How to Be More Resilient in Life
Life can be a hard road to travel at times.
It can suck. People can suck. People who are supposed to be there for you through thick and thin can, and will, let you down.
Even those people who truly do love you and care for you — say your parents, or your siblings, unfortunately let you down from time to time.
Guaranteed you will suffer heartache, disappointment, grief and loneliness throughout your life.
And yet, even though we all go through shit — yes, we all do; even those multi-millionaire, celebrity types will go through the shit storms of life — we aren’t all giving up are we?
What is that secret sauce that keeps us going?
What is resilience?
You are being resilient when you get knocked down — and you rise up stronger.
Think of bread. Have you ever seen someone make bread by hand?
The act of kneading bread dough allows the bread to hold its shape, developing the gluten within the wheat grain enabling it to become the final loaf.
Without challenges in our life, we also wouldn’t develop or grow.
We need to get up and keep getting up. What’s the alternative?
Some people drown their sorrows in booze or drugs. Numbing themselves, numbing the pain. But the pain is still there, waiting for you to go through it.
Some numb on food, shopping, Netflix….
Numbing for a little while is probably not the worst thing in the world. But sooner or later, hopefully sooner, you need to stop the numbing and engage your resilience muscle.
Find out what you did to contribute to the situation — if anything. Sometimes its just a crappy turn of events. No fault-zone. But sometimes, especially in relationships, you did contribute. Even if all you did was choose poorly.
Figure out what you could do differently next time. Become stronger. Change. Learn and grow.
My life has been a royal shit show lately. If you have read any of my previous stories you will know what I am talking about.
I have been listening to my heart and I realize the best revenge to being hurt is to live well. Be happy. Carve out a place for a new future.
I still have pain and I still hurt. But I resolve to bounce back even better than before.
Life and its shit show will not beat me.
How can we become more resilient?
Work on optimism. Focus on positive outcomes. Most of the things we worry about don’t come to pass. Worry is a waste of energy.
I admit to worrying too much in my life. But I will try to catch myself in that worry-thought-rumination-cycle and stop — and move my thoughts to a more positive outcome/focus.
Think about what you want your life to look like in two years. As Mel Robbins says — time travel into the future to help you get unstuck today. Going ahead by two years allows you to get out of the immediate sense of crisis and overwhelm and focuses on the big picture.
Use your support network for growth, feedback and comfort. Find at least one person who can help you feel your worth. Feeling worthy of something better is crucial.
Become a fighter — not a victim.
The victim mentality is an emotional drain. Like a vampire it will suck the life right out of you. Victims have no control. Bad shit happens to them. It is always due to someone or something else.
Fighters will dig themselves out of the hole. No matter who dug that hole. It doesn’t really matter. Getting out of the hole is the goal.
Being a fighter doesn’t mean you become a confrontational jerk. No, just like the Christina Aguilera song:
Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a Fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a Fighter.
Fighters are stronger. They don’t quit. They become wiser.
Climb out of the pit — climb towards a better future.
Take some action towards that better future.
Even if it is just a little thing, moving actively towards the future, in the midst of change or heartache or disappointment, will give you a positive goal to anchor to. Something else to focus on.
Having a goal and taking action towards that goal can increase your ability to get over problems because we are changing the focus of our thoughts. Maybe not all the time, but some of the time. And that makes a difference.
Yes, life sucks sometimes. I’m stuck in the vortex of major suckage right now.
But my hand is on the rope, pulling me upwards and outwards — towards a better life.
I am making resilience my middle name.