How do we define resilience? That energy that thrives through adversity
My life was crumbling, and I thought I couldn’t help it. I felt so weird and would cry myself to sleep every night. I couldn’t tell the problem because everything felt wrong, but I knew I needed urgent rescue from this merry-go-round.
Resilience is the essential trait in winners and successful people; it is that secret weapon that pulls you forward when everything around you speaks otherwise.
If you must live the life you’ve always desired, your life must define resilience. I’ll tell you how I learnt it.
But how can we define resilience? Well, the definition of resilience is more than a group of words that form a sentence; it is a moment when you get up to yourself and decide:
This will not define me; I will rise and create the life I’ve always wanted to live. Though life throws me the most brutal ball and even gets me down, I refuse to stay down. I will rise and try, even if it is with the last drops of my blood!
It is often defined by that moment you choose to forgive yourself and take another chance to be happy.
I’ve been there. It happened when I was 22. I got too tired of letting people’s opinions define me, and I set out to create a life for myself. It wasn’t an easy decision because everything around me challenged it, but I am glad I made it.
How I learnt resilience
It was like my soul woke from the dungeon that held me bound for years, and oh! I was so sick and tired of going through the cycle of tears, distress, and mini-joy. I wanted it all, so I reached out to get it.
Slowly, my spirit rose to the light. I could feel a stream of hope springing. No more did the word “incapable” define me because I could see how much progress I had made. I knew that I was successful and refused to listen to those who said I wasn’t.
Every day became lively as my eyes held fast to the life I saw ahead. From then, resilience became a part of me and building it, my daily routine. It pushed me to move forward, especially when things got more challenging.
This daily routine made my life define resilience:
How I developed resilience: daily habits for building resilience
- A deep-rooted commitment to learning and personal growth
I won’t say I read a hundred books on personal growth to build resilience; that would be a MIGHTY lie. However, I digested a few and practiced what I could remember.
Nevertheless, I spent more time discovering my identity. This is what I mean.
I had to bring myself to believing and becoming who God says I am. That is another complex yet straightforward aspect.
I spent a lot of time studying The Bible and learning how it applies to my life. Bit by bit, I could see myself reflecting on what I studied. I also spent time praying.
It is okay if you do not believe in this; I realize that it is the most potent force that holds me together when every piece wants to drop out broken.
Besides this, I read people’s success stories. Indeed, knowing that someone went through what I was facing and came out stronger helped me build that courage. It still does.
- A willingness to take at least one step forward when I feel like I’ve reached my breaking point
The best lies a step ahead. I had to make myself believe and apply this.
For me, that sentence meant spending a few more hours in the night, writing and praying. Of course, I needed to make the money.
As a single lady, I knew for sure that I had to build my life. If I don’t, who will do it for me?
So, even when I feel a hook on my chest, I struggle to write one more word. If I can’t move any further after that, I’ll be happy I tried.
Life is hard work, and if you must be that person you need to be, you sure must fold your sleeve and get to work, even when you don’t feel like it.
The work I mean here is not only about what puts food on your table; it concerns your innermost being, your health, and happiness.
Refuse to go to bed sad, hungry or fed with junk.
Gone are the days when tears were my only hope for sleep. I had to define a system for falling asleep without crying about anything or anyone.
- A conscious practise of being more aware of my thoughts
I knew it; it was very glaring that I desperately needed a break from my thoughts.
They were primarily negative and gave me tension headaches. No matter how much I rested, the headaches would never go away.
Truly, our thoughts mold our lives, and most times, and when we allow them to become uncontrollable, we put our lives in the hands of a reckless driver.
Resilient people are very conscious of their thoughts and do not let negativity ruin the life they are working so hard to build. Instead of just hoping their thoughts will get better, they consciously practice positive thinking.
This is not easy, but learning to do it helped me a lot.
My mind was always busy with the most insignificant things. Even when I tried to rest, I noticed that it hit everything, especially those I desperately wanted to forget.
Then no way! I had to press the PAUSE button.
I couldn’t hold the random thoughts forever, but I could give myself a break I needed to concentrate on reality.
- Grabbing the mental microscope
Resilient people try to see the good in every situation, and I must say, they can be very tiny.
Some events may occur in your life, and after looking left, right, and centre, you just can find any good thing that can come out of it. That is when you need a mental microscope.
The positive aspect of a challenging situation could just be to help you build the strength to withstand. Yes, some things happen just to help you build resilience, and until you do, you remain in that dirt.
For instance, when you are in need, and no one reaches out to help, that is life teaching you how to be independent. When there is no one taking your calls or caring to know whether you are dead or alive, life says “you to be there for yourself”.
It may be challenging, but there is always something to learn from every season of tears. Find that thing and let it help you pick up your pieces.
- Taking at least four deep breaths before reacting to an overwhelming situation
I would scream, cry, sulk up, and use the “why me?” expression when anything terrible happened, but that never solved the problem because even those traits are problematic.
Reacting over emotionally to negative events means that you have a problem with the way you see life. When you have a negative outlook, even the best events in your life will feel wrong.
Also, you need a clear mind to understand situations and how to deal with them. Becoming too emotional about life will cloud your judgments.
According to research, taking deep breaths will help you calm down when things are boiling up. It worked for me, and when I wanted to SCREAMMMMM, I waited to complete my four deep breaths.
There are chances that when I was done breathing, I’d feel more in control of myself. Then I’ll be calmer to look at the incident and decide how to respond to it, that is if I need to respond at all.
Your take home
Resilience can transform a disabling situation into stepping stones. Through pains and disappointment, my soul was in charge, and this sudden desire to persevere and overcome overtook me. Resilience lies within, and when you connect to it, you unleash that wild force and boldness to bounce.
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