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Five lessons of resilience I have recently learnt from Wile. E. Coyote. Blog from Hey Mama Movements founder Daz.

“You have hit a wall. You have hit a wall”

The sound of an automated voice talking to Lightning McQueen on my TV (that I have heard 100 times before) sounded like it was talking directly to me today!

Indeed.

A wall.

A brick wall.

A brick wall that now has an imprint of my face in it.

Not unlike Wile. E. Coyote in 80’s cartoons when he’d chase Road Runner.

And crash.

And then chase him again.

And again.

 

Big difference here. 

I would have a good belly laugh at Old Wile. E. Coyote’s expense.

He’d hit a wall!

And he hit it bloody hard!

You can see him on the other side!

Road Runner got away!

Classic! 

Not today Wile. E!

Give up Wile. E!

Absolutely laugh-out-loud worthy!

 

But, shit!

I’ve hit the wall!

And, it is not so funny when it is me that has hit the wall! 

And to be honest, it is not very easy right now to see anything but the wall.

It’s huge.

Tall.

Wide.

Hard.

Rough.

Cold. 

 

Whereas Wile. E. Coyote. 

Would see the wall.

Run at the wall.

Hit the wall. 

Peel himself off or pick himself up.

Dust himself off and go again.

Never deterred from his goal.

That S.O.B was resilient! 

 

So, it turns out, Old Wile. E. Coyote was a resilient wee bugger who we could have all learnt something from back in the day! 

Maybe we did?

Maybe we just didn’t realise it!

We all thought he was crazy and running a race he could never win… right?!

And hurting himself over and over in the process... right?!

 

Now, in my ‘maturity’ I realise we do this to ourselves all the time.

As Mums.

As entrepreneurs.

As staff.

As wives. 

As partners.

As daughters.

As friends.

As humans.

 

We hit the wall, for an infinite number of reasons:

We don’t get enough sleep.

We don’t eat well.

We are not very kind to ourselves.

We live extremely ‘busy’ (I don’t like that word) lives.

We tell ourselves mean things like “I can’t” or “I suck at this”.

We don’t move enough.

We worry. So much. All the time.

We put everything and everyone ahead of our needs... 

And, we hit the proverbial wall.  

 

So, here are five lessons I have recently and unintentionally learnt from the legendary Wile. E. Coyote about resilience:

 

1. Build capacity to bounce back quickly

He was worn out some days!

Tattered and torn is how I remember him hobbling away at the end of some episodes!

Then boom, when you thought he was down and out, he had devised his next plan and 100% backed himself to try again!

He literally had to put himself back together from some unthinkable situations.

And quickly keep going!

How to achieve this as a human?

Be prepared for challenges. 

Those challenges are going to vary from massive, currently inconceivable challenges, to minor things that feel major at the time because your cup is empty and your energy is low. 

Notice when your energy is low, notice how you react to things when you energy is low and find ways to fill your cup, to encourage yourself with positive self talk and to connect with someone so you build your capacity to bounce back quickly and keep going.   

 

2. Communicate kindly to yourself and reflect objectively 

His self chat must have been kind!

His learner plate must have been firmly in his sight.

Most of us would be tearing ourselves apart for hitting a wall and not achieving what we set out to do!

We would feel embarrassed and burrow into a hole that makes it 10 times worse.

We would give up.

But, to my knowledge. He didn’t. 

How to achieve this as a human?

As the very talented and amazing Tara Lorigan said to me, you should approach everything as a research project, “you don’t know what you don’t know”! 

So, if you approach these brick walls that way, as an experiment, all of a sudden you can accept that things probably won’t go as planned straight away.

You can reflect on what you have tried.

You can test different methods 

You can remain kind to yourself throughout the process.

And, the outcome will be awesome because you dug deep and kept trying! 

 

3. Have strong connections to an epic support crew

Coyotes hunt alone. 

But live with their coyote family. 

I wonder how many kids Wile. E. Coyote had at home to feed?

I wonder if his wife was pregnant and demanding that her craving for BBQ Road Runner be fulfilled?! (we’ve all been there right? Partners doing late night runs to the supermarket for icecream and pickles?!  One of mine was toasted seedless hot cross buns… they had to be crunchy!)

I wonder how disappointed he would have been each day to turn up home empty handed?

Again?

Undoubtedly, they must have loved him and encouraged him to keep trying! 

How to achieve this as a human?

This one is EASY! 

You know your people! 

You know the crew who have your back!

You know who you get excited to spend time with!

They are your “coyote” family.

They will back you to the ends of the earth, simply because you are you and they love you.

Immerse yourself in that community.  

Resilience takes a village sometimes.

Know that they are there for you, always.  

Let them be there for you.

 

4. Have panadol, a cup of hot chocolate and a cuddle close at hand

Wile. E. must have had a cabinet with an abundance of pain relief, his favourite beverage on standby to calm his nerves and a cuddle from someone he loved to set him up ready to roll again. 

Not to mention ice packs, plasters and his doctor on speed dial!

How to achieve this as a human?

Understand that each of us need different things to help our resilience shine. 

Some days that shine is dull.

But if you know what helps you push on.

Lift.

Drive forward.

Then you have something to lean on to help!

If you feel overwhelmed and the wall is all consuming.

Know BEFORE you hit it, what you’ll need.

Is it knowing who you can talk to about it?

Is it taking some breaths?

Is it going to get a coffee and take a mental break for 5 minutes?

Is it looking at photos of someone you love?

Is it swearing? (no judgement here crew, I promise!)  

Know the tools you have to draw on and keep moving! 

 

5. Focus on your purpose

The guy knew his purpose.

He had laser sharp focus to achieve his purpose.

And he was passionate! 

You’d have to be right? 

Wile. E. welcomed each challenge and was prepared to go as deep as he needed to.

He wanted to overcome the Road Runners speed to catch him and he tried all kinds of inventive ways to achieve it!  

His connection to his purpose and to the problem he needed to solve overwhelmingly compelled him to give every bit of energy he had to get up and try again. 

How to achieve this as a human?

Know your what! (common misconception is that you should know your why!)

What is your purpose?

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

What motivates you?

What do you need to have in your tool box to drive you closer to your purpose?

What do you need to do to get those tools in your tool box?

 

So, Mister Wile. E. Coyote, you undercover teacher! 

Thank you.

Of all the 80’s cartoon characters I once admired, I didn’t see these lessons coming from you. 

I thought you were just there to make me smile. 

Turns out, you were there to show what true resilience looks like.

 

Sometimes we don’t get to where we set out to go. 

Wile. E. didn’t. 

I don’t think he ever caught Road Runner! (please correct me if I am mistaken)

But, as it has been said many times before, the destination we plan isn’t always where we are supposed to end up.   

 

So, “you have hit a wall!” 

Keep hustling forward. 

Refuse to accept that the brick wall is the end of your experiment. 

“You have hit a wall”

Build your capacity to bounce back.

Talk kindly to yourself.

“You have hit a wall”

Connect to your village.  

Have your toolbox full. 

Focus on your purpose. 

‘You have scaled the wall!’ 

Onto the next challenge lady. 

 

Meep Meep.

Resilience