During these trying times of global pandemic, uncertainty and fear; resiliency is the new life skill some people are re-learning, while others learn it for the first time. For the past few years, I have spoken to large and small groups, with varying background ranging from military members, youth groups and business professionals about resiliency. The topic has been and continues to be how to build it, understand it and develop it in everyone.
Resilience is the process of adapting in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, pandemics, threats or significant sources of stress — It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences. Resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary and it can grow in everyone. People commonly demonstrate resilience in many forms and functions, but some have their own unique ways of bouncing back.
Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn't have trouble or distress. Emotional pain and sadness are common in people who have suffered major adversity or trauma in their lives. In fact, the road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.
So, let me introduce yourself. Let me introduce you to three aspects of resiliency that can help you during this trying time. At this moment you are building your resiliency. You are establishing you best practices during this difficult time. I am sure you are feeling many emotions and those emotions are all normal. As a matter of fact, your acknowledgement of YOURSELF, is the first step in building your resiliency.
Yourself, you, are the key to your resiliency. Yes, having a community is beneficial and important, but you are the first step. You are the essential aspect to change your own personal view. Why? That is the only thing you can change and control. You have no control over what others think, believe or do. You can only control you. You cannot control others. Say it now! If you think you can impact how others think or can control what they do towards you; you are wrong. You can only change your thoughts and actions. To build resiliency you must, and I mean must, change your own personal outlook of the situation.
Second is your own self compassion. Self-compassion is hard during times of trauma and chaos, but you must give yourself, self-compassion. It’s not your fault. Self-compassion is an important tool in building your own resiliency. What self-compassion means is that you recognize that people, including yourself suffers from trauma and feel different emotions. When we offer ourselves self-compassion, we give ourselves kindness without judgement. You must be kind, mindful and proactive in your self-compassion. Self-compassion is your acknowledgment that you hurt, are scared, stressed, have fears and worries and do not criticize, mock or ridicule yourself for having them.
Lastly, your own self-control is essential in building and maintaining your resiliency. Self-control is easy to lose during times of stress and can be hard to recover from, but you can maintain control. A stressful situation or trauma is not the time, nor is it an excuse to lose self-control. Again, acknowledging how you feel, and your control of those feelings allow for your self-control. If you believe you are going to lose self-control think about why you are about to lose it.
Acknowledgement and taking the time to realize that you are going to lose control is a giving yourself power of personal control. Your response to impulses and reactions that stem from a trauma or issue can be hard to overcome but is highly achievable. Its important to understand the “Why” in losing the self-control, changing the current environment and even write your thoughts down in a journal. Understanding your self-control and the relation it holds to the trauma, changing your viewpoint of the situation will lead to resilient building qualities.
Here a few other perspectives I like to discuss in most of my presentations:
1. Problems can and will be solved. They are all solved based on your outlook.
2. Setbacks are normal. Setbacks are always a “thing”. If you know they happen, then you should not be surprised when they surface. As a matter of fact, you should be prepared for them.
3. Find meaning and passion in the aspects of life that truly drive you. Passion of life is life and I would say the meaning a of it.
4. Vitality of thought will lead to vitality of action.
5. Overcome adversities and don’t run from them. Facing adversity head on and with clarity of thought will be the best sources of accomplishment.
Every time you practice acknowledgment of yourself and how you control you only you, you build resiliency. Understanding your own compassion towards yourself builds resiliency. Self-control and not loosing it, builds our resiliency. All actions focused on overcoming and eliminating self-doubt will build upon our adversity. Tell yourself you can, and you will.
Here are a few books I recommend to build resiliency (click book cover):