and grad schools, it occurred to her that getting laid off was a kind of gift. She'd always intended to do service work. The tumblers aligned, and by December she'd signed on as a volunteer at an orphanage in Belize, through a Florida-based charity called Dream Center International.
Travel, live cheaply, and do good for people who genuinely need it: not a bad recipe. When we succeed, we tend to just ratchet up our expectations for ourselves and not get a lot of pleasure out of it. But when we fail, it's much harder to ratchet down our expectations for ourselves. Gilbert Brim begins his book Ambition with the story of his father in rural Connecticut: or rather, his father's windowbox.
As a young man his father took pride in maintaining the forest on the whole property, but eventually that task became impossible. So as he grew older and weaker, he reduced the range and scope, until he was content just to tend the flowers in his windowbox, albeit to the same standards of excellence. If failure is about failing to meet goals you set for yourself, then one way to avoid failing is to revise those now-outdated goals.
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That way, instead of failing on a stage you once mastered, you're still succeeding on a more modest stage. Keeping a journal can help you cope with failure.
Weathering the Storm: Hurricanes and Birth Outcomes
Jamie Pennebaker, a psychologist at the University of Texas, studied middle-aged engineers who'd lost their jobs. Those who wrestled with their feelings about the trauma through journaling were far more likely to find reemployment. It wasn't simply the tension-relieving "catharsis" of getting their feelings out. Nor was it that they were more motivated to get out there and pound the pavement—they didn't receive more phone calls, make more contacts, or send out more letters. Rather, writing helps create meaning—finding coherence and building a personal story that lassos all the question marks hanging in the air and making sense of them.
Writing about their feelings forced them to come to terms with getting laid off. It also boosted their social skills—making them more likeable, less vindictive, and better able to get on with things. They were less wrapped up in their past. They could listen better and were more optimistic and less hostile.
Self-blame is corrosive. Research on kids raised amid domestic violence , abuse, or maternal depression shows that self-blame can trigger or worsen depression. Attribution errors—blaming yourself for the bad things that happen to you—are probably the biggest reason people metabolize failure badly. Attribution has a potent effect on depression—the more you blame yourself for problems, the more depressed you grow.
And it's a vicious circle—the more depressed you are, the more you blame yourself. By contrast, children who understand that such negative life circumstances are outside their control are not as vulnerable, notes Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive. This report calls for better integration of adolescent girls' needs in climate change adaptation and disaster risk management policies and programmes, based on interviews with girls involved in Plan International's programmes in Ethiopia and Bangladesh.
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The impacts of climate change are different for different populations. While inevitably children everywhere are badly affected, the report illustrates how girls, in particular, are bearing the greatest burden. Imagine being woken from a deep sleep by wailing storm sirens. Disoriented, you break the darkness by turning on the television and a meteorologist warns that your street is in a direct path of a tornado.
In an instant, you realize that you and your family only have a few adrenaline-fueled moments before the storm hits your home. And one that no drill or training could ever truly prepare you for. How does a community attempt to rebuild and heal after being struck by such a horrific tragedy? Listen on Apple Podcasts. The podcaster chosen was amazing Story was spot on - with the exception of this So proud of Montgomery for dedicating resources to documenting the roles of the first responders and other city officials.