Have you read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz? I read it about a year ago and it easily became one of my favorite books. Along with my personal fitness mission statement, I try to let the wisdom of the Four Agreements guide me. The hardest one for me is “Don’t Take Anything Personally”. Yet that may be one of the most crucial resilience skills. Today Jocelyn from Flux + Flow talks about accepting what you can’t control and taking action with what you can.- Pamela
As someone who’s always been emotionally sensitive, I’ve always heard “grow tougher skin”, “don’t take things so personally”, among other things. You start feeling down because of x,y,z. Your friends tell you, “Don’t worry, you’ll bounce back”. But what does that even mean?
When you are an emotional person, it’s easy to spiral down the rabbit-hole when words can feel so heavy at times. Is being a resilient person even about who you are at your core? Even experts argue how much of resilience has to do with genetics.
Overcoming physical and mental hurdles is all about your mindset. The key to resilience is realizing that you are not in control of what happens to you- but how you react.
Being resilient is about overcoming confined thinking that puts your mindset in an “at-risk” state for a negative thought pattern. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable exposes your mind to toxic effects of hardships. This doesn’t necessarily make vulnerability a bad thing. To make vulnerability more than a difficult predicament, it must be matched with a call to action.
Cultivating Your Resilience Skills
Resilience is a skill that involves the practice of a positive call to action to overcome an obstacle. Learning to acknowledge your strengths and use them when needed, is the skill of insight. Insight is important for the skill of resilience because it helps with the shift of perspective. Learning to keep your head clear allows you to remain leveled head in times of stress. Learning to see things for what they are and not blow them out of proportion is important for staying strong.
Evaluating a situation is step one. Bad things have and will happen to you. But bad things will also happen to everyone else. You cannot control this, but you can control how you react. Your attitude is everything. Enduring and overcoming obstacles is what makes us human. This is where growth happens here.
Once we realize that everyone goes through their own battles, we must learn to not play the victim. People do not become resilient because they are immune to the harshness of the world. Underneath the tough outer shell that they put forward, they have their wounds. But despite their scars, they push through and come out on top.
So now that we understand the mental portion of resilience, you must follow through with action. According to the research on resilient people done by Emmy Werner, Ph.D., resilience seems to stem from the concept that people become resilient out of a need to maintain self-esteem. This can be accomplished through independence. Learn to allow a certain degree of distance from your emotional troubles while exploring positive skills to move forward. Call on your strengths and use them to move forward. Realizing your own capabilities builds self-esteem, which turns into resilience.
Strive for balance in all aspects of your life. Learn to take initiative when a problem arises. Learn to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. If you see every problem has an unbearable heaviness, it will slowly weigh you down. In troubled times, experiment with how you will overcome. When moving forward, create realistic goals that you can move toward. Every small victory is a step closer to the bigger picture. Use this time to create connections that help you grow. Having strong connections helps create strength, which will boost your self-esteem as a result. Having a strong support system allows you to lean on people you’ve developed trust with in times of vulnerability.
Resilience is a journey to self-discovery. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Find your purpose, maintain your integrity at all cost and remain flexible. A little positivity goes a long way.