Enjoy the ride. Life is the moments of doing — even the tough ones or moments of growth. Be in your life.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Weber.
Alex Weber is an International Keynote Speaker on Leadership and Peak Performance, a competitor on American Ninja Warrior, and an Award-Winning Entertainer for NBC. In addition to competing alongside elite athletes on American Ninja Warrior, Alex has been awarded US Lacrosse Coach of the Year honors, holds a World Record, and competed in the World Championships of lacrosse finishing as a Top Scorer in the world.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
You got it! I’m an American Ninja Warrior, Keynote Speaker, Award-Winning Entertainer for NBC, and Author of the new book FAIL PROOF: Become The Unstoppable You. But, I’ve also had tough losses, rough heartbreaks, and you betcha — embarrassing fails.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
I’d say one of the more interesting was going from a HOST for NBC American Ninja Warrior to a COMPETITOR for NBC American Ninja Warrior. What it taught me is that you can do things you didn’t believe you could — even if at first, you’ve failed.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I’d say a unique skillset that is combining inspiration with actual takeaways, all with humor and heart. That comes from being a Stand-Up Comedian, TV Host, US Lacrosse Coach of the Year, and someone who genuinely loves other human beings.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Coach Paul Carcaterra. My high school lacrosse coach took an interest in me, gave me direction, a purpose — and it truly changed my life. Remember, you can change someone’s life in any instant.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
Resilience means you don’t stop. It means you keep going and you’re committed to what matters to you. Now you can be resilient and bounce back in a minute — or an hour, or a day, or a week, or a year. That is really up to the individual and our ability to process and manage our emotions. A pretty big variable. It’s a topic I gave many tools for in the book because it makes a huge difference.
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
Resilience is bouncing back, but before you can bounce back, you are first laying knocked down on the ground. Courage is while you’re knocked on the ground, deciding to stand back up.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
My mom. She is unstoppable. For our family, in her own battle with cancer, and just her toughness with so much grace and heart is truly amazing.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
Oh gosh all the time. But that’s just a dramatic word for “I don’t think you can do it.” And it’s important to remember when someone says that, it’s just their opinion — it’s not facts. And we don’t have to listen to it. When I was a host for Ninja Warrior, I was the one who thought the obstacles were impossible. But really that was me saying “I’m not good at this, I’m scared to really do it, and even if I do tackle it, it still probably won’t work out.” Everything changed when I truly decided this was important to me and committed to showing up and giving it everything I had. I encourage you to question your doubt. It’s probably just a scared opinion.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
2020! Broke my hand right as Ninja Warrior was about to happen, my mom was in treatments, work got turned upside down, and I was going through a breakup with someone I thought I was going to marry. Oh yeah, and then the world was going through a few things too! I’m in the comeback. I competed 2021 Ninja Warrior, my first book got published, my mom is doing amazing, and I’m speaking around the country — but I don’t forget those moments of 2020. I’m still processing and grieving and growing from it, and that’s okay. We can still do amazing things AND be a work in progress.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
I’ve talked with my dad a lot lately about experiences from growing up. I know how much he loves me and growing up that sometimes showed itself in very intense ways. Sometimes fearful ways, or very loud ways. I think I developed tough skin at a very early age. Some of that is great, and some of that isn’t — I’ve had to actively unlearn a lot of things, and I’m still very scared to be in “trouble.”. Even as a grown man. I think it taught me that you do just need to keep showing up and giving your best. I know that may sound simple or cliche, but it’s not. So much of life works out if you follow that recipe, and for me, that recipe has saved me in times when I was my own worst enemy. Show up and give your best.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
1. Understand that emotions are waves. Feel it, then let it go. Don’t immediately act (or act out) on an emotion.
2. What can you do better next time? Learn from the experience, even if just 1 thing.
3. Do you want to keep going? If you don’t, okay. But if you do, then keep committed. And be honest with yourself, don’t let fear try to convince you that you don’t want this anymore — when you really do.
4. Full Effort, Belief, and Commitment — implement your new lesson, and fully commit to giving it your best and putting this new knowledge to work — you will improve.
5. Enjoy the ride. Life is the moments of doing — even the tough ones or moments of growth. Be in your life.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Follow Your Fire. It was a promise I made to myself at 22 years old when I left my career/major/life path to pursue what lit me up. I’ve honored that promise even when it’s been scary or uncertain and it’s lead me to every successful and meaningful thing in my life. Follow Your Fire. We need more Lit Up people in this world.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
Mel Robbins, Lewis Howes, Jim Carrey, Matthew McConaughey, Brene Brown, Glennon Doyle. That’s a lot of breakfasts, but I’m always hungry.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
I’d love to hear from you. I’m @ImAlexWeber on all social media, and my email is [email protected]. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Please do let me know when you pick up a copy, and I have some fun exercises and an Achievement Community I’d love to welcome you into.