How Setting a Mantra for My Week Changed the Way I Viewed Adversity

A couple weeks ago, my friend challenged me to set a mantra to define my week. The purpose of a personal mantra is to be a saying that I could repeat to myself whenever I feel like I need motivation or encouragement. So, I decided that my mantra for the week would be “Go with the flow”. I often find myself easily rattled when my plans suddenly change or an event in my week does not go the way I expected it to, so I thought my mantra would help me to work on my ability to be more flexible and adaptable.

By my luck, just a couple of hours after I had set my mantra, my computer broke. I began to feel myself becoming derailed as I thought of the stress of the time and money that I felt like I was about to lose. I had to reel in my emotions. “Okay, Shanise. Go with the flow.”

I used my mantra as a grounding technique to help bring myself back to reality when I could feel myself spiraling into a ball of stress. It was easy to think about all the things that I absolutely needed my computer for that were now out of my control: upcoming exams, homework deadlines, and zoom calls. My mantra reminded me that I needed to take one day at a time—sometimes even one hour at a time—and worry about what I could do in the moment to improve my situation. So, I began to set a new plan for myself that would incorporate the extra time I needed to work on getting my computer fixed. Throughout my week, my mantra became the turning point for me whenever something new would not go as planned. It prompted me to make a new plan and reorganize my thoughts to cater to my new challenge.

So, I challenge all of you to try this out for a week and see how it changes your perspective. You can cater your mantra to what is relevant to your life at the moment. It can be centered around a challenge or an affirmation. You simply repeat the mantra when relevant or you can write it down and post in a place you know you will look at least once a day. At the end of the week, reflect on how think your mantra helped you grow or develop a new skill.

Ultimately, remember that overcoming adversity is a journey. Taking the steps to do what you can now to build your resilience will only make you stronger and more confident in the future.