29 - Resilience
Resilience is the ability to recover from adversity. You can adapt to unfavorable or even negative conditions and find meaning in all you do. Build on your experiences and learn from the challenges that caused the adversity or that you experienced through it. You may discover innovative ideas or unique approaches previously unknown to you. Seek out support from trusted sources and build strong relationships. Take advantage of the opportunity to develop strong bonds with others and learn from their insight. How do you currently "recover" from adversity - physically, mentally, and spiritually? Do you follow a routine or pattern to unwind and regroup? How about time to review or replay the events that just occurred, then consider what went wrong, right, or was just beyond your control? What would you do differently if the situation happened again? How do you handle the time between each task you undertake? Do you take time to refresh your body, mind, and soul and rejuvenate yourself for future tasks? How you spend this time between projects can reveal many things. Reflect on what really matters to you. And make sure to take time to enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.
Characteristics of Resilience:
- Optimism. What have you learned from this experience? What good have you drawn out of the situation? How can you use this information for a productive outcome, whether as a solution to adversity or for a future endeavor? Search for the good you can draw from the occurrence. Did you develop new friendships or a deeper relationship with family or coworkers? What have you learned about yourself? Did you discover a more productive way to perform something? Or maybe you clearly derived what not to do. Deliberately reframe adversity and extract the positive energy, ideas, and favorable characteristics that have surfaced through this event. Redraft the event favorably, focusing on the positive knowledge you gained from it.
- Self-control. Adversity will challenge your character. You can let it overwhelm you and take control of your thoughts, emotions, and actions, or you can choose to be in control of yourself. Do not turn over your power over yourself to an event or another person, for that matter. Gain your composure and reason through the adverse event. Was it as bad as you initially perceived? As mentioned above, once you reframe the situation's outcome, consider the positive effects that resulted. How can you show self-restraint and use the situation to a positive advantage? Remain calm and master your own responses, showing temperance in all things.
- Adaptability. As you already know, adversity will occur. It’s not a matter of "if" but "when." Be prepared to be flexible and adapt to potential or even sudden changes. Things don’t always go quite as planned. Perhaps have a backup plan or two. Or an alternative or option if the first selection doesn’t work out. This helps you be prepared so you do not fall apart if things are not as planned. Being adaptable may create an opportunity for something fun, productive, or even more prosperous than you could have imagined without adversity. Have an open mind and anticipate potential alterations or distractions in your agenda. Engage in an optimistic outlook and embrace the challenge as an opportunity yet to be discovered.
- Problem-solving. Encountering adversity provides an optimal opportunity to engage in multiple problem-solving techniques. Let your creativity be amplified, and consider many alternatives for new solutions. Through your resilience, consider innovative ways to improve a process. Tap into your ingenuity and devise strategies to improve your business or interaction methods. Be inventive and restructure past methods that were not successful. Use them as building blocks for a smoother transition. Think about a time when the process you tried was unsuccessful. How many times did you replay it in your mind, finding many new ways that were successful and perhaps even clever? This is a resilient response to an initially unfavorable event.
- Confidence/Self-belief. A resilient person has a strong self-belief. It takes strength and courage to examine an unfortunate situation, choose an optimistic approach, and reframe it into a positive learning experience. Imagine if Thomas Edison stopped trying after his first failure at a light bulb…or the one-hundredth try…or at the nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-ninth attempt! It took him ten thousand failures before his ingenious discovery of the light bulb evolved. He was resilient and chose to learn from each failure. They each successfully provided a way that did not work. He was confident he would find a way, especially after eliminating ten thousand other ways that would not work! He narrowed down the options until he found the successful method. Believe in yourself and your ability to rebuild and improve after an unfortunate setback.
- Awareness. Be aware of how you are feeling after a disappointment. What is the exact reason for any negative feelings you are experiencing? Is it avoidable? Could you have made a better choice? Or was it something out of your control? What have you learned from this experience? Pay attention to your feelings and why you are feeling them. Grow from your knowledge and be cognizant of the outcome produced by the actions. Practice mindful awareness to bring you to an understanding of the details of the adverse situation. Use this information to change your course to a productive and supportive new journey. Do not let the unfortunate occurrence hold you back from the successful future that awaits you.
- Humor. Use humor every day! In situations where no one was hurt, find some humor in the events where possible. Lighten the atmosphere and take pleasure in the good that prevailed in the situation. Share the experiences with others involved and find joy in the comradery, a funny moment, or an unintended blunder. Laughter really is good medicine and a healthy way to perceive some unfortunate events. Often, through adversity, stronger bonds are created with associates or even family. Enjoy the connections and discover some beauty from the ashes of the challenge.
- Motivation. Allow the struggle to motivate you to strive for something better, productive, and even successful. Use the energy involved and transform it into positive high-frequency vibrations and allow it to motivate you to persevere and never give up. Let resilience empower you to successfully navigate through the uncertainty and recover with a powerful and positive new outlook.
“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” Steve Maraboli
“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.” Elizabeth Edwards
“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.” Gever Tulley
“No one escapes pain, fear, and suffering. Yet from pain can come wisdom, from fear can come courage, from suffering can come strength – if we have the virtue of resilience.” Eric Greitens
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