5 Blocks to build resilience

We applaud people who bounce back after devastating circumstances and unimaginable trauma because we recognize that the road back to any semblance of a normal life is often slow and difficult. It is also punctuated with periods of doubt, frustration, depression and the temptation to give up.

Yet, we seem not to notice that we stumble, crumble and remain wallowing in sadness, anger, resentment and self-pity after circumstances that are not as devastating, lift-threatening and life-altering. We fall into a funk and stay there for days, weeks, months, even years after a negative job review, a slight from a friend, a discourteous remark or response by a driver, customer or salesperson, failure to secure a loan, a raise or a promotion. We drape ourselves in self-pity and live under a cloud of darkening despair if our dreams seem to be eluding us despite our best efforts to achieve them.  

If your resilience is weak, build it up with these five blocks.  

Spiritual convictions. Difficulties are more manageable when you have strong spiritual beliefs to keep you grounded and grateful. Moreover, it is easier to bounce back to your version of normal when you hold spiritual convictions that provide peace of mind, comfort and inspiration to be patient, strong, hopeful and eager to return to a happy place after a devastating experience.  

Self-confidence. Believing that you are capable of surmounting difficulties in your life sets you up to face them as they come. When your self-confidence is at a healthy level, you are not afraid to scout for solutions and resolutions. You are willing to implement them at the risk of failure because you know that sometimes, the best way to know if something works is to test it. Moreover, even if the solutions don’t work, you don’t give up. You try again and keep trying until you find a way out and get back on solid ground.

Support system. Many have had to slash their way through difficulties in their lives without anyone standing in their corner and routing for them. Yet, they will tell you that they wish they had because they know the value of a solid support system of family and friends when trials and tribulations come calling. Assemble a support system to encourage and help you to bounce back from your difficulties.

Single-minded focus. Often when trouble strikes it deposits a mess of ancillary concerns – each demanding your attention. To manage the trouble efficiently and bounce back to a normal life, you will need to have a single-minded focus. Only deal with the extended issues that will have a direct bearing on the desired outcome, the solution and the path to normal. Knowing which issues to avoid or put on hold can free up precious time and energy to bounce back to good days again.

Self-care. Neglect yourself – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually – and you’re destined to take a hard tumble when trouble comes. Moreover, you’ll probably stay down for a long time. However, if you make self-care a priority, you will have the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual strength to bounce back after any difficulty.
  (a) Mentally – schedule regular times to inform, expand and challenge your mind.
  (b) Physically – eat healthy meals, exercise and don’t forget to make time to simply relax.
  (c) Emotionally – Regularly assess your emotional climate. Cast off destructive emotions and nurture   relationships that delight and inspire you.
  (d) Spiritually – Refuel and refresh your soul with spiritual teachings and practices. 

Are you resilient? If you find it difficult to bounce back from failure, disappointment, loss and adversity, use these five blocks to build resilience. 

(Published in the Womanwise Magazine, Sunday 27th January 2013)

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