As promised good souls,
today we start our series about building resilience.
Because building resilience is key to realising happiness in our lives, whether we are experiencing a peak or a valley.
Every strategy and technique I suggest has been tried and tested by me or Superman over the years and put to a high pressure test over our last month of intense stressors and challenges – all brought to us by our good friends at Covid19.
Read the story here > Being escorted to the toilet by Police
What is resilience?
Defined in two ways, both of which I LOVE and think are very accurate:
- The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
- The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
I define resilience as the ability to get up quickly and with grace,
after one falls down.
Because we fall a lot in this human experience don’t we?
We may fall as a result of challenging ourselves with something new.
And just like a small child learning to ride a bicycle, we aren’t instant legends at new things and we do fall occassionally, as we learn and master new things. This process is called neuroplasticity, which grows both the size and the complexity of our brains. Both of which are thought to be relevant in the preventation of Dementia.
So falling down and getting back up again is a good thing!
Sometimes we fall due to our expectations not meeting our reality.
This happens a lot to us modern humans; a combination of the endemic feeling of not being good enough, social pressures to constantly accumulate stuff and being privy to everyone else’s greatest hits on Social Media.
We often feel like we have failed, not had a good day, need to do better, make more money, be thinner, more attractive, more popular, have something we don’t.
You are enough.
Perhaps the nature of Superman and my fall (and getting back up again!) recently is a combination of both?
Moving anywhere during the pandemic is fraught with the uncertainty of outbreak, cancellations and restrictive government intervention. So moving house and to another country at this time comes loaded and our reality definitely turned out very differently from what we expected.
While saying YES and having a crack is not new to Superman and I, generally everything that happens after saying YES is always going to be new right? After saying YES, us humans usually encounter stressors related to the unknown and doing things for the first time. I’ve never shipped my stuff in a container overseas, nor transported my car by sea or even visited New Zealand!
But herein lies the first of the strategies that work when building resilience:
Because Super and I put lots of time, money, energy and attention into truly knowing ourselves, we understand that some stuff really flicks our switches and some stuff just doesn’t.
Knowing thyself may be more an over-arching philosophy for successful living, rather than an individual strategy for building resilience.
But knowing yourself and your values is definitely key to building resilience and living a happy life.
You see, because I know I LOVE variety, adventure, new places and experiences, I know I will feel happier in the presence of new things and new adventures, even if they come with stressful challenges.
The stress is more pleasant to me than feeling bored and uninspired doing the same ol’, same ol’ in the same place, forever.
And because I know this about myself, as I encountered each one of the stressors associated with moving during a pandemic from Melbourne, to Auckland via some kids’ play dates in Brisbane, I felt okay and totally supported by my choice to say YES to opportunity and adventure.
At each challenging bloody hurdle, I could always say, and often did, ‘at least we aren’t back there’!
So for me, building resilience; recovering quickly from difficulties, toughness, springing back into shape, elasticity is all made possible by knowing yourself – by knowing what you value and consciously choosing the path upon which you are walking, you build your resilience. Because as long as we are on our path, enjoying having our values validated, anything that befalls us on that path is just part of the journey we consciously chose.
Consciously choosing our life is inherent in and another key strategy for building resilience.
There is great sustenance to be taken from acknowledging and fully owning the fact you wholeheartedly chose the path you are on, even if it turns uphill and into the rain and wind.
When you have consciously chosen the path you are on, you simply turn your collar up, lean forward slightly and push on.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
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