What does resilience mean?
Has life ever brought you to a point where you felt that you’re at rock bottom? Which hardship experience did you go through? Failed your exams and didn’t make it to college? Broke up with the person whom you thought was the love of your life? Got fired or retrenched? Almost everyone has been there. It’s a place where you feel like a total failure and that you can’t live through that phase in your life.
From Christian Moore’s book, ‘The Resilience Breakthrough:27 tools for turning adversity into action’, resilience is the ability to bounce back when you have every reason to shut down-but you fight on! Resilient people have both tapped and untapped reserves, enabling them to overcome and thrive as they face the setbacks, challenges, and fears of daily life.
“expect sadness like you expect rain. both, cleanse you.”-Nayyirah Waheed
Resilience is often referred to as grit. Other names that can refer to the same is strength, durability, toughness, adaptability and hardiness. Norman Garmezy is a developmental psychologist and clinician credited for being the first to study the concept of Resilience.
How people learn to be resilient
Resilience is one of the most important aspects of life. A lack of resilience in people stems from not cultivating a worthy mindset. You are more likely not to bounce back when you encounter a hardship if you haven’t taken time to work on your self-worth. If you value yourself and do not tie your self-worth to external factors, you will live through the greatest adversities. The good news is that resilience can be taught and can be learnt. The following tips will give you tips on how people learn to be resilient.
Do you view the hardships that you go through as dead-ends or as opportunities to learn from and grow? This is the biggest difference between people are resilient and people who are not. Train your mind to see tough situations as part of life and as learning experiences as opposed to traumatic ends. At the end of the day, life will always serve you with good and bad days. It’s for you to decide how you perceive it.
Reframe negative situations to be positive
How we think about situations can make us more or less vulnerable to the traumatic events. People can learn to be resilient by reframing the negative traumatic experience into a positive one. Take an example of failing an exam. Instead of beating yourself down when this happens, ask yourself what you can learn from it. How best do you learn? Why did you fail? How can you improve your study methods? Can you learn how to learn better? This mindset enables you to move on faster as opposed to staying in one situation and stressing about it.
“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.” – Gever Tulley
Change how you explain traumatic situations
When something goes wrong in your life, take for example you get rejected for a job, how you speak to yourself about it will determine if you’re learning to be resilient. Tell yourself that that rejection is ‘just a small thing’ as opposed to an ‘indication of how bad your life is.’ People learn how to be resilient by changing how they talk about traumatic narratives.
Learning to view situations as temporary
Psychologically resilient people learn to view situations as temporary rather than permanent. You’re having a bad day, not a bad life! This leads to less stress as you’re always looking forward to a better day.
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” Margaret Thatcher
They view themselves as powerful
Resilient people know they have the power to change their situations. When faced with adversity, they often ask themselves ‘What can I do to change it?’ Most of the time, there’s always something you can do to change your life. You control it. Ask yourself what you can do, instead of getting stuck. Better still, ask the wisest people you know to help you with ideas to change your situation.
Be kind to yourself
Life is unpredictable. It will serve you with both sorrow and joy. If you beat yourself down every time life serves you with sorrow, you are in for a bitter ride! You don’t want that, do you? I guess not. Don’t tie your value and self-worth to external situations. If you face an adversity, don’t assume that is who you are. Don’t use that to measure your worth. It is a separate occurrence. Whether you’re happy or sad, be kind to yourself. It will give you the courage to make wise decisions during tough times. The joy and sorrow will disappear. You will be left with you. Love yourself.
Often, as we have already established, life will be difficult. Compassion for yourself and often reminding yourself that you will overcome the difficult times will teach you to be more resilient. Allow yourself to face the adversities and even rock bottom because when you do, the only way you can go from there is up! We all know an extremely resilient person that we would love to emulate. Which of the above six qualities does the resilient person you know possess? What’s better, go ahead and make them part of your daily living. And as always, see you at the top of the happiness and success ladder!