It seems that these days there is always more to do, fewer resources to do it with, higher expectations from customers, bosses, friends and family and less time to get it all done! The good news is that we can all develop the ability to not only face these challenges, but to move beyond them. How? By building our resilience.
So what is resilience?
Resilience is being able to consistently rebound or spring back from anything that life might throw at us. By building one’s resilience, typically people suffer with less stress, anxiety and low moods, instead, they are able to manage stress more effectively and have greater satisfaction with life.
Here are five important elements of resilience for your consideration so you can build your own resilience:
1. Meaningful Life (Purpose)
Having a sense of one’s own meaning or purpose in life is probably the most important characteristic of resilience because it provides the foundation for the other four characteristics.
Purpose provides the driving force in life. When we experience inevitable difficulties, knowing our purpose pulls us forward.
The determination to keep going despite difficulties, discouragement, and disappointment . . .that’s perseverance.
Resilient individuals are good at overcoming roadblocks; they tend to finish what they begin, because of this, they are dependable. If they say they are going to do something, they do it.
Establishing and adhering to a routine is one way to strengthen perseverance. Setting realistic goals and attaining them builds perseverance.
Equanimity means balance and harmony. Resilient people learn to avoid extreme responses and ‘sit loose in the saddle’ to maintain their equanimity.
Resilient people have learned to draw on their own and others’ experiences and wisdom, and to use this to guide their responses. Equanimity also manifests itself in humor; resilient individuals can laugh at themselves and their circumstances and tend not to take themselves too seriously.
4. Self Reliance
Self-reliance is belief in yourself, with a clear understanding of your capabilities and limitations. It comes from experience and the ‘practice, practice, practice’ that leads to confidence in your abilities.
5. Coming Home to Yourself (Existential Aloneness)
Whilst we all live in the world with other people, resilient individuals learn to live with themselves, they become their own best friends.
Coming home is a journey that begins with getting to know yourself well. Along the way, you become ‘comfortable in your own skin’, accepting yourself as you are – in every way.