Resilience

Motivational message.Over the last several months, I have really come to appreciate the concept of resilience.  Whether it be some personal roller coasters I’ve had to ride, those recovering from disaster in Oklahoma, or your own personal struggles, resilience is a is a concept that can serve you well.

Resilience is defined as the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.

We often hear people say that children are resilient and can overcome a great deal, but what about adults?  When we get knocked down, how to we get up time and time again?  Lately I’ve felt like one of those knock down punching toys you had when you were little (I may be dating myself), but they were inflatable punching bags that popped back up after you knock them down.  Over and over again, they just popped back up.  I have felt like one of those bags lately, and I’ve learned a few things.

1.  Keep the big picture in mind.  It is incredibly easy to lose sight of the forest and get stuck in the trees when you are knocked down.  Stay focused on what really matters to you in the long run and keep a broad outlook.

2.  Focus on your strengths and accomplishments.  When you’re knocked down, it’s easy to feel down.  Remember what makes you amazing.  You are full of strengths, accomplishments, and goodness.  You are strong and capable of handling anything that is thrown your way.

3.  Renew your sense of purpose.  Take some time to get re-grounded and focus on your personal values, your goals, and what is important to you.

4.  Take care of yourself.  Many of us have learned to put other people’s needs before our own.  It is ok to take time to take care of you.  Whether it’s some time alone, a massage, or reading a positive, uplifting book, take time for yourself.  You will never find this time.  You have to make this time.

5.  Focus on what you can control.  Rather than getting wrapped up in what-if’s, other people’s faults, or external events, focus on the things with which you have direct and immediate control.

6.  Surround yourself with productive people.  A support system is one of your biggest tools in your battle to stay resilient.  Surround yourself with people that are loving, kind, supportive, and positive.

7.  Re-frame the way you’re thinking.  What can you learn from this experience?  How can this make you stronger?  How can this prepare you for the struggles you will surely continue to experience in your life?  What little lessons can you eke out of the situation?

If you’ve been knocked down lately (or know someone who has), focus on resilience.  I have to keep reminding myself that I would not be given more than I am capable of handling (someone has way too much confidence in me at times), but it’s true.  We are resilient by nature; we just have to work a little harder at it some days.

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