Ground yourself daily. Step away from your normal routine, get out into nature. I will take a short walk, to change the way I feel. When you can become one with nature it will change your focus, create clarity, and change how you look at things. A lot of times my mind gets clutter with all the writing I do, and I get blocked, Stuck. So, I will stop everything I am doing, and take a walk, instantly things come into focus. My body and mind begin to feel better, and it fuels my soul.
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 Patricia Love.
Patricia Love is the author of the #1 best-selling book “Seen and (Un) Heard.” A life coach, who builds confidence in women, who struggle with being seen and heard in their own lives. Turning her own life around at 57, she has made it her mission to turn her “mess into her message.”
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?
I was the youngest of 3 children. While growing up, my father was a traveling salesman, which meant that most of the time the three of us were left with my alcoholic mother. Even when he was home, my father was emotionally absent. It wasn’t an ideal childhood by any means. I was left alone, in terms of support, in terms of guidance, or lack thereof. I did a lot of growing up on my own. It didn’t help that I was also significantly younger than my siblings… No discredit to them as it was not their job to raise me (though my sister, Ginger, practically did), but with little guidance or encouragement in much of my youth, lacking present parents, or even basic routines and rules, to say I became a rebellious teen would be an understatement.
I began to go down a very negative road, developing disruptive behaviours in my young adult life that I carried with me into adulthood. It took a lot of lessons learned and unlearned, and acknowledging some deep truths to eventually change my ways.
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?
A story I always think about is how I finally realized I was good enough to coach. I had always thought in my head, that no one wants to hear from me, what do I know? Never even considering all that I been through, would make me the perfect person to mentor and teach. Till one day I was at a networking event and a woman came up to me and said, I had to come over and thank you! I was a bit surprised at why…but was eager to listen. She says to me, you probably wouldn’t remember this, as you were talking to a lot of people, but a few years ago you were speaking at an event, and I came up to you afterwards to introduce myself, and you were so kind, and so caring, and you took the time to listen to me, I told you about my divorce, and that I was going through a very hard time….you looked at me and gave me a big hug and said,” I understand…but you are strong, find that inner power you have within, and you have it, and take it and run with it, to be the best you can be, you Can do it!” I never forgot those words, and today I am happy, running a successful business, and enjoying my life. And I feel I owe it all to you. I was taken aback, hugged her again, and thanked her for telling me, that it meant so much. That day changed me because I had helped change someone else. What I took away from that conversation that day, was to remind myself everyday “I am good enough,” and not to compare myself to others. That my lessons learned, were wisdom earned. My confidence and energy shifted that day, and I never took back, and now it is so important to intentionally build confidence in others so that they never feel less than.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Because of all the lessons I have learned over the years, it’s important to make sure everyone is heard, and that they are seen, everyone’s voice matters. It reminds me of the story of Jill who came to me, just out of a divorce, and was completely lost. She was fifty, introverted and her self-esteem was on the floor. You could tell that she had been marginalized, and her voice had been dismissed over the years, so her confidence had vanished. The story here is that all she needed was to feel that she was seen and heard. She needed someone to listen to her, with absolutely no judgement…the more I listened, the more she came alive, her confidence grew more and more every day and within a year, she felt good enough to start her own online business, which is growing everyday. This isn’t a grand story, but a simple everyday story that my company insists on. Believing, seeing and listening to others, we don’t have to agree with them, but we need to willing to understand listen, and be open to other perspectives. That is human kindness, and the more of it we can display, the more kindness will come back.
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?
There are many people over the years that have helped me, but the one, which may be a bit unconventional, was my sister who passed away many years ago. But I carry her with me, and she is in my heart every day. My sister Ginger who was 10 years older than me, raised me, mentored me and showed her love for me, because of the lack of parenting from my parents. She basically took over my care, the best she knew how, as a young girl herself. But, Ginger instilled in me the “never give up” mentality, and she let me know every day how special and gifted I was. She was always by my side growing up, and always made sure I was looked out for. When she passed in my 20’s it was devastating, but I knew my she would want me to go on, and my heart to go on. So throughout the years, I believe she guided me through my mistakes, by keeping me safe. There were even physical things that happen, which made me believe she was there by my side and helped me make the right decisions. At least this is the story I choose to believe.
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?
