Yes, I thought, if that is how one defines resilience, I can see where a person might think that resiliency is overrated.
Long-term resilience involves being able to integrate difficult experiences and then respond skillfully. But just how, you might ask, does one do that?
To begin, I would like to talk about what resilience is not. Truthfully, when adversity hits, I oftentimes try my “not resilient” strategies first. Here is what “not resilience” looks like for me: Telling myself there is no problem. Compulsively doing things that distract me from the problem. Trying to look on the bright side of things to avoid feeling difficult feelings. Repeat. When I experience something challenging in my life, I oftentimes practice “not resilience” until I become too anxious or too tired to continue. Then, I surrender to reality and turn toward my resiliency toolkit.
My resilience toolkit includes the following:
- Talking with friends
- Getting angry and sad and scared and messy
- Cloaking myself with kindness and compassion
- Practicing yoga or exercising to get into my body and out of my head
- Spending time in nature
- Gathering resources
- Continuing to take steps forward, often with the support of friends
- Beginning to hope, take in the good, and see silver linings
- Experiencing another setback