Life Getting You Down? Learn the Skill of Resilience

Have you ever met one of those people whose life seems to be absolutely ideal? Someone who never seems to encounter difficulty or struggle in any way? (You know, the folks whose lives are so great that you secretly want to hate them!)

However much it may seem like nothing goes wrong for these people-with-perfect-lives, that’s simply not true. No one has a perfect life. These seemingly perfect-people-you-want-to-hate encounter struggle and difficulty the same as everyone else. They get flat tires. They get cavities. Their pet ferrets run away.

So what’s the difference between these seemingly perfect people and “normal” people?

The difference is the way they handle life’s challenges.

The difference is resilience.

Resilience is all about being flexible or malleable. Being able to recover when things don’t go as expected. Resilience is a quality that allows a person to experience difficulties and then get up, dust off, and move forward.

  • Get Up. Depending on the degree of difficulty in your situation, getting up after you’ve fallen may take some time. Certainly let yourself feel your pain, but don’t let your sadness turn into wallowing. You can quickly become trapped and stagnant if you let yourself lie down for too long. Learning to be resilient means getting back up when you’ve fallen.

  • Dust Yourself Off. When you fall down, you may get some dirt on you. Once you’ve gotten up, it’s time to dust yourself off.  And the best possible way to do this is with humor. Being able to look at the difficulty behind you with laughter is a sign that you are on the road toward recovery. Charlie Chaplain said, “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.” Being able to laugh at your difficulty isn’t the same as pretending it isn’t there. It simply means that you have shifted your perspective. Once you’ve come out alive on the other side of a struggle, laughter is not only possible—it’s enjoyable and healthy!

  • Learn Something. Rather than dwelling on something bad that has happened, choose to learn from it. Situations of adversity or failure are always temporary if you want them to be. See your difficulty as an opportunity to grow and rebound. Since you’re paying the price of the struggle, you might as well get your money’s worth out of it and learn something!

  • Move Forward. The reference here to moving can be figurative, but also literal. Physically getting off the couch and getting moving can change the way you view things after a difficulty or failure. But the idea of moving forward is also figurative. If you got fired from a job, get back out there and start pounding the pavement to look for a new one. Don’t allow one negative experience to define you.

Resilience, flexibility, buoyancy. All of these are the character traits you can build in yourself that allow you to get back out there even in the hard times. Grab the strength to get up, brush yourself off, and start over again!

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