The topic of ‘resilience’ has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Specifically, how some people have the fortitude to not only cope with adversity and major setbacks; they find the strength within to bounce back and emerge stronger, better versions of themselves. Are they just made of stronger stuff ? Perhaps. I’d like to think that there is more to it than just DNA. That there are things I can learn from them to build my own resiliency.
Almost all of us will face some major setback in our lives. So how can we fortify ourselves to better cope with adversity ?
Research has shown that there are 5 common factors of resilient people –
- They are resourceful and have good problem solving skills
- They are are more likely to seek help
- They believe they can do something to help them cope
- They have social support
- They are connected to others eg family and friends
In addition, Brene Brown, a renown researcher, identified several other significant similarities among resilient people. One of which is the ability to cultivate hope. Here’s the big ‘aha’ – she discovered that hope is not an emotion, rather it is a way of thinking or a cognitive process.
Basically, you have hope when
- you can set realistic goals i.e. I know where I want to go
- you can figure out how to achieve those goals, including being able to adapt and develop alternatives i.e. I know how to get there and I can tolerate disappointment and try again
- you believe in yourself i.e. I can do this !
I don’t know about you but this was fantastic news to me ! You see, this meant that even in my deepest, darkest moments; there are concrete, tangible things I could do to dig myself out of it. It gave me some sense of control back in a situation that I felt no control over. And for a control freak …. that was hope in itself !
So the next time you’re delivered a hard kick in the gut, tell yourself you can cultivate hope for a better future. Give yourself some time to heal. Then set yourself some realistic goals, get a plan in motion and lean on your family and friends for help and support. Most of all, believe that you can do it.
You are stronger than you think. Show what you’re made of.