Resiliency is an interesting word that has captured my attention in recent times. It is the ability to rebound and spring back. As I thought about it within the context of how it applies to our personal growth and journey, the simplest definition I could coin was ‘Resiliency is the ability to grow and thrive in the face of challenges; the ability to bounce back from adversity.’
Though I have only lived for a short period of time, I have come to understand that we cannot preserve through life without having a level of resiliency. Having served in the US military and spent a lot of time listening to the stories and experiences of other veterans, I have observed that not everyone has the same level of resilience.
If this wasn’t the case, why would certain individuals end up being scarred by certain events and other come out stronger and even unscratched. Why would two kids go through the same childhood experiences, teachings, and exposure but turn out differently?
I believe that the basic reason for this lies in the fact that we receive and process information differently and our threshold for dealing with adversity differs. People who experience adversity early in life seem to have a higher threshold than people who never encountered it. When adversity comes later in life, it throws them off their game.
Adversity is something we would all experience regardless how talented, good, or well-positioned we are. Just ask anyone that has ever achieved greatness in their lifetime! What matters is that we are well-prepared for adversity and that we never allow it get the best of us.
How then do we ‘prepare’ for adversity? Do we have to go searching of mini-adversities to build our resiliency?
Not at all!
Here are three effective ways we can build our resiliency:
Self-awareness is the baseline of emotional intelligence and resiliency. It will be foolhardy for us to go through life without taking inventory of who we are, where we are, what makes us smile, our strengths, and our weaknesses. If we must take charge of our thought patterns, behaviors, and emotional, we must practice self-awareness. Only then can we truly say that we are building our resiliency.
If you must build resiliency and live a good life, you must always choose to have a positive attitude regardless what life throw at you. Whenever you find yourself falling into the old routine of thinking about the worst-case scenario, choose to see the bright side of things. Quit seeing a half-empty glass when it is actually half-full. Learn to project positive thoughts and be hopeful.
Self-regulation is the ability to control one’s passions, desires, thoughts, and fears. John Milton captures the importance of self-regulation with these words, ‘He who reigns within himself, and rules passions, desires, and fears, is more than a king.’
Though you might not have a throne or a scepter, you are royalty because you have sphere of influence. If you must maintain and expand this sphere, then you need to build your resiliency by being more deliberate about how you manage your emotions, passions, and desire.
Practicing self-awareness, building optimism, and observing self-regulation are just three of the several ways we can build our resiliency. As you start or continue your journey to building resiliency, you will definitely learn more ways.
Remember, I believe in you and will never stop rooting for you!
Here is a beautiful quote from Arthur Golden to inspire you:
“Adversity is like a strong wind. I don’t mean just that it holds us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be.”
― Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha