Without resilience life can often feel difficult. We perhaps experience more fear and anxiety in ourselves than maybe others seem to. Life can feel forever difficult. Ultimately this drains us of physical and mental energy as we create significant internal stress – in turn this is likely to affect both our short and long term physical, emotional and mental health.
A few definitions of resilience:
- The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
- An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.
- Knowing how to cope in spite of setbacks, barriers, or limited resources.
So how resilient are you?
- On a scale of 1-10 how resilient do you think you are?
- On a scale of 1-10, how resilient do you want to be?
I didn’t used to be so resilient. It is something I have learnt. I know what it’s like to live with fear and anxiety, to have little or no confidence, to not believe in myself, to allow other people’s opinions of me to not only matter, but define me. I share this place with many of you who are reading this – you are not alone!
I am forever grateful for the personal development journey I have allowed myself to take. This happened mainly as part of growing a business. Something that happened due to a desire to get more out of life, to not have anyone else running my day or deciding when I could take time off and how much time. Hence the decision to work for myself… Interestingly that journey was tougher than I anticipated, BUT, it has taught me to be more resilient in ALL aspects of my life.
So, I guess, learning to develop resilience was a choice. It may not have been a conscious choice at the time, but I did at least recognise that to succeed in life, it was something I needed to learn. Did I know how much it would challenge me, challenge some of my strong held ingrained beliefs, challenge some relationships and friendships? No, but I soon learnt that if I was to overcome the fear of being judged and letting that judgement affect me, I needed to start, and needed to accept a little bit of pain.
Why do they say “no pain, no gain”? Because it’s true! The start is always the hardest part……but get started, and you’re half way there.
We all have that choice, even though it may not feel like it at times, we do. Do you wish to exercise that choice?
Here’s what I’ve learnt and a few tips in that all important step to getting started:
- Learn to let go of the things we cannot control and accept the things we can. Leave alone all the things other people do that you don’t like, they only affect you if you let them! Choose differently. It may feel strange or hard to start with, but you will get used to it. A couple of helpful phrases to say to yourself in the moment:
- “Whatever…..each to his own!” or “mmmm – isn’t that interesting?” Then move on.
- Or, ask yourself “who does this belong to?” Take a deep breath, stop and listen to any internal feelings, and then let go. And you will, because the chances are it doesn’t belong to you, so your subconscious will allow you to move on.
- Focus on the things we can be grateful for – there is always something somewhere in our day. Gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to develop resilience. It enables your brain pathways to start to see the good first, rather than to focus on the negative. And all we are doing is trying to re-route an ingrained pathway.
- Let go of judgment of people, things, situations and most importantly yourself. Instead be fascinated, be interested, but don’t judge. It’s another way of letting go of emotional attachments to things that you have no influence in.
- Let go of having expectations of others. We all do it, but it really helps to stop it. Every time you hear yourself criticising someone else or a situation, judging them or it, or joining in negative gossip simply say “Stop it” to yourself. We do this because deep down we all wish people were like us and we can’t help ourselves expecting them to behave like us or do the things in the way we would. Instead, love and value the difference in us all as human beings.
- Finally, remember what goes around comes around. What you give out, you will receive. Always be conscious of how you behave, interact and deal with situations. More often what you are receiving is a reflection or what you are giving out.
Over time, if we choose to, we can become more resilient to life, to people, to circumstance, to change, to things we have no control over and thus choose to live life on our own terms rather than reacting to everyone or everything else. Practice by exercising that choice every day, just for something small. By this, I just mean, be conscious of your own decisions and reactions to things every day.
As we become more aware, we often learn to stop, breath, count to ten, and ask ourselves – can I choose something different here?
Whilst developing resilience can appear to be difficult, because it can create internal conflict, it is such an important aspect to overall health. The conflict and tussle of not being resilient has more far reaching negative consequences on long term health, than the journey of ‘toughening up a bit’ and not letting situations or what others think, say or believe about you impact your decision, choices and thus life.
Developing resilience has such positive benefits on our short and long term physical and emotional health.
So, what will you choose today? Will you choose something different?
If you need help to develop any of the areas discussed in this blog, feel free to connect or contact us for a FREE consultation.