I’ve always liked the saying the comeback is greater than the setback because I love a comeback story. I find them far more inspiring than when someone has been successful the first time around.
Something commonly linked to how we react to setbacks is resilience. But actually what is resilience?
Resilience can be defined as “the ability of a substance to return to its usual shape after being bent, stretched, or pressed”. Essentially it is how quickly we bounce back from situations that cause us stress, and highly resilient people tend to find a way to change course, emotionally heal, and continue moving toward their goals amid adversity.
I’ve become fascinated with resilience ever since I lost my dad to suicide five years ago. Before then, I always admired those who’d gone through tragedies and could remain optimistic and hopeful. I’d ask myself how do they do that? It was only when I was thrown into my own life-changing event that I learned the true importance of resilience and how to build it.
Here are a few practices that have helped me become more resilient.
Be accepting that life is filled with challenges but that doesn’t make it any easier.
Life does and will always throw us curveballs. We can’t control everything and we can’t predict life either. It’s also important to recognize that it is impossible to react well to everything that happens to us. When we are facing a difficult situation hearing advice to be positive, grateful, or to look at it in perspective, can be worse to hear. It’s ok not be to be ok, we’re human after all but don’t dwell in that place, rely on the skills to make it better. Resilience.
How you feel about yourself matters.
Whether you say you can or you can’t you’re probably right. It’s important when facing challenges to not let them knock your confidence. It’s easy to blame yourself or your abilities when life throws you unexpected challenges. Having a strong sense of self-belief along with knowing the strengths you possess will help you use failures, and challenges to grow and learn from.
Seek out opportunities for growth.
Don’t always take the easy road, it’s comfortable and safe. Take opportunities that push you out of your comfort zone to see how far you can go. You’ll find you can deal with a lot more than you think you can.
Don’t go it alone.
While not everyone can spend quality time with their close ones right now, it’s still important to reach out to your friends and family, even if it’s a regular call or Facetime. We were not meant to do it all by ourselves, even when we feel like we can be a burden to others.
Ask yourself is this harming me or is this helping me?
If the way your acting isn’t helping you, it’s most likely harming you and pushing you further away from where you want to be. Telling yourself you’re useless and not worthy won’t bring you closer to self-acceptance. Scrolling through your social media, or reading the news right before you go to bed isn’t going to help you sleep if you’re struggling to switch off. Find control over your decision-making.
Maintain a hopeful mindset. It does get better but it takes time.
When you’re going through a challenging time, one of the hardest pieces of advice to receive is “it gets better”. It took me years after my dad died to finally see that light over the horizon. Try to hold on to the belief it gets better because it does, and when you’re ready you’ll see it too.