Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill
Resilience means the capacity to absorb energy from disruption. Absorb it, learn from it and move on. Don’t let the disruption keep you down. Nope get right back up! You fall seven times, but get up eight. Life is a journey, an adventure. On every adventure there will always be unexpected turns and moments that don’t go exactly as we plan. Nothing ever really goes exactly as we plan it, that’s life. It’s how we react to those slip ups though, how we let them affect us or not affect us. That’s the important part. We can either be totally crushed or we can shake it off, brush our shoulders and move on, BUT learn from that situation. We learn from every situation we are put into. Another piece to fit into place in the huge puzzle of life.
What are ways we can work on resilience? How can we help ourselves bounce back faster, absorb energy and move on, etc.? What are ways we can learn to be stronger; ready to face the next hurdle life throws us? I was raised in a family were we learned to be resilient at a young age. If things happened, sure my parents would hug us and comfort us for a bit, but they never let those moments keep us down. We always had to get back up and face whatever came next. They had our backs though, and that definitely helped me to face things thrown my way throughout life, it still does! Knowing you have a strong support team who is there to comfort you, but also not let you stay down is so important and positive for your growth. They are your support team; your cheerleaders and you are theirs.
Finding the lessons in the slip-ups is another huge key for helping to become resilient. Looking for the things to learn so this moment doesn’t happen again. Taking a step back from the situation and thinking, “wow if I do this then that won’t ever happen again… or, if that had gone the way I wanted it to maybe I wouldn’t have met all these awesome people or seen some of the things I saw.” I have a short story about resilience for you all. Rewind to this past summer, August. I helped my best friend move halfway across the country. Just the two of us driving for four days through some pretty barren, but beautiful country. First day out however, her jeep broke down on the TOP of a mountain pass. After about half a day sitting on the top of the pass in the summer heat we were rescued by the nicest tow truck driver and taken to a U-Haul center where we rented a 15 foot truck, attached the jeep on the back, and drove the rest of the way! At first being stuck up on top of that pass we were both pretty stressed and worried we’d have to back track to where we had started and be delayed. We had one of our college friends stop though and spend the whole afternoon with us so we weren’t alone, we got to wade in a BEAUTIFUL mountain lake while we waited and we met the nicest tow truck guy who went above and beyond his job criteria to help us out. PLUS I think the part that stuck out the most to me from that afternoon was I felt my already strong bond with my best friend grow even stronger because we were working through it together. That trip wore us out, but brought us even closer. We were resilient and didn’t let that broken down car stop us! Nope, we took the blessings and help given us and pushed through, got back up and finished the trip on time!
We learned from that trip and got to do things we maybe wouldn’t have gotten to do. Another thing to help with resilience that was also tied into that trip was gratefulness. Grateful our friend stayed with us, grateful our tow truck driver was so kind, grateful the U-Haul place stayed open later to help us figure out our situation. Find the areas to be grateful for in the rough moments and hold on tight to those! Make note of the things that might not have happened if you hadn’t had your plans messed up. This ties really well into my last post about being the bee (link). Finding the little bits of good in all the mess. Consciously looking for those moments and not letting all the bad outweigh the good. You will be able to bounce back easier and absorb the mess-ups and energy because you are holding onto those good moments. Those are your lifelines. Write them down! Make a list so you can go back later when you are feeling down and see how your life was affected in a positive way through the unexpected moments. Keep a gratitude journal! I wrote about that as well (link). I found since starting my journal it really helps me when I’m struggling to either write down something I’m grateful for or go back and read previous entries and enjoy the positive moments. I would highly recommend trying this!
I believe resilience is a choice. We get to decide if we are going to let the negatives keep us down or if we are going to jump right back up and keep moving. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger Kelly Clarkson says and she’s totally right. Life is a lesson for us and each lesson learned makes us smarter and ready for the tests down the road. We don’t let exams stop us, no we study for them so we can ace them and move on. That’s how we should view life too… taking the knowledge you need and keep plugging away. There are so many more wonderful adventures ahead of you, don’t let one bump in the road stop you from enjoying the journey. Shake it off and keep going. xoxo
Photo by Jason Coon