To me resilience is pivoting and shifting your emotions to face life’s obstacles that continue to disrupt one’s life, instead of fighting it. When Kelly Clarkston sings, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” completely resonates with me. Life throws our emotions into turbulence, but it is surviving it and how you land, that makes you not only stronger, but will create a better understanding of human empathy. Resilient people become more optimistic, motivated, and less judgmental of others. I also find the more you welcome and experience life, the more likely you will be frantic when challenges are put in front of you.
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
I believe that courage is more immediate, and resilience is the sustainability of many courageous things that you do. In my opinion Resilience is the comeback, and courage is the act of getting there. I believe we need both to endure the challenges in life, and to emotionally move forward.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
I have a dear friend, we will call Lola, who I grew up with and have known for over 55 years. She has battled the addictions of alcoholism, drugs, smoking, and has struggled with her health and finances for years. But she has had the courage to always step up, and the resilience to keep going. She never really complains, and she pushes herself to help others whenever she can. This person I personally call my hero and am so proud to be able to call her my best friend.
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?
Yes! When I was wanting to get into real estate, I met with several real estate agents at different companies to get their thoughts, and feedback on me stepping into the real estate circle. There is one agent named Diane that I met with, who proceeded to tell me I was crazy to get into real estate and that my expectations were too high, she spent a half hour with me talking about every negative aspect of the business, and that I would be stupid to get my license.
Well, most people might have put their head down, and walked out with their tail between their legs the way she spoke to me. But what it did for me, is FUEL ME. I said to myself, I will show you Diane! I got my license and I ended up joining the company she worked for. I worked hard every day and became rookie of the year, my first year, then steadily rose each year to become top 5% in the country…I began to mentor and coach other real estate agents and was sought after for company panels. I don’t know where Diane is today, but I want to thank her for the challenge, and fueling me to be my best!
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?
Yes, I would love to share my greatest comeback…I was a successful Realtor for many years but found myself with no money in the bank, no income and a terrifying $140,000 in debt. My Mom had passed away and my husband had left me for someone younger.
I was 57 years old, devastated, overweight and lost.
Everything I’d worked so hard for and sacrificed so much for, had slipped away.
I felt as if my life had been swamped by a tsunami and everything, I understood about myself, and about my life, had been carried away in a heartbeat. I felt like I was being victimized all over again,
And I knew what it was to be a victim because in my twenties, I had twice been the victim of rape once by a stranger with a gun and once by a boyfriend who beat me up and put me in the hospital.
So, when everything fell apart emotionally for me in my 50’s, I felt again the wave of despair, helplessness and powerlessness that I’d felt all those years before.
It all came rushing back with a power that took my breath away. But I also remembered that feeling like a victim, and living like a victim, hadn’t worked for me in my twenties and it sure as hell wasn’t going to work for me in my fifties.
Let’s face it, at 57, I had less time in front of me, than was behind me. I couldn’t afford to wait until things ‘got better.’ I had to act right then and there before my future ran out on me.
So …I picked myself up off that floor and took a long hard look at myself in the mirror.
It was time to get real …
I had worked hard to be successful, to be valued, loved and appreciated. I’d given my all to improve the lives of the people around me. But I’d been like the proverbial beautiful swan, serene and unruffled on the surface…And paddling madly and desperately underneath.
The harder I tried to make everything perfect … the quicker it slipped through my fingers … until it became that tsunami that swept everything away and I was left with nothing.
But I made a choice, I decided to step off the hamster wheel that I was running on for so long, I acknowledged my mistakes and replaced them with more positive behaviors, which allowed me to release the worry that people would see through the mask. This resulted in me feeling, that I didn’t need to prove myself to anyone! I was discovering ME!
I worked hard to discover me, but it was worth it, as now I can look in the mirror and see myself in all my brilliance, I learned to love me, and all my imperfectness.
I learned to live more in the moment, to give myself grace, and to take time to ground myself daily so that I would be clearer and more focused. Because of these lessons, my business came back 10-fold, and I added confidence coach, NLP, EFT and wrote a #1 bestselling book, to my resume. And am now launching an Affordable Confidence Coaching App, called ConfidentU.
I decided to turn my mess into my message. Best choice I ever made!
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?
