With all that our world has experienced over the last two years and beyond it’s no wonder our mental health has suffered so much. Despite it all we must find a way to press on. Not only for ourselves but for others in our lives whom we care about. This is where resiliency comes into play. To be resilient is to be able to think logically and remain focused during extremely intense situations. This skill is paramount to managing challenges in life and the ability to reach future goals. In this post we’ll talk about how resiliency will determine your success in 2022.
***This post has been updated for March 2022
What is Resiliency Exactly?
“The Impediment to action Advances Action” – Marcus Aurelius
Resiliency refers to an individual’s capacity to withstand extreme stress, setbacks and ultimately thrive, and fulfill your potential, despite, or even because of adverse or even horrific life events. We all need resiliency training in order to cope, rather than succumb to feelings of despair and overwhelming thoughts in certain situations.
When push comes to shove what will be the thing that limits you and stands in the way of your goals?
We as ordinary humans every day have to deal with change and loss as an inevitability in life, some challenging life events are what we might call ‘minor’ when it comes to seeing life as a big picture, although when they happen, they can be both debilitating, paralyzing and quite distressing.
Other events occur on a much larger scale, such as war, death, pandemics, trauma, financial crisis, and other personal issues or environmental disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes and other elements out of our control.
***With the global Covid-19 pandemic, the likes of which we had never been faced with before, forced us to come to terms with a host of physical, social, emotional, and psychological strains that put our resiliency levels to the test.
Resiliency, Adaptation and Entrepreneurs
Adaptation and knowing how to cope with such challenges plays a significant role in the long-term psychological benefits as well as consequences of experiencing adverse life events.
The social distancing that has gone into effect with this pandemic has not really changed anything in terms of work for me, but for others it has been a game changer.
Going from working in a busy vibrant office to working from home can be a bit of a shocker. Especially when there are other members of the family and perhaps young children at home as well.
Being an entrepreneur and creating a schedule are definitely two things that go hand in hand.
The ability to not take things personally is another positive trait that goes hand in hand with resiliency.
Remember – this is NOT just happening to YOU.
After all, as an entrepreneur you WILL naturally face a lot of rejection.
Some individuals prove to be more resilient in the face of stress than others, in that they remain calm when confronted by stressful events, while others go into ‘meltdown’, and others appear to fall apart.
Resiliency is inherent to successful entrepreneurs – it’s that little extra oomph! that keeps you moving, even when you can’t see the finish line. Your resilience can be the ultimate factor in what measures your success.
It’s also what makes a good entrepreneur great.
The following are general tips about temperament and mindset. After all, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur and it’s okay if you’re not, but to recognize this is key.
Resiliency and Early temperament
We see differences in children early on with their various temperaments. Some babies seem to go with the flow and are labeled ‘easy’ while others whine, cry and protest at seemingly every stimuli.
This ability to cope with what others experience as overwhelming is what Psychologists call having resiliency.
People who are able to cope and recover from difficulties in life are considered to be psychologically resilient.
Such individuals have the ability to adapt when demands are high, and have a tendency, on reflection, to see problems as an opportunity for growth.
It is the bounce back factor that differentiates resilient people from those who find it more difficult to cope with stressful life events.
Such individuals tend to feel overwhelmed, may dwell on their problems more, ruminate, or make use of unhelpful coping strategies (drugs/alcohol, & other toxic habits), and show slower psychological recovery from setbacks in life.
Most people thankfully, do have resiliency skills hibernating within them in different degrees, until called forth by tragedy or some other form of deep loss.
When disaster strikes they find the inner strength to cope and find a way through their pain.
This sometimes comes as a surprise to those concerned, to discover that they have hidden reserves of strength which helps them through. The rude awakenings in life can bring our untapped capacity to deal with stress to the forefront.
As Nancy Reagan said a long time ago, ‘a woman is like a teabag, you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.’ Or something to that effect:)
Naturally this applies to everyone experiencing the challenges of life. No one escapes it.
Resiliency – The Bounce Back Factor
There have been countless occasions, when I have been inspired and humbled by the resiliency of the human spirit; how people survive, and even thrive in the face of horrific life events.
It does concern me that with the ease and frequent access to news and the internet nowadays, young children, teens and even adults are becoming far too conditioned, desensitized and complacent to certain tragic events and images.
One wonders if we all are perhaps developing an unhealthy indifference, insensitivity and tolerance to them with such indecent and graphic minute by minute, repetitive exposure.
These traumatic events on a worldwide scale in recent years have highlighted how some people display typically resilient behaviors.
