Resilience isn’t about floating through life on a breeze, or skating by all of life’s many challenges unscathed; rather, it’s about experiencing all of the negative, difficult, and distressing events that life throws at you and staying on task, optimistic, and high-functioning. In fact, developing resilience basically requires emotional distress. If we never ran into disappointment in the first place, we would never learn how to deal with it.
When you think about it in those terms, it’s easy to see that we all display some pretty impressive resilience. Some of us are more resilient than others, but we have all been knocked down, defeated, and despondent at some point in our lives; however, we kept going—and here we are today, stronger and more experienced.
Demonstrating Resilience as an Individual
So what does it look like to demonstrate resilience?
The APA outlines a number of factors that contribute to and act as markers of resilience, including:
The capacity to make realistic plans and take steps to carry them out.
A positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities.
Skills in communication and problem-solving.
The capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses (n.d.).
Author and resilience expert Glenn Schiraldi (2017) provides even more examples and characteristics of resilient people, listing strengths, traits, and coping mechanisms that are highly correlated with resilience:
Sense of autonomy (having appropriate separation or independence from family dysfunction; being self-sufficient; being determined to be different—perhaps leaving an abusive home; being self- protecting; having goals to build a better life)
Calm under pressure (equanimity, the ability to regulate stress levels)
Rational thought process
Happiness and emotional intelligence
Meaning and purpose (believing your life matters)
Altruism (learned helpfulness), love, and compassion
In addition, these characteristics are also mentioned by Glenn Schiraldi:
Character (integrity, moral strength)
Curiosity (which is related to focus and interested engagement)
Balance (engagement in a wide range of activities, such as hobbies, educational pursuits, jobs, social and cultural pastimes)
Sociability and social competence (getting along, using bonding skills, being willing to seek out and commit to relationships, enjoying interdependence)
Adaptability (having persistence, confidence, and flexibility; accepting what can’t be controlled; using creative problem-solving skills and active coping strategies)
Intrinsic religious faith
A long view of suffering
Good health habits (getting sufficient sleep, nutrition, and exercise; not using alcohol or other substances immoderately; not using tobacco at all; maintaining good personal appearance and hygiene)
To summarize, if a person has awareness (both of the self and of the environment around them), they manage their feelings effectively, keep a handle on their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and understand that life has its inevitable ups and downs. Courtney Ackerman – Author
Thank you for reading. Wishing you all a wonderful and fulfilling week:)