How To Develop Resilience In Hard Times (365 Days of Spirited Living — DAY 339)
“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”
— Robert Jordan
We tend to talk about resilience as a trait that people are born with but that notion couldn’t be further from the truth. We aren’t born being resilient; we learn to be resilient over time. Human beings have an amazing ability to be strong even in the midst of harrowing and discouraging situations. The will to survive is far more flexible than we imagine at first glance.
Resilience can be thought of as fouling off the fastball that life throws your way. It is the amazing capacity to handle difficulty and the stress that comes with uncertainty. Nobody likes to encounter these times in life, but it is through these times that we learn the most, grow, improve, and ultimately thrive. Here are 7 ways to develop resilience so you can learn from and pull through hard times:
1. Mind your emotions before they mind you.
A mark of resilience is being able to keep a positive outlook on the big picture of life despite the bump in the road. It’s easy to get depressed when we’re just looking at the one mistake or the one thing that went wrong, but if you keep your eyes on the big picture of you goals, you’ll realize that you have overcome some pretty harsh things before and that this difficulty will be no different.
2. Learn from the experience and keep going.
Resilient people always look for the lesson in the experience. Instead of fighting it or trying to get out of it quickly, they look for that one little nugget that can help them along in life. As they say, life is not what happens to us. It is more about what happens within us and what we make happen. Once you learn from the experience, be sure not to stay stuck. Get back on the path and keep moving forward and making progress.
3. Work for a solution.
People who are resilient look for the solution to the problem they face instead of getting caught up in negativity and allowing themselves to develop an attitude of helplessness. When you’re in a hard spot, it is important not to act as if you’re paralyzed just because you can’t see to a certain point ahead of you. Instead use that pause in the journey to plan for the future and take action to finding and implementing a solution.
4. Every small win is a cause for celebration.
Life is made up of both good times and bad times. It is inevitable that some things will work out they way we expect them to and other things will go completely wrong. However, every step we take that helps us make progress and achieve some goal or level of success is cause for at least a little bit of celebration. Resilient people believe in themselves, work hard, and take the time to truly enjoy the small victories. It is those small wins that give motivation and strength to keep going even when it is hard.
5. Make heart to heart connections.
Sometimes we base our relationships upon the number of connections we have on LinkedIn or Facebook. However, resilient people know that in order to get through some difficult times, they must develop and maintain stable, supportive, and strong relationships both personally and professionally with people who truly listen, understand and care. Many times, it will only be two or three close people with whom you can have heart to heart conversations and they are willing to support you all the way back to a point of strength.
6. Pull yourself up and stay strong.
When the going gets tough, it can be easy to just give up but resilient people understand that failure is part of the journey. Only if we are able to pull ourselves up will we know what it feels like to never give up, to never quit and to adapt mentally and emotionally to the changes in order to get to success. The path to where we’re headed is usually not a straight, clear path. That doesn’t really matter, so long as you get past the obstacles and get there. Face your fears and stay focused on the possibilities. Remember, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”.
7. Be honest about your mistakes.
Some difficulties we face are no fault of our own; it is just a part of the grand inevitability of life. However, some things are our fault and instead of running from them, blaming others, or overlooking the role we played, resilient people face it and are careful not to make the same mistake twice. Be willing to be honest with yourself about how you fail, think about what did or did not work, and look for personal meaning so that you can grow and rise above the mistake to get to where you want to go.
“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.”
— Steve Maraboli