Resilience: The Strength to Grow in Tough Times

“The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.”—-Napoleon Hill

Resilience is your ability to bounce back after disappointments or setbacks in these tough economic times, or to fall seven times, but stand up eight!  Accept the fact that life will always have its challenges so embrace them knowing that with acceptance we do take responsibility to take action and make the necessary changes.  We become stronger, more adaptive, creative and resourceful. The tendency is to seek support and happiness from the outside world when in fact it is our internal power that is often our greatest strength in overcoming adversity.

Miraculous survival and recovery are not occasional happenings but a daily event where people do adjust and reinvent themselves by following these suggestions:

  • Act – Don’t React.  Action is focused and productive and reduces anxiety, but learned helplessness is rooted in a lack of confidence and belief that you have the ability to cope. Make your mantra: “Yes, I Can!”
  • Do Not Dramatize or “Awfulize.” You increase tension by magnifying the pain of your circumstances. Keep your imagination in check.   Be objective and refuse to play that nasty head trip of “what if” which only feeds false fears and increases tension. Remember, it could always be worse.
  • Laughter Is the Best Medicine. Humor is like changing a wet diaper. It may not change the circumstances but it does make you feel a bit better. For mild trauma, laughter will often give you emotional distance, and the release of endorphins provides a more positive perspective.
  • The Power of Now. All you really have to enjoy and can change is the present so don’t overload yourself with the anticipation of future tragedy. It serves no purpose for about 90% of what you worry about never happens and it drains you of creative energy to better prepare vs. panic.
  • Adversity Is Opportunity in Disguise. Kites rise highest against the winds, but only if you give it some string and yourself permission to grow.

Edie Raether, MS, CSP, is a change strategist, international speaker, author and wellness consultant.  Visit her at www.raether.comor contact her at