Resilience as a concept is deeper than possessing pure grit or willpower.
It’s not about grinning and bearing it
In the past, resilience was described as a person’s ability to bounce back after adversity.
Today, it’s even more than that. Yes it’s bouncing back, but it also involves learning and adaptation to land us in a position even better than before.
It involves a forward motion. It’s your level of elasticity to not only bounce back but to stretch and expand.
“The goal of resilience is to thrive.” Jamais Cascio
What are the factors that determine your level of resilience?
It’s multifaceted, but most experts agree that the following are key components of the resilient (from the American Psychological Association):
- The capacity to make realistic plans and take steps to carry them out.
- A positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities.
- Skills in communication and problem solving.
- The capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses.
There’s great news here. These skills can be strengthened.
Resilience isn’t given in a fixed dose at birth. It’s nurtured and grown over a lifetime.
You can increase your resilience with the following:
Have a Tribe
Build healthy relationships with those around you.
Like other character traits in life, helping other people boost their resilience strengthens your own as well, so be willing to accept help and give help to the people around you.
Join a group that’s meaningful to you. Civil, social or religious groups, professional organization, clubs, and teams can all grow your tribe.
Reach out to friends and family. Schedule simple get togethers like lunch or coffee dates, and walks. Send texts or emails just to say hi and ask how the other person is doing.
Don’t look at any crisis as an insurmountable problem.
Everything is temporary.
Even if you’re coping with a time of stress now, recognize the ways the future will be different.
Focus on even the tiniest ways you’re already feeling or coping better.
Change is going to happen, so stop fighting it.
Accept that change is part of being alive. Life can’t exist without change.
Recognize that chapters in life close. Sometimes we expect them to close and sometimes we don’t.
You can have fondness for the closed chapter, but life doesn’t exist there anymore. Put your focus on the new chapters that are before you.
Have exciting things to move toward.
Set realistic goals and make small steps each day toward them.
Don’t get caught in the weeds of the big tasks. Ask yourself, “What’s one thing I can do today that gets me one step closer to my goal?”
“What’s one thing I can do today that gets me one step closer to my goal?”
Step up and take action.
Your problems aren’t going to go away on their own. It’s even possible you’re holding onto your problems, and they’d love for you to let them go.
So instead of burying your head in the sand, take decisive action. Act on adverse situations the best you can.
Take advantage of a learning opportunity.
This is a time you can learn something about yourself. No doubt this is an opportunity for personal and character growth.
The lessons learned will spill over into healthier relationships, a better sense of self, feelings of strength, increased spirituality, and a heightened appreciation for life.
Believe in Yourself.
Trust in your ability to figure this out and get through it.
You do have what it takes. The answers are inside of you. If the exact answer isn’t inside of you, your inner wisdom will know where to turn for help.
Keep things in perspective.
As painful or stressful a situation is at the moment, how much is it going to matter a week from now? A year from now? Ten years from now?
Events aren’t inherently good or bad, they just are. It’s our interpretations and reactions that make them feel good or bad.
A molehill doesn’t have to feel like a mountain.
Visualize what you want rather than worrying about what you don’t want.
Worry doesn’t make it any less likely that something bad will happen. Worry isn’t a protective idol that’ll keep you or your loved ones safe.
Be hopeful and positive about outcomes and the future. Expect something good will happen.
Take better care of yourself.
So often we put our own needs at the bottom of the list.
You know what to do, so just start doing it.
Feed your body good food, get some fresh air and sunshine, move your body to keep it fit and strong, enjoy quiet time, meditate and pray.
Resilience is too important to ignore.
Resilience helps us develop skills that protect us during experiences which could be overwhelming.
It helps us maintain balance in our lives during difficult or stressful periods.
Resilience even protects us from the development of burnout, anxiety, and depression.
You have what it takes, I believe in you.
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