17 Sep Why being resilient is important
Saying resilience is the ability to “bounce back” sounds great, but what exactly does that look like in real life? When your goldfish dies and you fail your math test, you can’t just throw those events against the wall like a ball and “bounce back” (yes, one would be gross, the other wouldn’t bounce). What does resilience really look like in real life?
Here are a few examples to illustrate the concept of resilience:
- In athletics: You struck out in baseball and, in your mind, you think everyone blames you for losing the big game. For weeks, you can’t shake the feeling of being a superior loser. Those are some poor resilient skills. Strong skills include positive self-talk that includes the support you know you’d give a friend in the situation. With perspective, you know that it’s not your fault (it’s a team sport) and you move on.
- In your social world: A text goes out that is completely false and upsetting to you. You wallow for days and plot revenge (poor resilience). Or you calmly speak to the person who started it, letting them know the consequences if it happens again and then move on. People are sometimes careless but you’ve made clear what you expect in the future.
- In your family life: Your parents tell you that your grandmother will be moving into the house so that you will have to now share the bedroom with your younger sibling. You so do not want to do that! With low resilience, you start screaming, slam your door and never forgive your grandmother. With high resilience, you still feel upset but you figure out how to partition the room with your sibling, so you have some privacy, and remind yourself how important your grandmother is to you.
When you are resilient, you don’t spiral into negative emotions. You may still feel a lot of pain (like in the athletics example) but you MANAGE it rather than allowing yourself to go into a tail spin or to be cranky to your granny.
Resilience is the skill you need to not only get through life’s challenges but to learn from them. Resilience is a skill that makes you stronger and better equipped to find solutions to your problems. In order to build it, you need to learn how to:
handle your emotions
search for solutions
work hard and
persevere when things are tough
Let’s look at each of those traits and how you can build them.
Of the ways listed above to build resilience, which do you think you’ve already got in the bag?