The former Waterloo Detention Centre in Ontario, Canada, where Beyond ADHD Author Jeff Emmerson found himself in 1999.

Personal Resilience Became My Superpower

It came at a price, but once it started to take hold within me, I saw this world in a whole new way. No longer did I feel like I was living like a mouse on an endless treadmill – I felt resilient. I felt a sense of fierce inner purpose and the fire of determination in my bones as a result of adversity.

Yes – adversity.

The hardest times turned out to teach me the most powerful lessons for good, even though they embarrassed me, tore me apart at times and made me feel ashamed of myself (that took years of therapy to work through) as a result of letting my family down and having a criminal record. Even though part of me was dying inside as a result, a new superpower was slowly but surely emerging: Fierce resolve and personal resilience.

Balancing Self-Care With Personal Resilience is Crucial in The Long-Term

Self-care is just as important as resilience, so if you haven’t heard that term before, get familiar with it. I first heard the term self-care used while committed to the psych ward of my local hospital in January 2013. A light went off in my brain, resulting in a new world of learning around being gentle on self, dealing with deeply-entrenched shame, guilt and self-loathing over my past, over all the mistakes I’d made and the countless things I said I was going to achieve but never followed through on.

The point here is that you can be the most determined human being on this planet, but without some balance and self-care (such as relaxation, healthy self-psychology and a healthy daily routine including good nutrition and regular exercise/creative outlets), you run the risk of burning out and crashing in anxiety and depression.

Believe me – I’ve been there.

Always Learning, Letting Go and Moving Forward

I learned that letting go of a dream (when it only holds you back from moving forward in life and your true potential) is just as important as sticking with a goal sometimes. You see, I was clinging to a goal I’d had for over a decade, one that was (ironically) suffocating my current potential for so much more. I was on a mission to prove myself, but the mission quickly consumed me, where I was no longer living in the moment – I was wishing my life away to get to the day when the dream would finally be achieved.

I’m not you – you aren’t me, but please take what I say here and learn from it for your own life. In wishing so many years of my life away, obsessed with a single goal that was preventing me from being happy and fulfilled (as well as grateful) in the present moment, I was robbing myself of so many powerful moments with loved ones, friends and with myself.

Keep learning as you go, listening to your internal voice, but stay objective as well, which can be very hard to do, but it can literally bring you success when letting go of something you’ve been clinging to for a long time for the wrong reasons. Sometimes, therapy and a long, hard, honest (and growth-minded) look at yourself is what’s needed to break through patterns of self-sabotage and mistakes, opening new doors to success in new areas, on new levels.

It might sound scary, but take a chance. It changed my life completely. I still need to pinch myself at times.

Yours in courage, resilience and fierce (but balanced) purpose,