There is an old Japanese proverb that says, “fall seven times, get up eight.” And this got me thinking about the power of resilience and how important it is in our overall mental well-being and our ability to look at obstacles as learning lessons. Given what we have all had to deal with over the last 18-plus months, it’s no wonder our ‘resilience muscles’ have taken a hit. We have had to be collectively resilient for a while now which can be hard to maintain over such an extended period of time.
However, I think that these last 18 months or so have taught many of us… just how resilient we really can be and are. Perhaps even much more so than we thought pre-pandemic.
For me, one of the ways I have managed to stay resilient during challenging times in my life has been by accessing my childlike spirit. A child is a wonderful example of the power of resilience at work. When we see a child learning to walk and they keep falling down, they don’t think about giving up. They just keep trying and trying again until they either learn to do it or they get tired and need a nap. But in either case, they did not mentally give up just because they fell downtime and time again. Why? Because they don’t know any better. Their minds have not yet been acquainted with the concept of giving up and not being resilient. They don’t know the word failure. When they fall, they get back up again without hesitation. It’s natural for them.
Yet, how many of us get back up quickly when we fall down as an adult?
Some of us are lucky enough to maintain a childlike spirit and the essence of what makes us resilient, while others get depressed, feel anxiety, or may even give up on the goals and dreams they’ve been chasing when faced with devastating obstacles.
But it doesn’t have to be like that…which is why I love the proverb at the beginning. If we keep getting up when we get knocked down, we are continually building our powers of resilience. And over time, the things that previously took ‘the wind out of sails’ doesn’t do it as much.
Circumstances and situations that happen to us are temporary and impermanent like clouds in the sky. Clouds are ever-changing and flowing with nature. When we build our resilience mindset and muscle, we, too, become like clouds in the sky with our thoughts and experiences always changing and ever-flowing. Each experience and obstacle we encounter along the way is a chance for us to grow our resilience muscle and mindset that much stronger.
So when you are inevitably faced with the challenges and obstacles that life throws at you, you will rely on your childlike spirit and your resilience mindset and muscle you have been building day-by-day like a reserve in the bank, to get you through the next great learning lesson of life.
How have you used obstacles or challenges in your life to make you more resilient? I would love to know more.
I liked this article alot. We can always look back over our life’s and realize we have overcome alot of obstacles. We just have to remind ourselves that we can overcome and move onto the next phase in our life’s. Loved the comparison to a child when first learning to walk.