Build Resilience And Conquer Life’s Adversities
But, life is unpredictable and if we want to survive its adversities we must be resilient enough and shift gears so we can go on with the flow. As the saying goes “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”.
So, here I am today, trying to be “tough and get going”. And grasping the opportunity to talk about how to build resilience which is a crucial soft skill one must have to conquer life’s hardships.
So, let’s dive deeper into resilience, its importance, and how to know if you are resilient enough. And if not, what to do to cultivate it.
What is resilience in the first place?
Resilience, however, is not about feeling well all the time and not experiencing pain, stress, or disappointment. On the contrary. Resilience is about having the capacity to work through unpleasant feelings and suffering and find ways to overcome difficulties.
Build Resilience: -Why resilience is an important “asset" to have?
Just imagine for a minute how your life and your emotional state would be if you are running low on resilience. In my case, it would probably mean falling into a depression spiral. That is of course if I was to get stuck in the disappointment and frustration that my urgent health issue treatment caused in my life:
The disturbance of my work schedule and all the rearrangements I had to make, the financial losses, the pain of a much-waited dream come true that was canceled, plus the time for recovery that steals from me precious time for other activities.
But, that would only have made things worse. And this is where the need to build resilience comes into the scene.
So, I decided to resort to my innate resilient resources and find the strength to accept the diagnosis and the consequences, shift gears, and not let it bring me down my spirit. I decided to make the most of this “out of commission” period although differently.
I read again my favorite book of all time, written by my favorite author of all time who is Greek of course; “The Life and Times of Alexis Zorba” by Nikos Kazantzakis.
Studying again the character of “Zorba the Greek”, a man characterized by his zest for life and his utmost ability to adapt to what life brings to him lit up a little spark in me and gave me the strength to change my perspective.
And I think that everyone could use some of Zorba’s capacity to keep a high spirit no matter what and adopt his philosophical attitude towards life while getting through the joys and sorrows of life, the ups and downs of it.
To make a long story short, resilience is a crucial asset to have on your toolbox if you want to navigate life successfully.
Especially in our times where crisis is becoming an everyday phenomenon while our aversion to pain and suffering seems to be growing. Building resilience will not help you feel good all time. It will help you cope better with feeling bad when you do.
Are you resilient enough? How to know?
So, how to know if you are resilient enough? Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if you need to build resilience.
- Do you succumb to anxiety and stress when things don’t go as you planned?
- Do you get overwhelmed and retreat to unhealthy coping mechanisms like avoidance, addictions, or isolation?
- Do you tend to have a plan B thought out before attempting a new endeavor?
- Do you save up for a rainy day?
- Have you built a secure network of connections around you to seek support when in need?
- And in the end, are you confident in yourself that you can face adversities even if they may slow down your life at times or hurt you in any way?
Resilient people tend to have the mental, psychological, and behavioral capacity to accept hardship and trauma and use their internal and external resources to adapt to life’s course successfully.
How to build resilience: If you think that you could use some resilience, keep in mind that is a skill. And like all skills, you can attain them through work and will. Here, are 3 effective ways to help you build up your resilience muscle.
3 Effective ways to build resilience, so to bend but not break
Here comes the most important part. If you want to build resilience you start with these 3 practical ways.
1. Focus on the things you can control
There is no use crying over spilled milk. So, when adversity shows up at your doorstep welcome it and concentrate on the things you can control. This includes your thoughts and the way you will handle the situation. Surely, you will need some time to let yourself mourn or feel upset and come to terms with the vulnerability we all have against life. This is something you cannot avoid.
What you can avoid, however, and what is in your control is how you interpret and react to what is happening to you. Because you can not escape pain, but you can escape suffering. Or at least alleviate it. And here is where you must focus on the things you can control (your thoughts, your behavior, your decisions, your actions). So, take action in what is within your control.
2. Seek support
No one has to go through it alone. So, when you find yourself in a difficult situation, don’t let pride or shame deprive you of the support you can have from your friends, your family, or even a professional. When we experience upheaval we may freeze or not be able to think clearly. A piece of advice from a friend, a helping hand, or the company of someone close to you to just vent can offer you great relief.
Just be careful though to select your support network carefully. You want people who can truly support you, not judge or criticize you. Who can offer you an objective opinion about your situation? Then you can find your inner strength to continue. Because deep down we all have what we need. We just don’t notice them.
3. Express gratitude
Which brings us to the next subject. Gratitude. Although it may be difficult to feel grateful for the adversities you meet along the way you can always try to look for the silver lining in every hardship. And if you find that difficult in the beginning – discovering the lesson behind the challenge indeed takes time and contemplation – you can start feeling grateful for all the things that are going well in your life.
From your strong points and prior successes to your possessions, the strong bonds you have, or even your loyal pet. If you take some time you will discover you have plenty. And you will realize that you are not the first person on earth who is struggling. Gratitude along with humility will give you the strength to rise and bounce back much earlier than you thought.
Build Resilience: In need of a resilience buddy?
If you need extra support, worry not. I have your back. Being well seasoned in dealing with life’s downturns on one hand and having a professional background and long experience in offering help to people in need through my work, I am sure we can together shift gears and bring you back on track.
I am only a 30-minute discovery call away. Free of charge or any other obligation from you. In our first yet in-depth session we can examine the situation that has derailed your life and seek ways to boost your confidence in turning the tables around and build your resilience.
Surely you can do it because you already have what you need. You just can’t see it yet. And this is what I will offer to you along with some useful tips and tricks to bounce back.
So, you will only bend. And not break.
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