You are using an outdated browser.
For a better experience, please upgrade your browser here.

Fighting Permanence

2 minutes, 20 seconds

One way we build resilience is by fighting permanence, which is the belief that our grief or pain will last forever. Taking steps to remind ourselves that even the most painful feelings won’t always be so intense can help us find the strength to heal.

SHERYL: I learned that one of the ways you build resilience is, you fight permanence. You have to believe that it won't be this bad forever. But you wake up every morning with that startled, oh my God, he's still gone. I'm still living this nightmare. It doesn't feel like it will ever lift, ever.

Option B Fighting Permanence with Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant Authors of Option B

ADAM: When people face adversity, it's incredibly common for them to walk away thinking, I am depressed. I am anxious. This just feels unbearable. And it's going to feel like that forever. If you look at the evidence on this, most of those predictions turn out to be false. It's called affective forecasting.

Affective forecasting is a prediction of how we will feel in the future

ADAM: Affective forecasting is about your ability to predict your emotional future. There are psychologists like Dan Gilbert, who have studied this. And what the data show is that people overestimate how bad it's going to be and, and how long the misery will last.

Many of us overestimate how long the grief or pain will last

ADAM: Sheryl wrote, “I will never feel real joy again.” And I called her and I said, Sheryl, that's not true. And whether you believe me or not, if you think you will never feel real joy again, you're not going to do anything that brings you joy. And that's going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. And so part of moving past permanence is changing all those times where you use always and never, into sometimes and lately.

Replace words like always and never with sometimes and lately

SHERYL: Replacing words like always with sometimes made a really big difference. I want anything going through hardship, I want anyone going through trauma to know, it will not always feel this bad. Every story doesn't have a happy ending. It doesn't always work out, but there is light and there is happiness and there is joy. And you deserve it. No matter what happened to you, no matter what you've been through, there will be another moment you will laugh, and knowing that help builds your strength to get there.

More Option B videos