How I Built Resilience

When I came across the term ‘resilience’ I was intrigued. It sounded such a strong and confident word and so I decided, then and there, that I needed to find out more and get some of it. I learned I could develop resilience as a part of my lifestyle but the main part of this short journey was to learn more. And now I’m sharing.

So what exactly is resilience? Well the definition of resilience is

The capacity to maintain a high level of performance and positive wellbeing in the face of challenges.

So it’s partly about recognising and using that inner power. Put another way we can grab on to it and use it as a means to spiritual transformation. Along the way I came to realise that resilience is one of those human qualities that can catapult us into a deeper part of ourselves.

The Thing About Meditation

I’m a recent convert to meditation. So recent in fact that I think I’m a bit superficial with it, but I’m learning. I do know that people who meditate can readily recognise difficult times as an opportunity to test their skills in the real world. It is precisely what meditation teaches us. That the world is as we see it and if somehow we get connected to that part of ourselves that is unchanging, then whatever happens in our everyday life is somehow okay.

When things get messed up, sometimes we immediately fall into the trap of victim mentality and blame ourselves for everything that goes wrong. We may feel like we ‘deserve’ to be punished for something we did in the past. The term ‘instant karma’ has become embedded in our language, and it is sometimes difficult to go beyond those common beliefs.

Meditation can propel us to that place of profound stillness where we spontaneously cut ourselves free from all the knots. When the mind is quiet, everything in life can be turned to our advantage. And when you experience that stillness you are much more able to get in touch with the power of choice. When the inner space starts to expand, and we realize that resilience has arisen from that pure awareness, then we can withstand just about anything.

What Makes Resilience

While a certain level of challenge is energizing and motivating, rather like stress, once the level of challenge that we are facing goes beyond our perceived ability to cope, we can become dysfunctional. By dysfunctional, I mean that performance drops off, and we begin to feel that life is somehow out of control. Everyone has a different resilience threshold, but there is plenty we can do to raise our personal threshold. Below are four core components of resilience;

• Confidence • Social support • Adaptability • Purposefulness

As you know when we feel confident, and in control, problems seem much more manageable. Confidence is the faith we have in our ability to make the things we want to happen happen. When we feel confident, we also feel competent and efficient in our ability to cope with stressful situations. Healthy self-esteem also goes hand in hand with confidence; a sense of liking oneself and having a positive self-image.

Social support is vital for all of us. As adults, we need the love and support of others close to us to deal with the adverse situations that life brings, rather than just trying to cope on our own. Think about a time when you dealt with a significant challenge and the role that social support played in the coping strategy. Just knowing that others care seems to give us greater fortitude and strength. Therefore it’s critical to nurture our close relationships, both family, and friends.

By adaptability, I mean the flexibility to adapt to situations which are beyond our control and this is an essential component to building and maintaining resilience. In particular, resistance enables us to cope well with change, and our recovery from the impact of change tends to be quicker. Knowing that “whatever happens, I’ll be able to handle it” is a powerful way to live.

Purposefulness could be defined in this context as having a clear sense of purpose, together with precise values, drive, and direction. When we have these things, we’re able to be much more persistent and achievement orientated in the face of setbacks. Therefore a clear sense of purpose is the fuel to propel ourselves through the inevitable setbacks and disappointments that come up both in our business and personal lives.

This is a powerful way of reframing problems and challenges because they make us grow and become a better person. Instead of fearing problems, we can use them as stepping stones to a better life, and this has never been truer than in the area of work-life balance. If work seems to be outbalancing life, how can the four components, as stated above, help you bring it back into line?

By building and enhancing our resilience, we become more than we were before. I’m on a journey to build my resilience but I feel just knowing more about it gives me the key to the door. All I need do is turn the key and step inside.

By Jan.

See also:

How to be calm and confident
Signs you’re trapped in a comfort zone
How not to waste your life

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