The inspiration for this post came out of a conversation I had on one of the dozens of networking Zoom calls I was on. The topic was “resilience” and the host described resilience in terms of how you move forward with things during uncertainty because at some level, you trust that you will get where you need to be. Framed that way, I realized I am living my resilience. There are a lot of reasons I shouldn’t be building my business right now. But as I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I am remarkably calm and confident that things will work out. I can’t even say why I have this confidence, but it is there in my bones.
Resilience is Forward Movement
In exploring the idea of resilience, I came across this article from Marquita Herald where she announces:
I am here to challenge you to shift your perspective from the familiar image of “bouncing back”, to resilience as an empowering force for growing forward through all of your life experiences.
Marquita’s words echo my own thoughts. Many times we think of resilience as being the “bouncing back” part only and it’s also often coupled with grit and determination along the lines of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I think the magic of resilience happens when you take that newly developed strength and apply it to a new path, one you might not have even seen before.
Living Your Resilience
How can you get closer to living your resilience? Try:
- Finding the Lesson: Growth tends to happen when we go through discomfort. Notice what your uncomfortable experiences taught you about yourself. When I was laid off about a year ago, I learned a lot about the kind of company I wanted to work for.
- Be Flexible: How many events in your life have worked out exactly as expected? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Like cars on a southern California freeway, resiliency is about quickly adapting to changing circumstances. You may have some control over your car, but sometimes outside events will force you to change lanes.
- Remember: I’m willing to bet that you’ve come through challenges before. What helped you get through those? Was it calling a friend? A spa day? Letting yourself “feel the feels?” Therapy? For me, it’s all of the above.
- Hold Space for Yourself: When we hold space for someone, we let them speak their truth. We listen without judgment, we empathize without trying to “fix.” You can do this for yourself too.
- Practice Self Compassion: We tend to speak to ourselves in ways we would never speak to a friend in the same situation. No one responds well to the kind of bitter criticism we often direct at ourselves. Try replacing that critic with a voice of understanding and compassion.
Resilience does more than help you bounce back when you hit a wall. It moves your forward through the door in the wall you didn’t see.
Resilience can grow slowly. So slowly you may not even recognize it. Sometimes we think that you have to live through some great tragedy to build resilience. For me, it came in quietly and was hardly noticeable until someone else defined it in a way that made me think “that’s me, I’m living my resilience.”