Where does resilience come from? Are we born with it or do we develop it over our lifetime? Certainly, we need resilience to survive the “ups” and “downs” of life. Building resilience enables us to bounce back more quickly and get on with life, even if it just takes us to the next hurdle!
It is much more difficult for children to build resilience if they experience abuse while growing up. Children need a loving, nurturing and supportive adult in their life. Similarly, for adults we survive better if we have the love and support of others. If a person is in a domestic violence relationship their resilience is under attack. In these circumstances resilience can be eroded. Before they know it, they are not able to “bounce back”.
I have wondered where my resilience comes from? Was the foundation for resilience built in my childhood? As I got older what did I do to strengthen my resilience? What were the building blocks I put in place? I have had tough moments over my lifetime, but I have always “bounced back” and embraced what life has for me in the future.
As you may now realise, I have been thinking about the building blocks of resilience this past week! I have come up with a few thoughts.
Optimism: This is a good place to start. Optimism is a belief that things will get better, it is having hope and confidence for the future. Throw in a little courage and this strengthens the building block.
Change: We will all experience unexpected changes in our lives. Some will be minor, others major, some annoying and others not so annoying. If you reflect on your life a few situations might come to mind. It is best if we can have the mindset that change is inevitable and embrace it as it happens and then move on!
Emotions: Human beings are emotional beings. We have thoughts, feelings and behavioural responses to life circumstances. To survive well we need to have the ability to regulate our emotions. I have done quite a lot of reading on emotional intelligence. It was handy in the workplace when I was managing teams of people. It helps if I recognise my emotions and recognise the emotions in others. It is called empathy. Did you know that chickens have empathy? Yes, there are studies to support this. Empathy is not exclusive to humans. But as humans we should practice it more as we have a greater capacity to think, analyse situations and respond appropriately. If you want more information about emotional intelligence check out the link here.
Forgiveness: I am a big believer in the power of forgiveness. It has direct benefits for the person who forgives. Without forgiveness bitterness can creep in and this will undermine our building blocks of resilience.
Problem-solving: Things will go topsy-turvy sometimes in life! Therefore, it is best if we keep things in perspective. If a situation or a person has a negative impact on our lives, then we must do something about it. Analysing what is happening and how we can prevent it from happening again is vital. If we make the effort to resolve it, we will build resilience.
Gratitude: Even when things are not going well in life, there is always something we can be thankful for. Finding it and then adding to it will keep our building blocks of resilience stable and ready for the journey ahead.
I don’t have all the answers, but I like to think about how I can maintain my resilience, how I can strengthen my capacity to manage any “curve balls” life throws at me! There may be other building blocks of resilience that have worked for you? If so, please let me know.
Life can be tough. If we feel like we are standing behind two horses, ploughing the ground of life, it is important not to keep looking in the revision mirror. Just keep looking ahead for better days – KJ.