5 Tips for Maintaining Resilience through Difficult Times
My podcast guest, Cynthia Petti of Genuine Spark in the bay area of California, has gone through significant changes in the last year due in part to her partner’s brush with serious illness and her own recovery from that battle. I invited her to share what she learned about maintaining resilience through it all.
1. Build a Positive Environment Around You
Last year when her partner was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer, Cynthia says was very frightening. She was forced to look at her own mortality, and, to get through it, had to start to find joy in life every day. Once he became cancer-free, she looked at herself and realized her cup was half-empty and needed filling.
So she set a goal to attend an inspirational conference more than a day from her house. She came back fully energized. She began to eat healthy again, after looking honestly at her weight and forgiving herself for using comfort food to cope with stress. Soon she began to feel like herself.
But her family resisted her transformation (as families often do!) and didn’t believe it would last. As she puts it, “Negativity in the house won.” Yet Cynthia maintained her daily meditation and goal practices, and hungered to learn more, to stay inspired. She’d had such a great release and awakening that she wanted to share it with others and do it again. When Cynthia signed up for another seminar in New York, she took her daughter and turned it into a vacation. Her partner didn’t want to be left out and came too. The daughter ended up walking on fire and going home changed. The partner struggled with his PTSD and anxiety, but made connections and pushed through, also deeply transformed in the end. As a couple, they then attended a third conference in Palm Beach.
I love that Cynthia created the environment she was looking for at home! She committed to her recovery and her goals, and kept at it, creating the support system she needed.
2. Meditate and Visualize Daily
Cynthia maintained her evolution, visualizing and meditating daily. She began to build a business around her favorite activity—talking to people. She realized her mission was to inspire people to be the best version of themselves, and named her new company Genuine Spark.
As she expanded personally, Cynthia set personal goals of a nicer house and the money to pay for it. Within just a few months, she manifested this and they moved into their new home. Even so, as happens for so many of us, sometimes the negative self-talk in her head asked why she couldn’t do more. What got her through that, she reports, was “the small pieces” day to day, especially gratitude for life’s little things.
Another big help was letting go of negative relationships and setting up strong boundaries with those she can’t avoid. I love that she limited toxicity in her life in this way so she could focus on her own life.
Cynthia’s motto in life, besides “Be the best version of yourself” is “Leave a legacy.” For her, it’s about making a positive impact on others and leaving an impression now that will help transform future generations.
3. Be the Master of Your Time—and Your Goals
One of Cynthia’s big goals was to know that she is the master of her time. That gave her the power to say “no.” In growing her business, she balances events she wants to attend with work and home life by asking herself if attending the event would fulfill one of her values, a great tip!
Her business, Genuine Spark, helps people with goals and accountability for personal and professional development. Cynthia finds that we often say we want to do things, we even share it online, but rarely follow up, thinking it will magically happen. Yet research shows that just writing a goal down makes it 46% more likely to be achieved. She helps people turn those vague intentions into specific, achievable goals for which they are accountable, and she makes it fun.
The one thing Cynthia sees lacking at conferences is homework—we lose the (often expensive) training when we get home. Her workshops and services come with step-by-step homework to re-immerse yourself every day. She also offers accountability groups and an online private community for support, too.
4. Take Your Time, Step by Step
Cynthia’s story reminds me that going through tremendous personal change and developing a business doesn’t happen overnight. It is a sequence of small steps and decisions made with focus. When you look at your goals, choose something you can start now. Yes, focus on the big picture, like she did with manifesting a new house and business. Do something now and keep chipping away at it. Change might seem painful at first, but the suffering we create with our negative thoughts or the movies we play in our heads or a depressing environment—these usually hurt more and longer.
Cynthia knows she didn’t do this alone or wave a magic wand. She had a lot of “cheerleaders and champions” around her. She believes wholeheartedly in coaching. When melting down in insecurity, she loves when her coach calmly asks, “Well have you considered such-and-such?”
Believe in yourself, believe in your goal, and build or find the right environment to sustain your energy and focus, maybe a group or a coach. You will be surprised how much you can accomplish in one year!
5. Read for Learning—and Fun
A super helpful tool has been continuing to learn and read. To fit a busy schedule, Cynthia highly recommends audiobooks and podcasts. She’s absorbing new knowledge all the time and loves it. She enjoys how many books talk about similar themes, but each author has a different way of saying it, and some of them stick better.
Another tip: read or listen to fiction. You have to let your mind wander to prevent exhaustion while making so many changes. You have to have some fun and creativity. Give yourself a break and read something fun.
Life is a journey. It’s not the destination that counts but the path we take in our day-to-day life. This gives us the ability to leave a legacy, prosper and help others too.
Contact Cynthia at: GenuineSpark.com, Cynthia@GenuineSpark.com
Check out her events and digital products there, including a free ebook called “Fine-Tune Your Spark,” which offers 15 quick tips.