Resilience is one of the latest buzzwords that various self-improvement gurus and life coaches praise as the solution for all your life problems or at least most of them. Taking a quick look at the state of the modern world can give us plenty of reasons to believe resilience is more than desirable – it is necessary. In an environment that is as competitive and dynamic as our own is, resilience is the only thing that separates those who fail from those who stay afloat and push forward.
So, what is resilience? The definition you might find in a dictionary is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. While this about sums it up, the resilience that we need is so much more. Being resilient doesn’t mean surviving a disaster and going back to the status quo. Resilience is surviving and thriving in spite of all odds. If you think about it, resilience is the real-life version of a superhero’s ability.
Resilience can be useful to just about anyone. If you want yourself pushing towards your goals but still being stuck or being simply unable to move anywhere in life, you probably need to “toughen up” a bit. So, how can we develop this almost superhuman ability in ourselves and rise above the challenges of daily existence? Read on to find out.
Where to start?
Most developmental psychologists agree that resilience is easiest to develop early in childhood by forming trustworthy bonds with our caretakers. Knowing that everything will be okay no matter what happens seems to be one of the key attitudes that helps children become more resilient.
However, even if you didn’t develop this mindset in the early stages of your life, all is not lost, as some new studies suggest that resilience can be built in as little as three months. The first thing that you will need, of course, is a positive attitude and the belief that you can get stronger. If you don’t think you can do it, don’t even bother trying.
Resilience training begins by taking a long, hard look at yourself and trying to determine what your weaknesses are. You need to ask yourself why you lack the energy and the strength to achieve your goals.
We have already stated that resilience is surviving and thriving in spite of all odds. While this sounds awesome, it is not something that magically happens because you want it to be so. Being resilient means being aware of your strengths and weakness, knowing when to push forward, and when to fall back.
Self-awareness is something most people take for granted and think that by simply being alive they are, of course, aware of themselves. This is true to some extent, but it’s not the type of self-awareness we are talking about here. Knowing exactly how you feel, what your beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses are is all part of self-awareness, but there is more.
Being aware of oneself includes understanding the aforementioned characteristics. This means knowing not only how, but also why we react to the world around us the way we do. With this knowledge under your belt, you can begin developing resilience.
Balance and control
Being resilient is not just about pushing until you collapse and then getting back up to do the same. The thin line between resilience and self-destructive madness is being aware and staying balanced. Pay attention to your energy levels throughout the day, notice what drains you and what motivates you and organize your day as much as you can, so that it fits your needs as a person.
Resilience is in a direct relationship with our sense of control. People who have no sense of control over their lives, and who have no idea where they are going are likely to be far less resilient than others.
You can start small. For example, you can start a new diet which fits your body’s energy requirements better. Controlling small everyday facets of our lives can give us a good sense of where we are really heading to instead of just thinking that we are naturally on an ideal path to our success.
To sum up, resilience is not just about leaving your comfort zone. It is knowing how far, how much, and when it can stretch. Disciplining ourselves and trying to know ourselves better can go a long way in helping us stay strong when push comes to shove.