Resilience: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

You’ve probably been knocked down by life at some point or another.  You’ve probably faced some adversity or hardship, and maybe you even felt like it would take you down permanently with no recovery. But did you rise up from it to where you came back even stronger than before?

 

That is resilience.

 

Resilience is the ability to rise up from the toughest struggle even it feels like you have hit rock bottom. But why is it that some people have this ineffable quality, while others can’t seem to recover or fight their way up from the depths of that dark well?

 

Studies have revealed the factors that are characteristic of resilient people. Outlook is key.  Resilience requires a positive and optimistic attitude, a healthy view of failure as a learning opportunity, and the ability to understand and control emotions. This positive outlook is vital for your resilience. It is the fuel that allows you to propel upwards, to change your course, and to powerfully carry on.

 

Besides having a healthy and optimistic mindset, other factors also contribute to resilience. One of the fundamental factors is being surrounded by a supportive network of family and friends. Being resilient is more likely when you have loving, caring relationships that help with encouragement and support.

 

What are the other factors that contribute to your resilience?

 

1.       Having a positive and confident view of yourself. Feeling secure in your skills, your strengths, and your ability to handle tough situations.

2.       Being well-versed in communicating and in solving problems.

3.       An “I will not give up” attitude is key to your resilience.

4.       The ability to make decisions, create a well-thought out plan, and the resolve to follow through with it.

5.       The ability to step back from a situation (a tragedy, hardship, setback, or crisis) and see the bigger picture. Rather than responding with blinders on, you need to have a clear perspective of the problem.

 

 

So, let’s say you have read the list of factors and you are worried you may not have all of these. What then?

 

Well, the great news is that all of these are abilities that you can develop and nurture in yourself.  It’s not like you have to be born with these traits; you can start now to build your resilience.

 

10 Techniques for building your resilience:

 

1.       Create your own support network.  Making these connections means you need to be proactive in seeking out others to included in your inner circle. Being a hermit or recluse is not an option. Develop close ties with family members and friends. Creating strong connections to people takes time, trust, empathy, and an open heart.  

2.       Develop a tolerance for the discomfort of facing new and difficult situations.  Rather than reacting to hardships  with hopelessness, you need to learn the skill of seeing problems as fixable and surmountable. You may not be able to control what life throws at you, but you can certainly control your response to it.

3.       Develop the skill of making decisions.  Some people struggle deeply with this.  For them, making a decision is so stressful, and they worry they will make a bad decision—so they make no decision.  Being decisive and then following through on your decisions is key.  In order to become more decisive, practice making decisions every day. Start with some small ones and then move on to bigger decisions that make an impact on your life.

4.       Do not try to control everything. Learn the skill of flexibility and malleability.  What I mean is, go with the flow. Do not resist life’s twists and turns; many circumstance you face are not within your control, so understanding that allows you to accept change in a healthier and more resilient way. I think the saying is, “two things in life are certain: taxes and change.” Accepting that change is a normal part of the human experience builds resilience.

5.       Do not sit back and do nothing. By ignoring problems or turning a blind eye to adversity that you may face just makes it all worse. Many people sit back, look the other way, and hope the problems will just disappear. Trust me, typically they won’t.

6.       Look for the lesson. When you face adversity or hardship, it can be wrapped up in a wonderful opportunity to learn more about yourself. Resilience can develop new strengths in you that can enhance your life in the long run.

7.       Strengthen your self-esteem.  If your view of yourself is negative, work on seeing your strengths. Pinpoint what you need to work on in order to gain confidence and uplift your self worth.

8.       Build up your intuition and the ability to hear that inner voice. Trust your instincts and the wisdom of your soul.

9.       Build a positive and appreciative outlook.  Try to stop the tendency to complain, and instead see the cup as half full rather than half empty. Write down the things you are grateful for, and each day note one thing that was wonderful about your day.

10.   Latch onto hope.  Remind yourself often that all circumstance can change. If you are facing adversity, know that you CAN guide your way out of it. It does not need to be permanent. There is always hope, even in the darkest tunnels.

 

Bouncing back from any setback is always possible. Overcoming adversity is always possible.

 

Resilience results in recovery.

 

Stay inspired,

Karen