How to Be More Resilient with Just One Step

Being resilient is the ability to adjust and thrive even when one is faced with dangers, traumas, and stresses. Basically, it’s Beyonce with a bat facing her heartbreak!

According to the American Psychological Association, the path to resiliency entails emotional struggle. Resilient people usually have encountered traumas, difficulties and high amounts of stress.

“Resilience refers to an individual’s capacity to thrive and fulfill potential despite or perhaps even because of such stressors.” (Neil, 2006)

Elements that Predict Resiliency

Relationships and environment play an important role in building resilience in children. However, according to writer Maria Konnikova in her article, “How People Learn to Become Resilient,” indicators for resiliency are mainly psychological. Resilient children tend to be independent and self-reliant. They are more likely to pursue new experiences and interact positively in society. They do not necessarily have extraordinary talents, but they make use of their skills. They believe that they are responsible for their accomplishments. They have internal locus of control (Konnikova, 2016).

“A person with an internal locus of control believes that he or she can influence events and their outcomes, while someone with an external locus of control blames outside forces for everything. This concept was brought to light in the 1950s by Julian Rotter.” (Fournier, 2016)

Moreover, career-life coach Brad Waters (2013) explains that resilient individuals do not allow misfortunes to define them. They find strength to keep moving towards their purpose. They rise above painful times and see difficulties as temporary conditions. They are ready to face emotional crises and can accept what shows up with flexibility.

“Resilient people are like bamboo in a hurricane–they bend rather than break.” (B.Waters, 2013)

Despite facing harsh circumstances and at times feeling defeated, resilient individuals tend to have an inner belief that whatever they are going through will pass and brighter days are ahead.

Common Traits of Resilient People:

  • Exhibit self-reliance
  • See challenges as possibilities
  • Recover from adversities
  • Have strong determination and willpower
  • Persevere when things get tough
  • Take advantage of any form of opportunities whether big or small
  • Maintain a flexible and accepting attitude
  • Reach out for help

Who can be resilient?

Anyone can be taught how to develop resilient thoughts, behaviors, and actions. As clinical psychologist George Bonanno stated: “We can make ourselves more or less vulnerable by how we think about things” (Fournier, 2016).

Below is a passage taken from Brad Waters’s Article “10 Traits of Emotionally Resilient People.”

“…It’s possible to strengthen your inner self and your belief in yourself, to define yourself as capable and competent. It’s possible to fortify your psyche. It’s possible to develop a sense of mastery.” Hara Estroff Marano – The Art of Resilience

Do You Surrender or Prevail?

Now, instead of sharing with you the 10 tips or so on how to become more resilient, I will only tell you one thing: DECIDE.

“The Latin of the word decision literally means “to cut off.” Making a decision is about “cutting off” choices—cutting you off from some other course of action. Now, that may sound a little severe and limiting, but it’s not. It’s liberating” (Falvey, 2013).

This word comes with a lot of Power. Decide on how you want to show up in your world. How do you want to face things? You are in control and are the expert in your life.
What thoughts, habits, and routes do you want to let go?  What will this bring forth to you?

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. Charles R. Swindoll

I was going through a tough time during college.
One time I spent hours crying after finding out about some terrible personal news. I was tired from being a victim to circumstances or things happening to me. So that night I wiped my tears and decided that I have a deadline to feel bad about myself.
I made a deal with myself that I have this night only to feel bad about the situation, after that night, I will carry on and focus on what I can control at the moment.
I woke the next morning, I remembered my decision and took it full on. This decision made a big difference in how I perceived the situation.

We forget that even when we feel powerless, we still can make decisions.
We can decide to reach out for help in times of grief and trauma; We can decide to stop complaining and find anything that can bring us closer to our goals; We can decide to see the opportunity and the gift despite the setbacks…

What will you decide?

References

Falvey, R. (2013, October 14). The root of the word. Retrieved November 21, 2016, from http://think-legacy.com/2013/10/14/root-word-decision/

Fournier, G. (2016, July 17). Locus of Control | Encyclopedia of Psychology. Retrieved November 21, 2016, from https://psychcentral.com/encyclopedia/locus-of-control/

Konnikova, M. (2016). How People Learn to Become Resilient. Retrieved November 21, 2016, from http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/the-secret-formula-for-resilience

Neil, J. (2006, April 16). What is Psychological Resilience? Retrieved November 20, 2016, from http://www.wilderdom.com/psychology/resilience/PsychologicalResilience.html

Raab, D. (2015, July 22). How To Become More Resilient. Retrieved November 23, 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-empowerment-diary/201507/how-become-more-resilient

Waters, B. (2013, May 21). 10 Traits of Emotionally Resilient People. Retrieved November 26, 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/design-your-path/201305/10-traits-emotionally-resilient-people

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