Why resilience isn’t about bouncing back from adversity
Updated: Aug 15, 2019
Most people would be forgiven for thinking resilience is about bouncing back after adversity and some may believe it’s about bouncing forward but in reality, it’s not about either.
Resilience is about re-adjusting your stance, about re-centring yourself and getting present to the current moment so you can acknowledge that you are still alive, still breathing and still human.
From that space there is much greater consciousness in the choices you make that will help you ease the pain from your past and help direct your future.
Let me explain….
There are so many things that challenge our resilience levels, the programming of our childhood, traumas at the hands of others, natural disasters, accidents, loss of loved ones, our work environments, our home environments, setbacks we’ve endured, marriages that have ended, marriages that wish would end, people we have been let down by, our internal fears, the shame we carry, the mistakes we’ve made, the inner resistance – it’s a long list and I’m sure we couldn’t find a single human that hadn’t been touched by adversity in some way.
But with many of us believing that resilience is about bouncing back or forward what is missed is the real opportunity in standing still and getting present.
The reality is that it is not possible to bounce back, the past is the past and no amount of wishing things were the way they were will ever be able to take you back to that moment, the moment before everything changed.
Bouncing forward suggests anywhere but here is better, which is equally challenging. If you want to get to a new destination but don’t take time to re-centre your co-ordinates to your current position it makes navigating the journey rather difficult, if not impossible.
So what is resilience really about?
Re-adjusting your stance, re-centring and perhaps even standing still is what resilience is really about.
It’s about standing still and facing your fear before making the decision to walk through it.
It’s about re-centring yourself to recognise you need to heal your wounds of the past by understanding your programming before you can change it.
It’s about re-adjusting your stance and understanding that every difficult moment has a silver lining and that it’s your job to find it.
When you stop, get still and notice your breath, when you connect with nature, feel it’s wonder and acknowledge your own aliveness, something shifts. You begin to understand we humans are all the same. Every single one of us.
We are all on the same path seeking love, joy, acknowledgement and belonging. We all fear the feelings of rejection, of failing, of feeling foolish, making a mistake or being alone.
When you get present to the truth that whatever you are going through there are others that have gone through it or are going through it too, then you can see and know we are all the same.
When you know we are all the same, EVERYTHING CHANGES.
Knowing we are all the same means you accept and learn that each of us have to take responsibility for our own lives and no-one else is accountable for what we want.
Acknowledging everyone is the same, and therefore has the same fears, leads you not to look outside for answers, but to search within. To explore who you are at your core and what you stand for. By doing this you begin to use your own wisdom and connect with your inner resolve.
Accessing your inner resolve, which is understanding who you are resolving to be and what you are resolving to do in your life, leads you to learn how to put your fear to one side, at least long enough so that the answer you need can come into focus. This doesn’t mean you never feel fear it just means your connection to your inner resolve is stronger.
Where do I start with building resilience?
There are so many ways but here are four to get you started….
1. Begin with getting still and breathing deeply– this alone will calm your mind, then acknowledge that you are still alive, know that if your heart is still beating you have the resilience within you and by getting still you allow yourself to access it.
2. Write down all the things that are challenging you then look at that list and ask yourself how you could reframe those challenges? What could they be teaching you? How might they actually help you? Being able to reframe your challengesis the key to avoiding getting stuck and acknowledging the lessons you are learning is the key to your success. Remember every challenge you are experiencing could be an opportunity, if you see it that way.
3. Re-centre yourself and acknowledge where you are right now, what obstacles did you overcome to be where you are today? How did your obstacles help you get where you are? Begin to notice how the obstacles you faced in the past directed you to where you are right now, and therefore know the obstacles you face now will be guiding you to where you need to be.
4. Choose your team wisely, we all need people in our corner when the chips are down, we don’t need to do resilience alone. But here’s the thing, be selective about who you allow into your inner circle because shame can be our greatest burden. Choose those that will never judge you, choose those that have already shown you that they are there for you through all the seasons not just the sunny days. Choose those that will be objective – those that will not just tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear and do so with love and kindness. Being able to help someone is a huge privilege, anyone who sees it as a burden does not need to be on your team.
Resilience isn’t about bouncing back or bouncing forward it about getting still, re-centring and re-adjusting and making more conscious and powerful choices from where you are right now, in this moment.
The obstacles you face are redirecting you to where you need to be, take the lessons you’ve learned from the mistakes you’ve made as steps in the right direction and understand that the dark days are pointing you in a new direction and that your greatest struggle could produce your greatest strength if you allow yourself to see it that way. There is no strength without challenge, pain, resistance and adversity – if you’ve been to the gym lately, you’ll know this is true!
Have faith that accessing your inner resolve is the most incredible thing you can do, when you understand who you have resolved to be and what you have resolved to do – building your resilience reserves, such as courage, discipline and determination become a priority – you are not going to let anything stop you.
Know that who you are meant to be evolves from where you are right now and your life experience is a valuable teacher.
Keep putting one foot in front of the other because the summit of your mountain still lies ahead.
“Recognise Every Season In Life Is Evolution Not Certain Extinction” – Glin Bayley