Resilience is what gives us the toughness to withstand life. It ensures that we bend so that we don’t break.
Most of us would love to have more of it. But the kicker is that we usually gain it through overcoming hardships.
Whilst we may not welcome more of those, avoiding difficulties at all costs only has a habit of making us even more fragile.
And there’s no doubt that there are moments in life when being resilient makes all the difference…
1) When you are feeling uncertain about what the future holds
Change is scary.
The terrifying reality is that none of us have any way of knowing what is in store. We hope for the best, but it is resilience that allows us to prepare for the worst.
We all search for security. It’s a natural instinct to want to protect ourselves.
Feeling like we are in control of what happens to us can offer us this sense of safety. But it’s an illusion, whether we care to admit it or not.
The real truth is that at any point, life can pull the rug out from under us. That uncertainty can understandably lead to anxiety and worry.
But resilience can quash some of those fears.
It helps us to focus more on what is in our control. We no longer feel powerless, because we trust ourselves.
It brings with it a newfound confidence that whatever happens, you will deal with it.
2) When life hands you lemons
We’re talking about all those scenarios that you never saw coming and can quickly disrupt your world:
- The loss of a job
- Financial troubles
- Flooding or fires in your home
Essentially, anything that feels like you’ve been uprooted or has put you in a state of emergency.
It’s all too easy to crumble and let the pressure get to us. We may even feel defeated and tempted to give in.
But resilience improves your mindset and we handle bad things far better.
It lowers our stress response and helps to give us perspective. Being resilient makes you feel like a survivor rather than a victim.
That way, rather than falling into victimhood you are far more inclined to look for solutions and fixes.
3) When you’re trying to learn anything new
Any type of problem-solving demands resilience. Resilient people look at things from a logical stance and look for answers to the problems they face.
That’s why research found that resilient students tend to show improved performance.
Otherwise, you’ll just give up as soon as anything feels tricky. Let’s face it, plenty of people do just that.
Learning involves an unavoidable amount of failure.
We should always expect to get things wrong along the way, and that doesn’t always make us feel so great about ourselves.
But resilience offers a more practical and realistic approach. We have the experience to know that as we apply ourselves, we get better.
What matters most isn’t being perfect, it’s simply about not giving in too soon.
4) When you want to make positive changes in your life
Resilience is a non-negotiable when it comes to personal growth. Because setbacks happen.
Don’t believe any fluffy hype about the self-help world. Changing yourself and your life isn’t all about self-care bubbles bath.
If you are committed to growth, much of the work is gritty and raw.
It can get very uncomfortable as we are called to step outside of our comfort zone and explore new territories.
When you come up against obstacles, it’s resilience that stops you from running back and hiding.
5) When you have plans, goals, and ambitions you want to succeed in
You go for a job that you really want, but they give it to someone else.
What do you do?
Do you decide you’re an utter failure so what’s the point in trying or do you see it as a useful learning experience to build upon?
Disappointment has a bitter sting that can put us off and hold us back for a long time if we’re not careful.
In a desire to avoid feeling it, we can be tempted to stop putting ourselves out there.
We may temper our dreams and make ourselves smaller.
It’s no coincidence that the biggest success stories in life come with tales of relentless attempts after countless knockbacks.
6) When you’ve just been dumped and are feeling heartbroken
Our relationships can be the most significant source of both our joy and sadness in life.
So nothing can send you into a tailspin quite like the breakdown of a relationship.
Resilience helps us to regulate our emotions so that we don’t get lost in them.
Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that resilient people don’t feel extreme emotions such as pain, sadness, anger, despair, etc.
The key is that in the moment they experience them, they simultaneously recognize they won’t last forever. This allows them to better manage them until they pass.
This skill doesn’t just go for romantic heartbreak, it applies to all strong emotions, as we’ll see next.
7) When you are grieving the loss of a loved one
Resilience has several characteristics that help us to handle the often overwhelming feelings of grief.
As we just highlighted above, firstly, you find it easier to regulate difficult emotions as you know with time they will fade.
Grief can be incredibly isolating and lonely.
But resilient people are better at asking for help and recognizing how key support is when we are trying to overcome difficulties in our lives.
Lastly, resilient people are often far better at treating themselves with kindness, especially during the most trying times.
8) When you want life to be an adventure
Whether we like it or not, risk and reward are intertwined.
Sure, maybe you get incredibly lucky, and good fortune just happens to fall into your lap. But that is so rarely the case.
As the saying goes:
Fortune favors the bold.
The people who make something of their lives made it their mission to do so. They made a conscious choice to go out there and grab life with both hands.
But we cannot be selective about the parts of life we want to engage with. A full life involves a wide range of human experiences and emotions.
That means accepting the bad times as well as the good.
When you know you want more out of life you have to find the guts to go out and get it. Resilience helps you to find those guts.
9) When it is time to face the truth
The truth in life can be quite brutal.
Honesty isn’t always sugar coated and many of us hide in delusions that make us feel better.
That’s why facing the truth of any difficult situation needs a lot of inner strength and self-awareness — both of which resilience helps us to cultivate.
The more layers of life we dare to peel back, the more we discover about not only the world around us but ourselves too.
We may find hidden depths we never knew were there, but only if we are brave enough to go looking for them.
Resilience doesn’t make you immune to life but it can make all the difference
Resilience can help to toughen us up, but it doesn’t mean we don’t feel life’s knocks.
It simply guarantees that we are better at accepting and adapting to what happens.
That way we feel far more in the driving seat of our own lives, even when faced with things that are seemingly out of our control.