Resilience – Don’t confuse what resilience is with what it isn’t?

Most of us know what resilience is but do you know what it isn’t? I surprised a friend of mine when I told him.

I think we can all agree resilience is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from challenging life events.

I was telling my friend of a tough time I was having a while ago and he was surprised to hear how I (being an ‘expert’ on resilience) at the time felt down and stressed.

Let’s be clear, being resilient DOES NOT mean we do not experience stress, emotional upheaval, and suffering.

No matter how resilient and strong we think we might be we can still fall through no fault of our own.

I was reminded of this recently when on one of my usual walking routes I came across the tree in the featured image for this post. I walk by this tree (what I thought was a permanent fixture to the landscape) at least a couple of times a week and it’s been there for years and yet thanks to the very high winds, as sturdy and solid as it was, it fell over under the pressure.

We are just the same. Even the most resilient of us, in certain circumstances can feel loss, lost, overwhelmed, stressed and external pressures can knock us down. We’re human.

Resilience is a process utilising mental flexibility, strategic ways of thinking and learning to tap into our inner strength to work through an obstacle.

Developing resilience is both complex and personal, it can take longer for some of us than others to bounce back because we all have different mindsets, resources and tools, and we’re all experiencing different challenges.

Generally I bounce back quite quickly because of the insights, tools and coping strategies I’ve studied, use and practice daily.

Please don’t think for one moment you’re not resilient or weak (ABSOLUTELY NOT WEAK) because you’re stressed, emotional and suffering.

We’re all stronger than we give ourselves credit for and there are many things we can do that will help us to push through. For a start we can surround ourselves with supportive people and ask for help.

Of course, different circumstances dictate the need for different approaches/tools and often even a number of tools are needed to help us get through tough times. There is no one size fits all although there are some general coping strategies and techniques that can help (and I emphasis CAN help) most times.

If you’ve attended one of my presentations in the past you’ll probably already have a copy of my e-book ‘Resilience Strategies To Thrive In Tough Times And Beyond’, if not you can download a copy here.

In the meantime, let me leave you with a poem by Mike Dooley.

Your dreams are gifts

That set you in motion,

On the tides of time

Where life is an ocean.

And your sails are filled

With the winds of desire,

To surge through the waves

Of murk and mire.

But when you awaken

With your goal at hand,

You’ll see your true destination

Was the voyage, not the land.

Remember life is not all good AND it’s not all bad either, far from it in fact.

If it wasn’t for the tough times then the good times wouldn’t exist and we wouldn’t be able to enjoy them.

So do your best to always enjoy the good times and the journey as much as you can : )

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