The Resilient Mindset: A Lesson from Jimmy Buffet

We all have places or things that we use as a sanctuary, whether we are celebrating or retreating inward for reflection time. So, I must let everyone know that I am a “Parrothead” – a true Jimmy Buffet fan. And his music has provided me such a sanctuary for both good and rough times since – well longer than I want to admit. A few years back he wrote, produced, and sang a song by the title of “Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On.” This is my go-to song for those days of self-reflection and strength gathering. The song is that place I can retreat into and be reminded of at least two things.

First, acknowledge that those trials and tribulations, I am generally facing could be so much worse and how grateful I am that they are not. Yet, I know when we are facing those trials and tribulations thinking of them in that manner doesn’t always help. Let’s be honest, those trials and tribulations that captivate our focus are big to us. It’s ok to admit that – that’s being human.

The second reminder is that the only way through those trials and tribulations is just that, “through,” and as long as you are moving you aren’t stuck. Those trials and tribulations need to be recognized, they need to be given the emotions of sorrow, worry, anxiety, frustration, or whatever emotion that fills in the blanks. Once those emotions are acknowledged they can be dealt with and then we can “move on.”

So, I’ve learned this:

  • Breathe in – recognize and acknowledge the situation.
  • Breathe out – determine and do what needs to be done to rectify the situation with the best solution available.
  • And then – move on.

People who have a compacity for resilience have learned to draw upon their own natural behaviors, thoughts, and actions that they have learned and developed. This includes their problem-solving skills, their emotional intelligence, and their sense of control over their behavior. They usually have taken the time and effort to develop a core group of people who may not always agree with their behavior but who will always support them as people.

The song continues by stating “The time is now – the past is dead and gone – don’t try to shake it, just nod your head, breathe in, breathe out, move on.”

The current time is all we have. We can learn from our past, endeavor to remedy those things we can, and do better as we move forward.

For both the good and trying times remember to use your own learned skills and never forget to lean on that core group of individuals that will validate your feelings and will empower you to grow from the trials and tribulations in your life. And above all – “breathe in, breathe out, move on.”

About the Expert

Cheryl Grazier is the Principal of Cheryl Grazier Consulting LLC and has over 20 years of business experience in both the public and private sector as a trusted advisor in the areas of culture change, strategy implementation, program management, team and leadership development. Cheryl has worked in a variety of industries, including communications, government agencies, governmental contracting, and real estate.

She is particularly passionate about developing people skills and leadership capabilities for individuals.

  • Cheryl holds a Master of Science in Instructional Design from Walden University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
  • She also holds several industry certifications including MBTI, DiSC, and FIRO-B.