Life has its ups and downs. How you handle it is uniquely yours. We all know those people who seem unflappable, no matter the situation. We also know those people who seemingly come apart at the littlest things.
Many of these responses are based in the flexibility and adaptability the person has gone through. That's the learning stage! But resilience often gets ignored.
Nan Henderson, who holds a Masters in Social Work, has said: "Every day of our lives, we all draw upon what researchers call our innate capacity for overcoming adversity. When dealing life’s small hassles, such as getting stuck in a traffic jam, or diffusing an argument with a coworker, or making the necessary arrangements to take care of a suddenly sick child, we draw upon this internal capacity for resiliency. Our children do this when they struggle through a difficult math lesson, figure out a way to get home when they miss the bus, or cope with an irritable parent. When a major life crisis hits, people draw upon this capacity in a much bigger way."
We often forget that each situation teaches us how to adapt in the future. That flexible person you know has probably been through a lot! That person who comes apart at the littlest thing? She may not have had the experiences that lead her to cope.
There are ways you can continue to build on your personal resilience that don't require for stuff to hit the fan!
Relationships: The ability to be a friend and form positive relationships
Humor: Be able to laugh and have a good sense of humor
Inner Direction: Follow your gut!
Perceptiveness: Understanding people and situations
Independence: Distancing from unhealthy people/situations
Positive View of Personal Future: Optimism
Flexibility: Adjust to change or positively cope with situations
Love of Learning: Capacity to go beyond status quo
Self-Motivation: Your own personal initiative Competence: Find your "I'm good at something" skill
Self-Worth: Feelings of self worth and self confidence
Spirituality: Personal faith in something greater
Perseverance: You don't give up
Creativity: Espress self through art
Identify the four (4) from the above you use most often, then identify how you can apply these to current situations in life that you're facing.
Next, chose one or two that you want to add to your personal toolkit. Start small! We want to avoid the overwhelm!
As you start using some of these "tools", remember to give yourself credit for what you do and what you overcome on a daily (or lifetime!) basis.
Nan Henderson also shared this: "This is a powerful approach. A school counselor told me recently how she applied it. A high school student, Sandy, was referred to this counselor because she was failing in two subjects, math and science. Normally, the counselor told me, she would immediately confront a student with the problem–in this case two failing grades–after making some brief small talk. Instead, after the small talk, she opened her session with this question: “Sandy, I have learned a little about your life. Tell me, how have you managed to do as well as you have done?” Sandy, the counselor reported, immediately burst into tears. “Never in all my years has anyone acknowledged what it has taken just to get to school,” she said. Most of the rest of the session was spent identifying all the strengths Sandy had used to “do as well as she had done.” Towards the end of the session, the counselor said, “Let’s talk about how you can use all these strengths you have shared to bring your grades up in math and science.”"
It's pretty powerful stuff here. And we have the power to do it! It's a mindset shift and anyone can start right now!