Resilience: What does it really mean?
Resilience, the dictionary defines it as: ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness’ or in the case of inanimate objects ‘the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity’.
Now that I have defined it, it came to my attention while watching the news one day and scrolling through social media (as you do) that this word is spoken of very often. There are webinars about it, there are articles written about it. Nothing wrong with all these tools that are readily available to us when we all need it the most.
All or most of them talk about how we need to think positively, some suggest that practising gratitude daily helps while others suggest mindfulness and meditation. I agree 100% with all these tools. Hell!! I practice them myself and I think that I am quite resilient, very few situations in life throw me off.
I will tell you a little bit about why this is the case. I come from a background where my family always had the necessary things in life that are needed to live comfortably. We had a roof over our heads, clothes, and food and most of all an exceptional level of education. For a long time, I refused to talk about my background because once I got married and moved to Australia, I had more things than I had ever dreamed of possessing. But one thing that always stuck with me was my origin. I never lost sight of where I came from and this has always guided me in my life’s journeys. I have laid very little importance to material possessions, but I hold my relationships and my self-education, not necessarily academic, to the highest esteem.
Here are a few things I learned as a teenager to be resilient:
- When I was faced with the desire to possess something, or have something I could and still walk away from it with the question: “Is it something that I need or is it a want?” “Can you do without?”. If the answer to these questions was “It is a want and yes, I can do without.” I can easily walk away from it.
- The biggest reason I have been able to do that since my younger years is because I have been able to accept my reality not in a defeatist way but more like the idea that when you accept the situation you are in or acknowledge the situation, emotion, or the challenge you find yourself in, it becomes easier to come up with a solution.
- Along with the acceptance of your reality at the time, one needs to accept and acknowledge the emotions that arise from the difficult situation that you might find yourself in. Once you come to the realisation that the situation is what it is and that the emotion that comes with it is justified, it becomes easier to deal with the problem and solutions start becoming clear.
- Resilience, therefore, is by no means just having the strength to bounce back, even an inanimate object can do that as per the definition but having the courage to admit to yourself that you can be vulnerable and that it is acceptable to feel that way. Resilience is a journey and not an event, it is a journey that teaches a lot about yourself, it is an opportunity to grow and come out of the challenging situation stronger than ever.
Having said what I feel, I would like to add that I have no intention here to discount all the psychological research that has gone into the subject and I greatly respect all the professionals that work in the field with those who need help the most. Everything that I have to say is based on my personal experiences.
While I am on the subject of resilience, the dialogue from the film Rocky Balboa, one of my most favourite series of movies, comes to mind where Rocky has a conversation with his son: “The world is a nasty place and it does not matter how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there if you let it, … it is going to hit as hard as life, but it ain’t about how hard you get hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward……THAT’S HOW WINNING IS DONE”
I take your leave with one thought: get out there and start winning because if it is not now then it will never happen.
If you feel that you need help and might benefit from a mindset coach to help you get there feel free to reach out to me.