How to Be Resilient? Begin by Accepting Your Current Situation
When you have the courage to face what’s in front of you, you automatically sprout the first bud of resilience.
“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
When COVID hit and we all were locked indoors, we all had a lot of time to think. I for one wondered that if this is how stuck we will be for a long time, I want to learn something new. Going to bed at night I often thought about how to set a routine through books and cooking.
When some lockdown norms were relaxed, I used to watch people cycling on empty roads. That sprouted so much envy in me because I didn’t know how to cycle. At 28 I wondered if given a chance I would learn cycling. It felt like a wish that I sent out to the universe while standing at the window and talking to birds.
A year went by, and I turned 29. As more and more norms were relaxed, I resorted to learning cycling no matter what. I first convinced myself that I can do this on my own, saw a YouTube video that added to my confidence and then purchased a cycle.
When the cycle was delivered my first thought was, ‘I am out of my mind’. I just had to face the situation in front of me and accept that this could go two ways. One, I would somehow manage to learn on my own and two, I would have to give the cycle away if all my efforts failed. The second thought was more powerful in my head back then but somehow, I pushed myself to try.
Everyday after work, I changed into track pants and t-shirt and started with the basics of balancing. Instead of fearing it I started to enjoy it. People from the society watched my efforts and encouraged me further. At a snail’s pace I learnt how to balance.
After 8 weeks, I could balance with one foot on the pedal and the other in the air and with a little self-talk, I finally started pedalling.
The feeling of finally cycling and feeling the breeze wrap my body was euphoric. I was in tears of joy and learnt that intention, focus and determination is key to achieving every goal in life. But the spark to creating a goal stems from staring at your current situation, accepting it and then choosing to change it.
When life knocks you down, facing the situation for what it is, is probably the toughest thing to do. To look in the mirror and tell yourself that things won’t change until you set out to do something is truly gut wrenching.
But the moment you find it in yourself to change what’s bothering you, find a way to get back up and fight your internal battles, that’s when you come face to face with resilience.
Resilience refers to both the process and the outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, according to the definition from the American Psychological Association (APA). It’s having the mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and ability to adjust to both internal and external demands, per APA.
Therefore, to truly change and overcome the very thing that is bothering you, mental, emotional and behavioral flexibility are drivers to bring about change and accept that you are resilient enough to deal with any setback.
For me, not knowing a skill that others knew was frustrating. But that very helplessness was the driver towards change. Thus, when we fall, meet failures and go through emotional setbacks, these very events train our mind and body to deal with future setbacks with a thoughtful approach. The resilience that we show during these events is the catalyst towards our emotionally matured self. And if someone asks if you are resilient, think about your hardships and how you survived and then confidently say — YES.
Thank you so much for your time!