Build resilience by maintaining perspective

Your perspective is your mental view of something. So in relation to resilience, perspective is making sure that your mental view of the situation neither belittles it (meaning wrongly decreases its value) or inflates it (meaning blows it all out of proportion. 

Let’s give an example: 

What happens:  You drop your tray ion the cafeteria, Your entire lunch is splayed over the linoleum floor and everyone starts clapping.

Belittling perspective: No big deal!! I’ll just leave it here and go buy another lunch.

Inflating perspective: Oh no!! This is the worst thing ever!!! I need to go home!!! I can’t ever show my face in here again!!

Resilient perspective: Well that’s a total bummer. I’ve lost my lunch, I’ve made a mess and everyone is staring at me. But these things happen. I’m a teenager! I had better start cleaning it up. Thankfully, it all missed my new shoes.

Which perspective most sounds like you?

In the belittling perspective, you do manage to get through the situation without getting overly upset, but you actually pretty much ignore it. You downplay it so much, that although you are able to get through it, you leave an entire lunch spread out all over the floor for someone else to handle. That’s not okay. It’s like you denied it happened and denial of a problem is not resilience. In this case, you might feel okay but the school staff might not feel that way about you.

In the inflating perspective, the thoughts you say to yourself make the situation more than it is. Going home because you dropped a tray is an over reaction.

In the resilient perspective, you recognize that the situation is unfortunate, but you also realize that no real harm happened, so you don’t feel overwhelmed by your thoughts and feelings, you recognize the next step to take (clean it up) and you persevere through the snickers while you work hard to clean it up. Bravo.

Of note, you also added a little gratitude in there which is helpful in building resilient. Recognizing what went well and being thankful for even the smallest of blessings is something that resilient people do quite well. 

DID YOU KNOW? Being grateful is associated with increased levels of well-being. 


So the next time you have a bad day, try to ask yourself, “What went well today?” and then acknowledge that you are thankful for that.

Post Question:

What went well for you today?

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