People seem to think that resilience is where you are unaffected by the stuff that goes on around you. In my opinion, resilience is about the time it takes you to get over stuff and not about being human and being affected by it in the first place.
So let’s look at 3 possible signs you are more resilient that you think
1. You can think of at least one occasion where you felt like your life was over
When you reflect back on your life, can you think of a time where something major changed throwing you into the turmoil of uncertainty? The problem with change is that our subconscious hates it. Change means death. Routine means survival. So when something major changes in your life circumstances – a change in a relationship status, loss of a loved one, being betrayed, illness etc, we feel like the rug has been pulled out from under us and enter a phase of uncertainty. Because we are programmed to hate uncertainty, we try and cling on to those things that are familiar. This can lead to holding on to something that is wrong for us for longer than we need to.
The fact that you are reading this means that you made it through. And maybe now, as you look back, you might realise that the thing that made that period of uncertainty harder, was holding on to the familiar because of the fear of letting go.
2. You have sought help to get to a better place
Have you ever read a self help book, watched a TED talk, visited your GP for help? I see many clients who see it as a sign of failure that they’ve *had* to seek out help from someone like me. Seeking help is a sign that you are willing to fight for yourself. Reading something or talking to someone to try and better understand yourself, or to cope with stuff, is a sign that you are not willing to just lie down and take whatever is thrown at you. You aren’t accepting the status quo. This is a clear sign of resilience. It is not about those obstacles that will always come across your path, it is about how you overcome those obstacles.
3. You are reading this
However much of a wreck you feel you are, you are still here. However much you feel you have messed your life up, you are still here. However many times you have felt like giving up and ending it all, you are still here. You are reading this, which means you are still here. You are way more resilient than you realised. If you drop the expectations that you put on yourself; for how you should feel, should cope, should achieve things in life, and just accept that you are here, right now, reading this, then you might realise that you are ok. Being resilient is not about being bulletproof so that nothing affects you. Being resilient is not about being able to cope with anything that comes your way. Being resilient is about getting past whatever is thrown at you.
Becoming more resilient is simply about getting over things faster, rather than not being affected by stuff in the first place
Exercise : One door opens when another closes
- Do a timeline of your life so far.
- Look back on those moments where it felt like a door had shut and you were left in a long corridor with no way out.
- Now work out what door opened because that other one closed, a door that you would not even have known about if the other hadn’t first closed.
- Ask yourself “what skills/resources did I have that allowed me to overcome that moment” or “what skills/resources did I gain from overcoming it that I did/can use in later life”