Have you ever experienced a major disruption in your life? Retiring can feel like a major disruption. The list of other types of disruptions that can happen in life is endless – perhaps a loved one dies, leaves or gets in trouble, a project stalls or gets cancelled, you get fired, laid off or passed over for a promotion. Or perhaps just listening to the news lately is causing you to lose hope.
The impact of life's disruptions can be overwhelming. Recovery can be painfully slow or may not seem to come at all. Others glide through these times fairly easily, bouncing back to a normal life again in a short period of time.
Resilience is the strenght required to adapt to change. It acts as an internal compass and helps you resourcefully navigate upsetting times no matter when they occur in life.
When events turn life upside down, it is the degree to which your resiliency comes into play that makes these "make-or-break" situations an opportunity for growth. Instead of experiencing post-traumatic stress, you see it as an opportunity for post-traumatic growth.
So, how can you become more resilient? The good news is that you have the capacity to reorganize your life after a disruption and achieve new levels of strength and meaningfulness. Below are 3 key characteristics of resilience.
1. A sense of hope and trust in the world
Resilient people rely on their belief in the basic goodness of the world and trust that things will turn out okay in the end. This positive attitude allows them to get through times when everything seems bleak and to look for and accept the support that is out there. Telling yourself, "Now is not forever" helps you do what you need to do at the time knowing it will eventually be different. This approach gives you the ability to hope for a better future.
2. Interpreting experiences in a new light
The ability to look at a situation in a new way (a skill called reframing) can minimize the impact of a difficult situation. Resilient people take a creative approach toward solving a problem and do not always try to fix a problem using the same approach. Actively look for solutions.
3. A meaningful system of support
One of the best ways to endure a disruption in your life is to have the support of another person who can listen and validate your feelings. Knowing that others care and will come to your support decreases the feeling of isolation, especially when tackling a problem alone. It is important to choose people you trust. Do not be surprised if it takes several friends, each of whom can provide different kinds of support. Resilient people are not stoic loners. They know the value of expressing their fears and frustration, as well as receiving support, coaching, or guidance from friends, family or a professional.
It can be easy to feel vulnerable in the midst of change and uncertainty. I will give you four more characteristics of resilience in my next post. Until then, I'd love to hear from you. What helps you be resilient in tough times?
Until next time,