Setbacks in life are a given. The best of plans can fail,
problems can crop up, and difficult times may seem unending.
Some people face it, cope with it and continue to grow and thrive.
Others struggle, give up and allow it to impact their well-being.
One key factor at play is the levels of resilience in each individual.
Resilience is your ability to adapt to adversity and setbacks; It is the trait that helps you bounce back from difficult life situations.
Resilience helps you stay calm under challenging situations, persist in the face of adversity, continue to stay on course and get things done. It can also contribute positively to your mental health and well-being.
Here are a dozen ways you can develop and strengthen your resilience
Life is full of surprises, some pleasant and others quite nasty. So instead of being caught unprepared, proactively seek challenges that test you.
Do things that demand more of you, that require you to bring out your higher self, and use these self-created challenges to grow inner strength and persistence for the next storm, which will come sooner, if not later.
2.Strive for knowledge
Work to build, and increase your levels of self-awareness. Get to know yourself, your personality traits, and the behaviours that work for you,
Understand how you cope when things don’t go well and what’s missing
Use reflections and learnings to identify what’s needed and act on them.
3.Health is wealth
A weak body cannot build a strong mind. Your enthusiasm and motivation are influenced by how you feel; a robust and well-functioning body will support you in going after more significant challenges.
So invest in your health, eat nutritious food, sleep well, exercise regularly, build fulfilling relationships and most importantly, remember to have fun.
Burnout can impact anyone, so don’t ignore the signs. Factors like excessive workload, sense of insufficient control, constant worrying, pent-up emotions, compromised sleep and loneliness can cause burnout. Stay alert to the triggers and attend to them early.
Each morning you can focus either on what’s going well or on all the challenges and suffering. One will fill you with energy, while the other will suck it away. Develop a positive attitude, teach yourself to look for the good in each situation, expect things to go well, and visualize better days.
Focusing on the positive does not mean you take your eye off the challenges and live in denial. On the contrary, your effort should be towards starting from a place of strength and using that positive energy to overcome challenges.
There is something magical about being engaged, about making progress, no matter how small. So work on setting goals, tracking them, and celebrating small wins to reaffirm progress.
Setting goals motivate you; each milestone reached will inspire you to keep going and give you the much-needed confidence to persist and deepen your resilience.
Humans are social beings, and connections are crucial in enhancing resilience. So, develop fruitful relationships and be socially connected to the people in your life. Learn from them, observe how they cope and integrate relevant practices into your life.
Then, invest in relationships that make you feel supported and cared for.
8.Create space and time for reflection
Emotions can overwhelm you; when that happens, perspective is lost, so take a step back, practice emotional distancing, and view the situation from a third-person perspective.
Spend time in quiet reflection, and see things objectively. Then, observe what comes up and how it can help you resolve your challenges.
9.Look for meaning
Create explanations and meaning for things that happen, including describing their how and why. Doing so will force you to think harder and discover more about the situation and your role in it. This meaning-making will also give you a sense of control and strengthen your resilience.
10.Serve the needy
As difficult as it sounds, offer your help to someone in need. Make an effort to look beyond your challenges and experience the power of making a difference.
Invoke the wiser and giving part of you, serve someone else and in the process, you will amplify your empathy, self-compassion and grit.
No matter how skilled, equipped, aware and resourceful you are, there will be things beyond your control that you cannot change.
Fighting these will add pain to your life; learn to accept and make peace instead because that can reduce stress while bringing new perspectives and wisdom to support your well-being.
None of us can get anywhere on our own; we are co-dependent and need each other to grow and succeed.
Occasionally you may realize that you can manage the challenge better or deepen specific skills with some support. If so, seek a coach or a counsellor to clarify and integrate new empowering behaviours.
Persistence and perseverance will get you further in life than you can imagine, and resilience is a powerful tool. So work to develop resilience, focus and be on a path to growth and success.
Points to ponder
- What has brought me this far in my work and life?
- Where have I been persistent and determined?
- How can I practice those traits more often?
- What are some likely challenges on the horizon?
- Who do I need to be to face and overcome them?