Writings on rising above adversity
Adversities will always be a part of our lives if we want to learn and grow. Most of the time, we aspire to become great - to reach the absolute best version of ourselves, but are about to give up on the many problems we face. We often admire those who can bounce back easily, those who can get back up after getting knocked down, those who can say enough is enough and face their issues head-on, those who are resilient.
The common misconception with resilience is that people will not experience difficulty, stress, or suffer emotional pain. Resilience isn’t about becoming numb to pain, but it’s learning how to adapt in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, and threat. Learning to be resilient is a challenging feat, so here are a few things to look out for to build resilience:
1. Maintaining Health.As a given, physical health tackles eating right and sleeping on time. Most of us already know how it can be done - eating a balanced meal with go, grow, and glow foods, drinking eight glasses of water a day, sleeping 6 hours a day (at the very least). The issue is being able to do this continuously and sustainably. It is only when we are physically healthy that we can cope with the physical demands of our adversities. When we fall ill, we cannot do our tasks well, eventually affecting our results, preventing us from becoming resilient.
However, health does not simply mean sleeping well and eating the right foods. Though it is a significant part of it, health also refers to the other aspects of a person’s life - mental, social, and spiritual aspects included. Most of us forgo these aspects when thinking about health since it is not something we can usually see or quantify, but it is still an essential aspect of being healthy.
Our mental, social, and spiritual health is vital since these often help us learn to be empathetic with others and ourselves when we face our issues. Our relationships often remind us that we are not alone and that we don’t have to go through our struggles on our own. Finding trustworthy and empathetic friends who will validate your feelings helps build your resilience.
When we want to build resilience, we must recognize which aspects of ourselves we need improvement on - which parts of our lives are unhealthy. It is only through recognizing these issues that we can find the root of the problem and address it effectively and efficiently so that the issue is less likely to happen again. To illustrate, if we recognize that we have issues with how we talk with others, recognize that sometimes our comments can be tactless and offend others, it is only then trying to learn how to be more polite.
2. Finding a Purpose.Knowing what you want and what you are doing it for gives you a sense of purpose - a fire that ignites your spirits when you are down. In one way or another, all of us have something worth fighting for (or melting for if you’re Olaf). Whether it is for a selfless cause, like being able to take care of your parents, raising your children, helping out a minority group, or something for yourself like getting a degree or position, or earning money, there is always something that grounds us and reminds us why we are doing something.
Knowing what grounds us makes us more resilient since we have a reason to overcome the challenges we face. It reminds us that what we are doing, what we face, and sometimes what we put ourselves through is worth it. It reminds us that we are strong, we are brave, and that we can do it.
3. Have a Positive Outlook.A positive outlook is usually harder to achieve. It’s easy for most of us to be pessimistic or realist because somehow, we want to know what to expect, what is more likely to happen and prepare for the worst. While these are not necessarily bad things, it is still essential to recognize the opposite side - the flip side of the same coin.
Keeping things in perspective and reasoning while still hoping for the best possible result is integral to resilience. Maintaining a hopeful outlook even if things aren’t exactly going our way is a skill you may want to learn when building resilience. Visualizing what we want over what we fear may happen allows you to deal better with difficult situations.
4. Know when Enough is EnoughToughing it up and knowing our limits are two ends of the same spectrum, and resilience is the perfect median. As Aristotle once said, “Virtue lies in the middle.” This means that learning when to give up rather than not to give up is more important. We have to realize that sometimes, the best thing to do is stop and let go.
When what we want is too toxic, when it disrupts our physical health, when it hurts and discriminates against others, when our intentions become evil, we must recognize that we must learn to stop and let go of the things we want. Finding the middle is difficult because we often get compared to other people at the ends of the spectrum. We get compared to the person who just gives up quickly when times are hard, and we also get compared to the person who will not give up. However, we must remember that if the end goal of building resilience truly is growth, we must realize that giving up when it is too toxic is the right thing to do, especially if it leads to our downfall.
5. Listen and Learn.Advice from others is hard to deal with. Sometimes it just seems too good to be true, sometimes, it seems fake or exaggerated, sometimes it just sounds too much like pixie dust - a fairytale. Still, once in a while, we come across pieces of advice that turn out to be useful and applicable to our current situation. When you find this, keep it and apply it. Reading books about personal stories such as Nelson Fowlkes will often give us a different perspective that can help us address an issue. It never hurts to ask for help from others too. Reaching out to mentors or parents can help us shed new light on our issues and deal with them better.
Moreover, we have to learn from our past mistakes. Looking back at previous decisions and realizing what we want and what was right is vital in helping us face similar situations in the future. If we remind ourselves what we used to find strength and correct our mistakes along that path, we are less likely to repeat the same mistake.