Events such as 9/11, natural disasters like Tsunamis, Earthquakes, and the horrible Wildfires in California and Australia.
Not to mention personal tragic events, the horrible tragedies caused by humans that we read and hear about every day!
And all too recently the unprovoked war raged by President Putin of Russia towards the innocent people of Ukraine.
All of these events expose people to serious adverse life impact, and yet, in these situations we have also witnessed countless acts of human courage, camaraderie and emotional buoyancy.
Resiliency does not prevent stress from occurring in life, although it does appear to expose certain stressed individuals as having what I mentioned earlier on; the ‘bounce back factor‘.
This ability to bounce back from disasters allows people to cope, recover, focus and move on with their lives. Mind you, I’m not suggesting you have no heart and ignore the atrocities of the world or those close to you in need of desperate help.
It’s so important to recognize when people close to you are suffering and spotlight the time it takes to heal. Despite the impending Metaverse we are not machines, and we all need sufficient time to heal our psychological, physical and emotional pain.
To live a productive and somewhat content life on this planet and be able to FUNCTION on a day-to-day basis – one has to maintain a way to get control over the things we CAN control.
If you or a family member is feeling overwhelmed, please reach out for help. Remember, you’re not alone.
So Can One Learn to Become More Resilient?
Research has demonstrated that although resilience appears to be a natural ability for some individuals, others can learn resiliency skills.
Resiliency skills can enhance your ability to cope when life throws things at you that de-rail you, causing you to feel overwhelmed and defeated whether at work, in your personal relationships or any other extremely difficult circumstance.
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” – Einstein
Other Articles of Interest
So, yes, it is possible to make stress work for you.
There is an African proverb which states: “Calm seas do not make skillful sailors. “People need a certain amount of stress in life to learn how to cope when things go badly!
We have to remember there’s no such thing as utopia. Perhaps in brief fleeting moments…:)
Sometimes it seems that life is throwing way too much in our direction to cope. If that’s the case, it’s crucial to not go it alone.
Protecting Children from Stress
It’s natural to want to protect our children from stress and life’s harshest lessons.
Helicopter parents are widely criticized for ‘hovering’ over their children with the intent to ‘protect’ them from life’s stressors. Studies show they’re really harming them greatly and impeding their natural resilience abilities with this practice.
Kids have to learn to make mistakes and Fail – thereby proving to themselves that they can overcome if something negative in life happens (which it inevitably will!) and learn from it.
In what way then, are resilient people different? We all know that stress and setbacks are a normal part of life.
Resilient people seem to have something called a high ‘internal Locus of Control’.
This concept was developed by Julian B. Rotter in 1954.
It refers to an individual’s perception of the amount of control they have over their life.
Those who perceive that their lives are controlled by external factors are high on external Locus Of Control.
Those who perceive that they have control over their own lives are said to be high on Internal locus of control.
Psychological flexibility and adaptability
Adaptability is a form of resiliency skill and of emotional intelligence.
This involves being able to accept what is happening and respond accordingly, in short, an ability to embrace change.
We’ve all heard the term ‘go with the flow’:)
One of my favorite quotes is: ‘Bend like the willow, don’t break like the Oak’.
Not always easy, but definitely a necessary emotional survival skill.
What methods can assist with attaining resilience?
Everyone can benefit from improving their ‘bounce back’ factor.
Resiliency is not only called for when disaster strikes, it can be a powerful skill in achieving personal, professional and every day success in life.
What are you afraid of? What sets you back?
If you had more resiliency, would you be able to achieve your dreams? Let me know in the comment section.
Never give up on yourself, those you love and your dreams.
Believe in yourself and others will too. Seek out the help you need to break through those barriers that hold you back.
The problems of today are issues our parents, grandparents and human beings have encountered since day one on this place we call Mother Earth.
If you’re struggling with mental health problems, PTSD, suicidal ideation or thoughts, anxiety or depression, remember that you’re definitely not alone. Reach out for help and know that your life matters.
Today, the whole world stands with Ukrainians. If you are able to please take a moment to visit these sites that are helping the innocent in this horrific war:
- Provide support to 7.5 million Ukrainian children: https://www.unicef.org/emergencies/conflict-ukraine-pose-immediate-threat-children
- Help Ukrainian Red Cross provide first aid in the areas with limited access to medical services: https://redcross.org.ua/en/2022/02/donate-to-support-the-ukrainian-red-cross-to-help-civilians-in-this-difficult-time-for-ukraine/
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