"Mishaps are like knives
that either serve us or cut us as we grasp them by the blade or the handle."
James Russell Lowell
Resilience is a superlative strength of power and mastery; in fact, itís a
melding of the other core strengths: Courage, Optimism, Persistence, Enthusiasm
and Living in the Present. The synergy of these strengths can provide you
with mighty tools to prevail, even thrive, when youíve been subjected to
whatever life sends your way. And life often sends along some pretty tough stuff
that can be overwhelming, grueling and sometimes downright tragic.
Turning troubles into growth, bouncing back from tragedy, trauma and failure,
believing that lifeís major difficulties are surmountable and that the future
holds the promise of sunshine, renewal and opportunity are the distinguishing
characteristics of Resilience. As a resilient individual, you will have the
wherewithal to fight back and win when the going gets tough. And by facing the
black clouds, youíll have the opportunity to become a deeper, more confident and
The first step toward managing serious adversity is to understand and accept
three important beliefs: one, bad things happen to everyone and very bad things
happen to many people; two, we often have little or no control over the
occurrence of traumatic events and serious problems; and three, we have a choice
about how we perceive, react to and utilize these events. The next step is to
focus on the cognitions and behaviors that constitute the other five
Courage. For most of us, when we face serious difficulty, we temporarily lose
confidence in our perception of how the world works and how much power we have
in that world. Helpless, defeated and frightened even if only momentarily, we
need Courage to get back up and face what scares us, face what has caused the
disruption and its fallout. Itís a time that often requires bold decisions and a
firm commitment to taking risks, a time to embrace the gifts we do have, a time
to resume the pursuit of dreams in order to regain equilibrium.
Persistence. To rise out of difficulty takes time, patience, endurance and
tenacity. Persistence reinforces Resilience through certain beliefs that
strengthen a personís steadfastness in tough times. In subscribing to the
importance of Persistence, one understands the road is often plagued by detours
and that progress takes time; one eschews the victim mentality, sees mistakes
and failures as room to grow, and views change as an integral part of life
thatís to be embraced rather than avoided.
Optimism. When your world is disrupted and shaken by adverse events, it can
be extremely difficult to believe that the future will be better. But thatís
just what the resilient person has learned to do. To be resilient, you must be
an optimist who is confident that there is hope and renewal in the days to come
and that this period of being under a very dark cloud is not personal, permanent
Living in the Present. When major disruptions occur in life, people often
play over and over the thoughts and images connected to the untoward events;
these thoughts and images can serve to maintain the frightened feelings that
were evoked by the difficulty. Or some people imagine what terrible things might
happen in the future because of their compromised state and significant losses.
Living in the Present is a powerful strength in the healing process, offering
uplifting, reenergizing experiences that compete with past pain or future
Enthusiasm. If you infuse your life with vitality and learn how to become
deeply and lovingly involved in personally rewarding endeavors, then you have
provided yourself with robust reinforcements that can stem an unwanted emotional
tide. With Enthusiasm, your learning repertoire will include compelling
thoughts, images and activities that are powerful components of your world.
Theyíre helpful tools that can calm you during a disruption and its aftermath.
Having positive activities will help you disengage, at least some of the time,
from the triggers that evoke feelings of powerlessness.
If youíd like more in-depth information on ways to build and maintain
Resilience in your life, Click Here.
If youíd like to discover your own Positive Path, one that can lead to a life of fulfillment and ultimate personal power, contact Sharon Esonis at (760) 746-7284, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article may be reprinted for use in newsletters and websites provided that the signature box is kept intact and permission is requested from the author. Email request to: email@example.com.