I have always been fascinated with resilience. Why is it, in times of hardship and stress, some individuals thrive while others crumble? Is it our character, upbringing, or karma? I am relieved to tell you my research says resilience is not a personality trait you are born with, but a skill anyone can learn and practice.
This topic was of particular interest to me after my hip surgery and I read several books on resilience, written by a navy seal, cancer survivor and wife of a presidential candidate. They all reminded me we aren’t fulfilled without a challenge or difficulty to work through, in other words practicing resilience makes us not only stronger, but happier too.
It doesn’t really matter what your life, health, work, or relationship situation is, because the principles of resilience are the same. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to determine how resilient you are:
Do you take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually when you are stressed?
Whether I am working with clients on their sleep, exercise, nutrition, or mindfulness practices, the most popular excuse for not following through when they need it most is “I don’t have time for this!”.
Do you tell the truth?
Authenticity allows you to live a more open, honest and engaged life. Authentic people feel better and are more resilient and less likely to turn to self-destructive habits for solace.
Do you have support?
Resilient people not only know how to ask for help, but they also take it when it is offered. They appreciate the fact that you don’t always know what you don’t know and welcome support from friends, family, and colleagues.
Do you have a spiritual practice?
Believing in something bigger than yourself is a great comfort when you are feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, or down and out. Prayer, meditation, and yoga can all bring us the calming peaceful pause we need to stay calm and carry on.
Are you clear on your values, vision, and goals in your life?
It is difficult to keep your perspective if you don’t know what is most important to you. A longer-term vision with the ability to stay in the moment is the right combination.
Resilience is not just the ability to bounce back, but the amazing confidence that whatever happens, you will not only be okay, but better for it on the other side. It requires mindfulness, self-care, emotional intelligence and leadership presence skills. But first it requires us to honestly meet ourselves where we are at by asking how resilient we are.