Are some people born resilient? They give you the impression that they arrived in the world with ready-made resilience armour! These people seem to easily overcome all the monumental hurdles life throws at them. Somehow, they make it to the other side with a new perspective. But what is resilience really, and how can we be building resilience?
Positive psychology defines Resilience as the process of being able to adapt well and bounce back quickly in times of stress.
The Lynda Holt story of building resilience
One woman who we had the privilege to interview and who fits this description is Lynda Holt. What’s striking about Lynda is her sprightly and positive view of life. This is despite growing up in the 70s in a wheelchair and overcoming a 3-month stay in hospital in 2016, Lynda has overcome these challenges and more. She continues to overcome the social and physical barriers associated with having a disability. She has also thrived as a successful businesswoman and a Paralympian.
However, as Lynda points out, resilience is something she has built over time with effort and commitment. She continues to work on; “everything I do [resiliently], I’ve learned”. While genetics plays an important role in elevating resilience, there are several resilient variables that develop with effort, time, and energy, in the same way, muscles strengthen with exercise. For Lynda, the key factor in her resilient outlook is her self-awareness. Self-awareness is the ability to recognise one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours in response to events.
Her insights into her thought patterns and emotional responses to stressors allow Lynda to reframe negative events and perceive them as challenges rather than threats. By being astutely aware of her thoughts, Lynda can catch herself when she falls into negative thought patterns. Then she questions their accuracy, “I’ll ask myself – hang on, why am I thinking in this way? Isn’t there another way to see this?”
Lynda is quick to point out that her self-awareness evolved over time with the assistance of professional coaching and other interventions. She’s confident anyone can develop the growth mindset she has!!
“Anyone can change, you just need the right tools”
Tips for Building Resilience
Life is full of challenges, setbacks, and uncertainties. It’s not always easy to navigate through difficult times and bounce back from adversity. But, developing resilience can empower you to overcome obstacles, adapt to change, and emerge stronger than before. This is a valuable skill that can be cultivated and nurtured.
Here are 7 things you can do to build resilience:
1. Have a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is a belief that you can learn, grow, and develop your abilities through effort and persistence. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. View failures as learning experiences. Maintain a positive attitude. Always have a learning attitude.
By adopting a growth mindset, you can enhance your ability to adapt to difficult situations and see setbacks as temporary roadblocks rather than permanent barriers.
2. Build strong relationships
Family and social support play a crucial role in building resilience. Build meaningful connections with family, friends, and community. Surround yourself with people who uplift and inspire you. Hang out with people who will provide a safe space to share your thoughts and emotions. Strong relationships can provide a sense of belonging, encouragement, and practical support during tough times.
3. Take proper care of yourself
Take care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This is essential for building resilience. Spend time in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as exercise, meditation, hobbies, or spending time in nature. Prioritise getting enough sleep, eating well, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. When you nurture yourself, you’ll be better equipped to handle challenges and stress.
4. Develop Problem-Solving skills
Resilience is about being proactive and finding solutions to problems. Learn to solve problems by breaking down challenges into manageable steps. Also, consider different perspectives, and brainstorm creative solutions. Take decisive action, evaluate the outcomes, and adjust your approach accordingly. Building your problem-solving skills empowers you to navigate obstacles with confidence and resourcefulness.
5. Build Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise and manage your own emotions and empathize with others. Good emotional intelligence can help you regulate your emotions during challenging times. It can also help you build stronger relationships, and effectively communicate your needs. Practice self-awareness, empathy, and effective communication.
6. Be optimistic and practice gratitude
Cultivating optimism and gratitude can significantly contribute to resilience. Focus on positive aspects of your life and express gratitude for the blessings you have. Have an optimistic outlook, even in difficult situations. Reframe negative thoughts and seek growth opportunities. Optimism and gratitude provide a foundation of hope and positivity. This is fuel for resilience.
7. Seek support
Seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you’re struggling with adversity, don’t hesitate to reach out to trusted friends, family members, or professionals. Professional coaches or support groups can guide and help you develop coping strategies. Recognizing when you need assistance and having the courage to seek it is an essential aspect of building resilience.
Lifeology would like to thank Lynda Holt for generously sharing her story of resilience. Lynda is a business owner and is embarking on a 20-year Paralympics comeback following a silver medal at the Paralympics in Sydney in 2000 in shotput. We wish her all the best in her future endeavours.
If you need help building resilience, reach out to us today.
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