Resilient. Would you say that you are a resilient person?
Consider having a set of skills that could enhance your quality of life. Imagine the ability to be happier, healthier and safer.
Having been challenged by:
- a concussion
- chronic illness
- two bouts of cancer, and
- a life-threatening medical procedure that failed
As a result, I am very invested in being as resilient as I can. I figure I have to be prepared for whatever might happen next.
What Is Being Resilient?
There has been a lot of research on resiliency. Several leading institutions’ research shows that it can make a significant difference in our lives. Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from life’s everyday obstacles and overwhelming adversities. The purpose of this article is to introduce you to the topic. Additionally, I will highlight some key components. Researchers are concluding that each person has an innate capacity for resiliency. In other words, this is “a self-righting tendency” operating when people of all ages have resiliency-building conditions in their lives.
How Do We Develop Resiliency Skills?
In the first part of our lives, it is how we have been parented. Similarly, resiliency is also part of our personalities, belief systems and our faith. Teachers and our community factor into how resilient we become. For instance, we model the behaviour of those that have gone before us as we mature, along with taking courses, reading books and watching videos. Finally, asking for help. That is a big plus on our resiliency score, as no one is an island. Most people in our lives want us to succeed.
What Type Of Activities Make Me Resilient?
1. Making connections and being mentored. For example, resilient adults remember one or two people who made a difference in earlier their lives. These adults acted as role models and mentors. “Almost 40 years of research shows that nearly 70 per cent of emotionally connected people are able to thrive despite adversity.” (Brown, D’Emidio-Caston, and Bernard 16). Who are you feeling connected with?
2. Reading. Resilient people read. Werner and Smith found that, above all, “effective reading skills by grade four were one of the most potent predictors of successful adult adaptation.” Therefore, remember to keep reading as adults. An all-time favourite book of mine is Mastery by George Lenard. It is about the process and key steps of what it takes to master a skill. Sadly, this is something modern-day society does not often acknowledge with our sense of entitlement.
Skills To Be Resilient
3. Problem-solving, information and innovation skills. Resilient people know how to find and use the information to solve problems. Above all, when faced with adversity, they will use a variety of problem-solving models. This helps them identify options for dealing with problems. Question to you. When was the last time you read a book or took a course on problem-solving or innovation? One of my favourites is Six Thinking Hat, giving us six ways to solving life’s issues. Moreover, mind maps are great brainstorming and problem-solving tool.
4. Social skills. Most importantly, one of the chief determinants of success is social skills. Therefore, resilient people tend to have more friends and are more confident. In addition, they tend to be friendly, cheerful, good-natured, humorous and practice their intelligence. What are you doing to build and nurture your social skills?
5. Life skills. People see possibilities when they foster personal awareness. Their level of responsibility and decision-making capabilities increases. By focusing on your potentials, the adverse risks are reduced.
More Activities To Become Resilient
6. Hobbies and Interests. People who participate in hobbies and activities feel more confident, competent and positive about themselves. For example, hobbies and activities bring us into contact with more people. Similarly, they can also provide solace during times of stress and turmoil.
7. Direction. Resilient people have a sense of direction and goals. What goals have you set recently? It increases your chances of positive outcomes. Therefore, I believe in setting hard goals (dates, times, places, resources, outcomes) and soft goals. Asking myself questions, such as, “How do I want to feel?” “What do I want to feel?” As well, I ask, “With whom do I wish to share the experience?”
8. Taking care of others and volunteering. People engaged in “required helpfulness” are more resilient. Furthermore, people who believe they have something to contribute feel more empowered. Therefore, they feel confident about themselves. In addition, they mentor, tutor, are peer helpers and volunteer. By doing so, their self-esteem and competency increases.
9. Participation at school, religious group, and in the community. Also noteworthy is that active participation provides opportunities to make friends and develop skills. Plus, people who have faith in a higher power believe their lives have meaning and they control their own fate.
Resiliency is in large part a choice once we become adults. Then again we need to know we have a choice. What will you do today to enrich your life to be more resilient?
So until next time, Imagine Yourself with more Resiliency for Life.
Michael Ballard specializes in helping people, schools, teams
organizations and communities learn how to become more resilient.
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