“Yes, I’ve got many rivers to cross
But I can’t seem to find my way
Wandering, I am lost
As I travel along White Cliffs of Dover.” Jimmy Cliff
It is incredibly fulfilling to find a solution to a problem, and it gives a strong sense of empowerment.
Life is unpredictable, and with this unpredictability comes uncertainties about our current and future functioning. Our ability to navigate life-changing situations helps determine if we emerge more decisive in the short and long term. Our toughness is built on our victories, defeats, and the concessions we make for the greater good.
What is resilience?
Our capacity to be adaptable, flexible, and persist in the face of adversity. In other words, resilience is our ability to bounce back in response to adversity. According to the American Psychological Association, resilience also includes our response to trauma, tragedy, threats, psychosocial stressors (family and relationships problems), health concerns, career, and financial challenges.
There are no standardized means of adapting to these life-changing situations, so each case has to be treated on its merit. Consequently, rigid and stereotypical responses may not yield the desired results. However, this does not mean previous successes in adjusting to life-changing experiences are not applicable or cannot serve as the launching pad to address a new problem. Instead, combining what is already known and the six domains of resilience collaboration, vision, composure, reasoning, tenacity, and health increase the chance for success.
Sometimes we are armed with a little more than our will to succeed. Each experience builds character, which transforms into persistence and more confidence. Our resilience from these experiences is strengthened by positive expectations,
a growth mindset, adaptation, self-affirmation, and flexibility to better adjust to challenges. Resilient people tend to display the following behaviors:
They learn from their many experiences, and from these experiences, they learn resourcefulness. Learned resourcefulness is significant when adapting to our many life circumstances.
They dare to change course when things are not going well.
They know changing their minds is not the same as quitting.
They are emotionally intelligent.
Demonstrate flexibility in their approach to dealing with setbacks.
They exhibit a willingness to modify their behaviors to deal with challenges.
build and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships
They collaborate with others when necessary to accomplish the desired outcome.
They can usually resume normal functioning after experiencing a disruption in their routine.
We cannot thoroughly prepare for each instance of adversity we may encounter, making it necessary to understand and promote resilience. However, over time we grow in our strength and choose adaptive behaviors. It is also important to recognize we do not always immediately rebound from some of the challenges we encounter in our lives.
Significantly, the rebound may come in successive approximation, requiring patience and perseverance to recover from the setback. In addition, it changes how we usually do things to adopt new behaviors to improve our functioning.
Five quotes from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius that speaks to resilience:
“To be like the rock that the waves keep crashing over. It stands unmoved, and the raging of the sea falls still around it.”
“Look into their minds, at what the wise do and what they don’t.”
“Not to be driven this way and that, but always to behave with justice and see things as they are.”
“It can ruin your life only if it ruins your character. Otherwise, it cannot harm you inside or out.”
“The mind is that which is roused and directed by itself. It makes of itself what it chooses. It makes what it chooses of its own experience.”
Most of us desire to succeed, but circumstances beyond our control beset these desires. All is not lost when we encounter various challenges. How we rebound becomes our focus. The problematic situations likely will affect our motivation and emotional functioning. However, if we exercise our capacity to be adaptable, flexible, and persevere, we can change the outcomes.
Thanks for reading my blog.
Stay Naturally Curious
Tabibnia, G. & Radecki, D. (2018). Resilience training that can change the brain, 70(1), 59-88. https://doi.org/10.1037/cpb0000110