Given the past 2 years alone I think it’s safe to say we have all gone through failures, setbacks, and challenges. In fact, after I get through a challenging time, I can almost guarantee that they’ll be more challenges to come in the future. Although that sounds negative, it’s also reality, and that’s life!
I’m not here to stress you out even more, but a quick reality check: Challenges and difficulties are a part of life. Oftentimes, when things seem pointless and/or hopeless, when you’ve just come face to face with yet another failure, it can seem as though it’s the end. It can seem as though no matter how hard you try, the life that you want will always be just out of reach. But that’s not the case.
With snapshots from media, it’s easy to assume that those who look successful, those who get what they want, and those who seem to be “the happiest” aren’t people who have ever faced difficulties. But as we all can guess by now, those people have also had to overcome sadness, disappointment, and difficult life experiences as well. The thing that makes them different and who they are now is how they respond and react to those obstacles – resilience.
Resilience has several definitions. It can be defined as the ability to quickly overcome challenges and life stressors. Or the adaptability to thrive and survive despite adversity. I like to believe we all have some level and degree of resilience. Resilience is a character trait, and it can be built, developed, and improved over time.
Remember when I said, I’m not here to stress you out more? I’m here to encourage you: Hang in there! Endure the pain, feel all those feelings. It may not feel like it right now, but all of these experiences will make you stronger, I assure you, you may not know the reason why now, but soon enough, you will realize that there is a purpose for everything.
I get it, it’s easy to tell someone else to hang in there and to keep a positive outlook when they are going through tough times, but when challenges hit closer to home, “keeping our chin up” isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Resilience doesn’t make the challenges go away, nor does it say to ignore how hard things may actually be, but it allows us to acknowledge our challenges, see past our current circumstances, find ways to experience joy in life, and with a good support system manage our stressors better.
“It may sound strange, but many champions are made champions by setbacks.”
If you want to build your resilience here are some tips to try:
- Learn how to Manage your Emotions
- Remain Hopeful
- Take Care of Yourself
- Building Community & Staying Connected to Others
- Learn from your Experiences
All of these things are paramount to managing stress well – being resilient. When we can control (not suppress) our emotions we can better acknowledge how we feel, identify why we feel that way, and explore ways to regulate ourselves so we can begin to strategize ways to deal with the stressors. Hearing words of encouragement can often be a great way to remain encouraged and hopeful during difficult times. Words can have a powerful impact on our mindset. We’ve all heard the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”, the fact is that words really do have an impact on how we feel. So during challenging times remember to take care of yourself, pay attention to how you are talking to yourself, surround yourself with good energy, and remember there’s a lesson and/or growth in every setback.
YOU CAN BE RESILIENT AND ASK FOR HELP
Hear me out, by no means do I wish to invalidate any hardships and traumas you may have faced in your lifetime. I am fully aware that trauma is real, and generational trauma can have lasting impacts on how individuals perceive and operate in the world around them.
Resilience means you have the tools to cope with life’s stressors. Being resilient is knowing that there is something inside of you that is greater than any obstacle you may face AND knowing when to ask for help. If you need to reach out to a local licensed mental health professional for additional support, that’s okay, don’t hesitate.
To learn more about how you can work on developing your resilience, check out our Resilience Workbook below.