What Is Resiliency?
Merriam-Webster defines resiliency as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change. Resiliency is more than just “bouncing back.” It’s learning how to take what life throws at you in-stride. It’s allowing the rocky parts of life to grow and shape you as a person. This is incredibly important in all areas of life but particularly as a business-owner. No doubt this past year or two has brought adversity and setbacks your way, both in your personal and work life. So how do you cope with stressful situations and rise up from hardship? Here are a few ways to develop resiliency.
How Can I Be a More Resilient Person?
For so many this year, resiliency feels like an unreachable state of mind, but it’s not impossible and you’re stronger than you think. Resiliency takes practice and time to foster. But every individual has the potential to adapt to new circumstances and move forward.
Dr. Lucy Hone is no stranger to suffering. Losing her 12-year-old daughter could have emotionally paralyzed her, but instead, Hone chose to fight depression, bitterness, and anger and came out on the other side a more resilient person. In her TEDx talk, she explains there are three secrets that define resilient people:
- “Resilient people…know suffering is part of life.” – Hone says that when we come to terms with the fact that everyone suffers, we stop feeling “discriminated against.” We need to understand that, while the emotions we are experiencing are valid, we are not the only ones that experience those emotions. Grief, loss, discouragement–these are human emotions many others can relate to.
- “Resilient people are really good at choosing carefully where they select their attention.” – According to Hone, you develop resilience when you “focus on things you can change, and accept the things you can’t.” We can’t get wrapped up in trying to change things that are beyond our control. We have to look at the road ahead of us and focus on what we can change.
- “Resilient people ask themselves, ‘Is what I’m doing helping or harming me?’ “ – Sometimes, Hone says, we get so caught up in what we are doing that we fail to stop and consider whether or not it is actually helping us. When we start feeling overwhelmed or weighed down, we ought to stop and question it. If what we’re doing is harmful or unhealthy or stressing us out even further, we need to give ourselves permission to stop.
Developing Resiliency Is Hard Work, but It’s Worth It
If you’ve ever been rejected for your job of choice, had to change careers, or let someone from your business go, you have faced opportunities to become resilient. If you feel like you’re floundering this year, remember that roadblocks and detours may slow us down, but they don’t have to derail us. Bankruptcy, debt, budget cuts–these are things that can paralyze us if we don’t brace ourselves for them.
This life is full of disappointments, critics, and setbacks. When adversity comes, will you shrink in fear or close your eyes in denial, OR will you take a deep breath and face it head-on, knowing that if you can get through it you’ll come out the other side stronger? If you’re not sure where to begin, start with the basics: take care of yourself! Sleep, eat, exercise. Depriving yourself physically can impact your resiliency. And be kind to yourself! Beating yourself up over mistakes you’ve made or how you’re handling tough times doesn’t build resilience. Take breaks, talk to a friend, reach out to a professional therapist. Resiliency is hard work, but it’s worth it.
Resiliency doesn’t come easily. It takes diligence, patience, and grace to pick yourself up and keep going when life knocks you down. But there’s hope! If life feels overwhelming right now, try implementing some of these strategies and mindsets into your life. It is unlikely that any individual in the world right now is devoid of suffering. Be comforted by that thought, knowing that you’re not alone and that there are practical, helpful ways to keep moving forward.