Writing about this topic feels rather ironic given that for the most part of my life I wasn’t familiar with resilience, let alone embodying it. Having grown up with a lot of limiting beliefs, I was far from confident and had no desire to be seen in any way. So I shut myself away from the world, hiding in my little shell, going along the ride of life, with ‘I cant’ as my go to word.
The fact that today I can share this openly and the journey I’ve come along thus far, having set up my brand, putting out my content, expressing my voice through videos and podcasts, shows that resilience is a skill that can be learnt.
When we think of resilience, we typically think about picking ourselves back up from difficult situations or adversity. While that sure is the case, there’s a lot more to resilience and it reflects in the daily choices we make. Here’s how:
Resilience is showing up in the arena knowing very well that you’ll be faced with judgements or criticism.
Resilience is waking up early, exercise or mediating when you don’t feel like doing it.
Resilience is confronting that colleague at work and stepping in a difficult conversation; and most importantly;
Resilience is focusing on the 5 things that went great for you in a day, rather than feeling low about that one thing that didn’t quite go your way..
If you’re wondering what brick hit my head that inspired a shift within me, it’s simple, I decided to make a choice and tap into that resilience that we’re inherently born with. Call this cliché but the heart continues to beat, no matter what!
Designing a resilient life is about designing a mindset around resilience because ultimately it all starts and ends up there. This also explains why its’ not adversity that causes our suffering but our beliefs about adversity that result in our emotional reactions and hence suffering. If you’re constantly going to be playing victim every time shit hits the fan saying, ‘Why me, Why now’,
you’re only going to be amplifying the effect of the situation and making it worse than it probably is.
So lets start off with some basics, shall we:
Enter Awareness- it’s all about the Internal dialogue
How many of us overthink and catastrophize situations or events in our life, such as an exam, an important presentation, a first date: ‘What If I fail, what if they hate it, what if I am not good enough for him/her’!?? Sound familiar?
Our brain’s amygdala is designed to protect us but evidently enough it can go overboard with the constant emphasis on everything that can go wrong. This is where rewiring that internal dialogue comes into the picture and indeed to our rescue. So every time you catch yourself with fear inducing thoughts, become aware and flip them into kickass scenarios like -what if I ace my exam! What if everyone loves my presentation! What if we have the best time together and bond really well!
Embrace the power of connection
As surprising it may sound, resilience has a lot to do with human connection. Every time that we’re experiencing an unpleasant situation, whether its loneliness, a break up or just simply feeling inadequate with the business of social comparisons, we feel that we’re the only special ones going through it all! From this stems a sense of isolation that can feel pretty debilitating and this reinforces the temptation of giving up.
Sharing and talking about your internal struggles and fears( in spite of the resistance it brings) gives a real kick! It is in the sharing of our stories that we find others like us and that sense of connection and belonging drives us to keep going.
You either have a choice of shying away from vulnerability while participating in the exhausting race of perfection, or speaking your truth and living your most authentic self.
Turn off faulty thinking, turn on empowering beliefs
Going through painful experiences requires an understanding that pain is very much an inevitable part of life. We all come down here on earth to grow and evolve through certain experiences. So in the context of applying empowering beliefs to troublesome situations, this goes something like ‘What could be right about this’ or ‘how can I grow from this? It’s certainly not as easy to do when confronted with, in reality but it puts the mind in the right gear and equips you to better handle hardship.
Another way to keep yourself in check when stressing about things in daily life is to ask- ‘‘Is this way of thinking harming me/or serving me?’ Becoming conscious of thoughts and the continuing internal dialogue empowers one to make different choices.
My personal belief is that we take our lives far too seriously than they’re meant to be. The world after all is our playground and whatever good or bad opportunities we consciously or unconsciously attract are ultimately for facilitating our growth to the next level. To be resilient is to make the most of it all.
Ill leave you with a brilliantly apt quote by Allan Watts-
“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.”