Can You Learn Resilience?

Have you ever had anyone tell you to pull yourself up from your bootstraps, to grit and force your way through? While having determination can be a helpful trait and sometimes even suck-it-up-buttercup can be useful in certain situations, these traits should not be your only tools.

If you wanted to build something you wouldn’t just bring a hammer to do the job, would you? Well, let’s load up on some resilience tools:

Here’s what I found on Google defining resilience:

  1. the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
  2. the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

When you think of resilience do you think “toughness” as in the first definition? Toughness is important; however, think about this…bricks are tough. But what happens when you take a sledgehammer to a brick? Is it resilient?

Have you ever bounced on a diving board? You can bounce to your heart’s delight and the board stays strong AND returns back to its shape/position.

Here are some skills that resilient people use:
Having a growth mindset. Ask yourself, “what can I learn from this? Is there a skill, a way of thinking, or doing that can help me figure this out?”
Seeking and reaching out for support. Don’t go it alone.
Developing skills for tolerating uncomfortable emotions.
Focusing on what you can control and not what you can’t control. When you focus on what you can control you move out of helplessness.
Being flexible in thinking and adapting to situations. You can find other strategies to find solutions. Rigid thinking can exacerbate mental illness.
Sometimes looking at things with humor.

If you apply any of these skills to a situation in your life let us know in the comments how the skill helped you.

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