When it comes to resilience, the question is never, 'will I experience hardship?' Instead, we should ask, 'how will I experience hardship?'
Simply put, resilience is the ability to handle hardship in a way that does not destroy you mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. It is successfully bouncing back after calamity and thriving despite the odds.
I never truly understood what resilience meant until certain situations coaxed the resilience out of me—for example, becoming a widow and single mother with no job and no solid plan at the tender age of twenty-two. Even though I'd been in difficult situations before this, this will always be my defining moment.
While training our minds, hearts and spirit to be resilient when loss, pain and suffering are rippling through our lives may seem unattainable, it is possible. And many of us exhibit qualities of resilience daily and do not even realise it.
Below are the five qualities that show that you are, in fact, a resilient person, even if it does not always feel like it.
1. How you grieve
If you think being resilient means you do not feel vulnerable, helpless, experience pain, sorrow or cry, you couldn't be more wrong. A resilient person knows how to grieve and will grieve. But, not just grieve, but they do it appropriately.
When faced with any loss, you are resilient if you embrace that grief, setting aside time to soak up all your emotions without shame or guilt. You understand that it is OK to cry, and feel miserable, for sorrow is how we all process and seal our wounds.
What sets you apart as a resilient person is that you do not wallow in that misery. Because wallowing suggests that one is perpetually sad and shuns everything else in life, your resilience will determine a healthy time to draw the line and say, 'it is time to crawl out of the dark hole.'
2. How you handle mistakes
You are indeed a resilient person if, when an error occurs, you do not cast blame on others. Instead, you take accountability for your actions, assuming you are also in the wrong. You will acknowledge your involvement without pointing fingers even if others are involved in that wrong.
And in the same vein, you will embrace the consequences of your actions, knowing that mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow.
3. How you handle failure
Even though you have been through hardship and faced challenges and obstacles, you still have a passion for life. You haven't forsaken your goals and dreams and are still determined to be the best you can be.
You understand that failure is feedback. That's how you know what's working and what's not.
While you are not delusional about a problematic situation, you maintain a positive outlook on life. This is because you understand that problems come and go. No situation in life is permanent. Therefore, you hold on to faith and hope while allowing yourself room to redirect your mind and grow.
4. How you handle things you cannot change
We cannot always control what life throws at our doorstep. Neither can we alter some outcomes. When that happens, you can find acceptance within yourself as a resilient person.
Not only that, you find ways to flip the script, turning that horrible situation to your advantage. In other words, you have mastered the art of turning your lemons into lemonade. For example, turning your challenging experience into a book that helps, inspires and motivates others when faced with the same situation—or raising money for a cancer charity to educate others about the disease following a diagnosis. These are examples of turning tables and playing life's cards.
5. Protecting others
You are resilient if you do not allow your horrible situation to affect others. While you confide in those you love and who love you back, you do not allow your hardships to affect them. Without seeking to lie or deceive, you avoid letting your misery infringe on the happiness and peace of those around you. Instead, you do what you can to protect them and allow them to live their lives free of guilt or obligation to your needs.
You can strike the right balance between sharing your terrible news and allowing the people who love you to live their lives freely because you have mastered the art of expression and timing. You know when and how to express your pain and sorrow without dragging anyone down with you.
Our experiences, though pain at times, do not have to spell the end for us. They do not have to be in vain. We can give ourselves the gift of allowing everything life throws us to work for our greater good. We only need to learn how to do it.
Please feel free to leave your comments :)
Below is one of my videos on resilience.