Are You Resilient?
“The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.” ~Napoleon Hill
Resilient. I think it’s such a pretty word. To really know what it means to be resilient as yourself these questions:
What happens when life knocks you down? Do you get back up and keep moving? Or do you give up and go home? For a resilient person the answer is simple, “get up and keep moving!”
Your ability to bounce back after a transition or hardship determines whether most of your life is enjoyable and meaningful or troublesome and frustrating.
Successful people never give up. Never ever. They dust themselves off, see where they went wrong, adjust course and keep on going. That is what a resilient person looks like.
Your ability to live your life in resilient mode will determine your level of success.
How Resilient Are You?
My college years helped me figure out how resilient I was. Having worked low-paying hourly jobs throughout high school taught me an important lesson: the more educated you are, the higher your earning power is.
And so I my goal was to get a college education because I knew minimum wage would not pave the way to living the kind of life I wanted. Unfortunately I had no way of paying for my education but I didn’t let that stop me. I chose to be resilient on the face of financial challenges.
It’s true what they say “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” because the doors opened up for me. You will find that the more resilient you are, the more opportunities will open up for you. My resilient nature helped me to find a full time job that payed me a decent enough salary so that I could support myself and attend college at the same time.
It was not easy and exhausting. I gave up a lot during those years and felt like giving up quite often, but I used my ability to be resilient to help me through. The day I graduated was especially proud for me because I proved to myself that I could always find a way and fight on.
Resilient people share a few traits, read on to find out how many of these you have and which ones you need to develop.
1. First responses – this the most common test of your ability to be resilient. When something initially begins to trouble you, how do you respond? Maybe you bury your head in the sand and hope it goes away. Perhaps you just ignore the situation and pretend it isn’t happening. In other words, do you sweep your problems under the rug?
We are all guilty of this from time to time, but some people choose to make a habit out of ignoring their problems. For example, credit card debt is very easy to ignore meanwhile the debt grows and grows just because you are not confronting the situation and taking control.
-If you’re resilient, you’ll choose to approach the situation head-on, and promptly. You’ll define the issue, consider your options, and make a plan. You’ll set out right away to resolve the situation before it becomes a full-blown issue.
-Promptly employing problem-solving skills will help you avoid a major meltdown.
2. Approach to past events. Do you try to forget about your prior challenges? I know you must be thinking “But why revisit?” Revisiting past challenges will give you the opportunity to apply what you learned from them to navigate present or future situations. When you reflect on what you’ve been through, you’ll think about the mistakes you made. This is a key trait of a resilient person. Also, you’ll be excited about how well you handled some situations and use those same skills again.
-The energy required to try to forget something important draws heavily from your present resilience, wearing it down. Alternatively, focusing your energies on the lessons and skills you’ve learned from past experiences builds your resilience.
3. Learning to be resilient is a daily practice. Do you work to accomplish something, however small, each day? Or do you find yourself watching entire days go by while you sit and brood or feel sad or angry? In order to improve your resiliency you’ll need to exercise your “Resilient” muscles. Consider each day an opportunity to do something positive, even if it’s just one thing.
-On a day off, this might be something as simple as going for a walk or cleaning the living room. Your practice today could even be finishing a novel or calling a friend you haven’t talked to in ages. What you do with your life each day provides meaning for you. Being resilient doesn’t just apply to big situations. It is also found in the mundane, every day tasks.
4. Your support network. Do you have plenty of friends and family to call on if you need something? Resilient individuals build a supportive system of people they can visit, call, talk to, and turn to whenever they hit troubled waters.
-If you feel like you’re all alone, start building your support network today by setting a goal to make one new friend within the next month. Join a support group or a club for people who share your interests. Do you like knitting? Gardening? Bicycling? There are clubs for those and just about any interest you can imagine.
-Join MeetUp.com (it’s free) and search for groups by interest or location and start connecting!
5. Who matters to you most? Do you treat yourself as if you’re the most important person in your life? When you take care of your own needs, you’ll be more resilient when a crisis knocks on the door. If your own health and living situation are at the top of your priority list, you’ll be prepared to face any hardship, be it emotional or physical.
-Taking the time to keep yourself in tip-top shape physically and mentally builds your reserves of resilience whenever trying situations and events occur.
-Mediate for 15 minutes everyday, it helps to maintain your emotional and mental balance. Read that book you’ve been meaning to. Exercise, get plenty of sleep, eat wholesome, healthy food. Indulge yourself to a massage or a manicure. If you don’t pamper yourself, who will?
Be Resilient Now!
Challenges, transitions, and hardships are a part of life and will invariably arise from time to time. If you confront situations immediately, use knowledge gained from prior trying events, and build your support network, you’ll be on your way to becoming more resilient.
Do one small thing for yourself each day, and before you know it, you’ll weather any storm with ease. Much like the resilient tree Napoleon Hill spoke of.
Whatever you do, don’t give up! Don’t let anything stop you from achieving your goals. Go after your dreams and know that bumps on the road are a part of the journey so embrace them. Be resilient! If something knocks you on your feet, get up and keep moving until you find a way.