We learn how to be resilient through experience and also by example. By acknowledging personal strengths and relying on the innate ability to adapt you empower yourself to thrive.
What is resilience?
Resilience is having the mental capability to bounce back from adversity and challenging circumstances. Resilient people are able to view difficult things as problems to be solved rather than insurmountable obstacles.
How we learn resilience through example
My father was fond of the saying, ‘tomorrow is another day.’ I heard it consistently throughout my life. It taught me that no matter how bad a day was going, or how difficult things might be, that I had a chance for a new start the next morning. I learned to view each morning as a fresh start. A virtual reset. Things would be better ‘after I slept on it,’ because I expected them to be and I’d start the day working toward achieving that goal. That is the basis of resilience.
Learning resilience through experience
In my family, we were taught that if you failed at something, you tried again. If something was hard, you found another way to carry on. If you committed to something, you finished it. There was no quitting. Roadblocks didn’t ever mean stop. They meant to pause and re-access. They meant, find another way. These lessons have served me well and the experiences I had taught me that there are always ways to persevere. You just have to find them.
We all have what it takes to be resilient. If you don’t think you’re resilient, it’s more likely that you just don’t recognize it in yourself.
Are you resilient?
- When faced with adversity, do you immediately feel apprehensive or do you start thinking of solutions to problems?
- Do you see adversity as permanent or temporary setbacks?
- Do you waste energy focusing on things that frustrate and upset you?
- Have you learned to adapt to difficult situations while gaining the wisdom to deal with similar problems in the future?
The answer to these questions is the difference between letting things happen to you or having the ability to take action to change the things you can control.
How to be resilient
Acknowledge your strengths and let them empower you to become more adaptable and flexible in your ability to overcome difficult situations. Try to see adversity with new eyes. Think in terms of what you can do and what you have done to overcome struggles in the past. If you’ve done it before you can do it again.
The secret to being resilient is to instinctively know that no matter what obstacles or struggles you may face you will get through them and you will not give up on yourself.
Action steps to build resilience:
- Do the best you can with what you have.
- Be flexible and adaptable.
- Adjust expectations.
- Be realistic with goals so that you don’t undermine yourself.
- View problems as temporary setbacks.
- Acknowledge your feelings but find a way to move past them in a constructive manner.
- Face challenges calmly and rationally with optimism.
- Evaluate situations, review options and commit to resolving issues.
- Create a plan. Being prepared helps you feel in control and keeps you productive.
- Reframe a negative situation with a positive outcome.
- View failure as an opportunity to learn.
- Accept your struggles but don’t let them define you.
- Envision what you want your future to look like and take the necessary steps to make it happen.
- Never give up on yourself.
- Embrace change.
- Expect a good outcome.
WHAT DOES RESILIENCE MEAN TO YOU?
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