Re·sil·ience: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Toughness, a.k.a. a “thick skin”.
Resilience is that “thick skin” developed over the years, built layer by layer, experience by experience. Calluses on your hands build in time as the stresses of the world impart its force upon your once soft and supple skin. The hardening and thickening of your dermis are important protection for your hands. It provides resilience to the elements you are exposed to. Calluses are not destructive – they are designed to protect your body and reduce sensations, to enhance performance. They grow to allow you to continue to work at whatever it is you are doing. The resilience is adaptive, not limiting.
Our oldest daughter, Madison, has trained and won fights as a Muay Thai fighter. Her hands developed calluses as she has got stronger. What always amazed me when I held her hands, was just how soft and gentle they were as well. She is strong and protected, but her hands and personality are soft and inviting. People might tell you resilience hardens you. They are wrong. The true meaning of resilience is accepting the world and forces that affect us with the adapted protection of experience to shield ourselves from harm – not hide from it.
Stress is an important component of personal development. For some people, they simply have not been exposed to enough of it. They wither or become injured (personally or physically) under duress. They crumble or hide when pushed. Their dreams are constantly halted or never attempted because of the perceived imminent threats they face. Without stress they don’t build resilience.
Successful entrepreneurs and business owners constantly build resilience. We are sometimes told we won’t succeed. People look will look at you as you describe your goals and ambitions and they might sneer or fold their arms in judgment. They’ll poke holes in your plans; they’ll say you don’t know what you’re doing. These will be people close to you. They will whisper in your ear that maybe you shouldn’t do what you’re doing. “Why would you do that?”, “Isn’t that risky?” “Do you really know what you’re doing?” They’ll say almost anything to draw to your attention that maybe you shouldn’t be taking on a risk that you view as an opportunity.
When you have a clear vision of your own future, a lot of people won’t really understand you. Most people aren’t hard-wired for entrepreneurship. They don’t understand what it means to look at an opportunity and see the blue sky versus all the red flags. In order to exist in a world where you are exceptional and viewed as different, you must build resilience.
You will find as you become more successful, more popular, and your products or services are seen, purchased and exposed to more people, that people you have never met will manufacture and share their own opinions about you that aren’t accurate. How you deal with this – the strategies you put in place and the calluses you build – determines whether those voices become prophecy, fuel, or simply noise.
The internet and social media platforms are where everyone has an opinion to share. These are massive online aggregators for people to share opinions and comments. Not all of them will be kind or supportive. Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one, and some people choose to be one – an asshole, I mean.
In order to drive forward and succeed with your vision for your best life, you must become resilient. Resilience requires intestinal fortitude beyond the basic strength that it takes to wake up every day and plow a new field or set a new course as we do as entrepreneurs and business owners. Choose to be resilient in the face of not only adversity, which gets our competitive blood flowing, but plain old negative feedback. Someone else’s notion of what they think our lives or our business should be or what our opportunities are should not define us. Don’t allow them to dictate your successes or dictate your commitment.