That’s one interesting and nowadays perhaps too abused word which, nonetheless, represents such an important and universal concept.
What is, indeed, the essence of resilience?
How could we define this word without the risk of getting stuck and superficially trapped in the many possibile definitions?
Well, Psychology Today defines resilience as:
“that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes”.
And this at a first glance, looks like a simple yet acceptable definition.
But if we leave personal experience out of this equation “resilience” becomes just a mere word, and its profound meaning wouldn’t actually mean anything significant to us.
So that’s why I encourage you, if you are reading this article, to isolate some of your toughest memories, those events which had a huge impact on your behaviour and that eventually shaped who you were and who you feel like you are now.
Go back to those moments and try to figure out whether you let yourself down because of them and passively surrendered to your fate, or whether you actively fought and tried to find a way out of that unbearable situation.
If you didn’t surrender to what life prospected and sought a true sense of purpose and willingness to move forward, then you definitely appear to be a goal-oriented, optimistic, motivated and strong individual who doesn’t easily give up when faced with a stressful or annoyingly unpleasant problem.
You are able to deal with stress, anxiety, doubt, fear, rejection, solitude, and problematic situations all on your own and, instead of getting knocked out and overwhelmed by the many challenges of life, you become stronger and stronger every time.
I’m not trying to oversimplify or worse, trivialise, your experience and give any judgement to who you are and why you did what you did.
We are intrinsically complex creatures, and there are so many factors which play a role in forming even our apparently most insignificant decisions.
I just want to encourage you to think deeply with respect to your life choices and react in a more balanced and assertive way the next time you are faced with a challenge of any kind, so that instead of falling to pieces and giving up to self-pity, you can try to be the best version of yourself.
Who would you really want to be?
That’s always up to you to decide.