“No one escapes pain, fear, and suffering. Yet from pain can come wisdom, from fear can come courage, from suffering can come strength – if we have the virtue of resilience.”
— Eric Greitens, Resilience: Hard-won wisdom for living a better life
According to apa.org ,“Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors.”
Those two words, “adapting well” in that definition make all the difference as to how resilient you actually are. They continue on by saying “With the right tools and supports in place, one thing is sure: You will not only make it through the challenges of your river adventure.You will also merge a more confident and courageous rafter.”
Honestly, I couldn’t imagine white water rafting – not sure that I am ready to develop that type of resilience but I have made it through some tough challenges and I know that I am more resilient as a result.” I used to say, how much broader do my shoulders need to be…well, as it turns out that developing our resilience is an ongoing exercise. Each instance strengthens our coping muscles so that we come out stronger and better prepared for future challenges.
No matter what challenges we experience, one thing we can control is how we respond to them. Some coping strategies are negative or even destructive, while others are positive and life-affirming. Some people try to avoid the situation, others resort to alcohol to numb the pain, but some manage to tap into resources of inner strength that they never knew they had.
Think Back to a Time...
Think about challenges you’ve experienced in the past, and take some time to reflect and list some of them.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How did I cope at the time?
- How would I cope now in that same situation?
- Has anything changed?
- Which of my coping strategies are positive, and which ones are negative?
Share your Story
Would you like to share your story of a situation from your past? If so, we would love to hear about it. Tell us what the situation was. How you coped then. How you might cope differently today? How you have grown as a result of the challenge and increased your resilience.
If you would like to share your story with me, please do so in confidence through my Google Forms link by clicking here. The link will take you to a Google Form with the questions above. If your story is chosen as one that would be great to share, we will only do so with your express written permission.