The loss of my sister, at a young age, was probably one of the most devastating challenges that I have ever endured in my life. But because of how she showed her love for me, and mentored me, I never wanted someone I loved so much to suffer, my love for her to have peace, was stronger than my own ego to keep her alive. She was sick, suffering and terminal. But what I saw was strength within her, never losing hope till her last breath. So, I knew the best way I could honor her, was to be strong, and continue with her courage to move forward. She wanted me to live life, and not let life live me. The resilience I saw within her, created a belief that I needed to try and do the same. So, through the pain of losing her, I gained the strength and resiliency to go on. Every day I intentionally work on my mindset in order to keep pursuing my dreams.
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.
Everyone will probably have a different opinion, but these are the 5 steps that I do daily to make me more resilient during turbulent times.
- I truly practice gratitude. Not just using the word but feeling the word. Everyday I’d get up and start the day with a gratitude list. I am grateful for the smallest of things, one was “for the money I have today in my account.” That particular day (12 years ago.) I was emotionally grateful for what I had, which wasn’t a lot, $124 dollars to be exact. As I went about my day, I dropped by my friend’s house, as I would from time to time, to see how she was. We talked for an hour or so, and I was about ready to go, and as I started to leave, she grabbed my hand and put an envelope in it, and said “take this, you have been so kind to me over the years, for no reason, but for friendship, and I appreciate it, and I have the means to do this…Take it with love.” I didn’t really understand but opened the envelope and it was a check for $5,000…I told it was too much and I couldn’t accept it, but she insisted. That $5,000 saved me that day, kept a roof over my head. My friend is gone now, but I will be forever grateful. So, remember the “good you do, will come back to you” when you do it with heart and gratitude.
- Ground yourself daily. Step away from your normal routine, get out into nature. I will take a short walk, to change the way I feel. When you can become one with nature it will change your focus, create clarity, and change how you look at things. A lot of times my mind gets clutter with all the writing I do, and I get blocked, Stuck. So, I will stop everything I am doing, and take a walk, instantly things come into focus. My body and mind begin to feel better, and it fuels my soul.
- Learn and understand how to pivot, and shift when obstacles come up, get out of your own way. With life throwing obstacles and challenges at us every day, the importance of changing and being fluid is essential in becoming more resilient. I found that once I was open to change and not resisting it, the easier it was to move forward. It reminds of the time when I use to be so stubborn, that I didn’t want to listen or try anything new, it created such stress, that it caused me a lot of physical headaches. Till one day, one of my coaches said, why don’t you just try and make friends with change…I thought about it, and said, “maybe I should try it” So I intentionally decided to embrace change, and the more I did it, the easier it got. And today, my best friend is change.
- Look at things from a different perspective. My favorite quote is from Wayne Dyer “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” Sometimes we get so caught up in our own thinking, that we can’t get out of our own way. When I started looking at my challenge from different perspectives, I became less judgmental. I intentionally started asking others how they felt, and why, I didn’t criticize, or try and counter their ideas, I just wanted to listen to their thinking. The more I listened the more I understood. So, when problems arise now, I say to myself…how can I look at this from a different perspective, through different lens? When I started to do this…everything became less overwhelming, and I now find it easier to solve problems or situations that arise.
- Be intentional…When you are intentional, you CHOOSE to take action on what’s important to you. When I create a specific intention, it’s prioritizing what I want to do. I am taking control over my life, my feelings, and emotions. I became very intentional when I deridingly chose to change my life with everything seem so bleak, many years ago, when I was broke and broken. But, choosing and being intentional created a feeling of power within me, and it wasn’t until I chose to be intentional about how my life would be moving forward, that change occurred. When you establish intention, resilience shows up.
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. 🙂
I would like to see my mission “Healing hoodies movement” explode, I have always believed that words matter, and hearing or seeing those words just at the right time, could encourage young women. My Healing hoodies have inspirational words on the front, like “I can” and on the back “You can too” if one person see’s that, it could change their lives. I want to take all the net proceeds and put them into motivating young women and give them the proper tools for life. Support them in Building their confidence, and becoming independent, so they can make decisions in life out of choice and not out of need.
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, a coach, author, and motivational speaker. I love her style, she tells it like it is, she is raw, yet I feel her compassion. I believe, she has not had it easy, but she keeps going. I would LOVE to have coffee and or lunch, pick her brain and talk about life!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!