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 turned out, or how difficult things might be, that I had a chance for a new start the next morning. Because of this, I tend to think of New Year’s Day as a reset. A fresh start. Tomorrow will be better because I expect it to be and I will work toward achieving that goal. That is the basis of resilience.
When faced with adversity, do you immediately feel apprehensive or do you start thinking of solutions to problems?
Do you see difficulties as permanent or as temporary setbacks?
Do you waste energy focusing on things that frustrate and upset you or do you concentrate on changing the things that you can control?
The answer to these questions can be the difference between letting things happen to you or practicing resilience and learning to adapt to distressful situations while gaining the wisdom to deal with similar problems in the future.
We all have what it takes to be resilient. We’ve learned it through experience and by example. If you don’t think you’re resilient, it’s more likely that you just don’t recognize it in yourself.
I learned resilience from my parents who when encountering roadblocks went around them or in the case of my mother, literally moved them out of the way. Roadblocks didn’t ever mean stop. They meant to pause and re-access. They meant, find another way.
In my family, we were taught that if you failed at something, you tried again. If something was hard, you found a way to persevere. There was no quitting. These lessons have served me well. I learned to never give up. Especially, on myself.
I think the secret to being resilient is to instinctively know that no matter what obstacles or struggles you may face you will get through it.
What does it mean to be resilient?
Resilience to me is when your life gets turned upside down by circumstances beyond your control and instead of viewing these issues as insurmountable, you choose to view them as problems to be solved. Resilience is coping with the ups and downs in life with the ability to bounce back and maintain a positive attitude.
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.
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?