Resilient at Heart – Facing Adversity

When facing adversity, whether you wind up on top or crushed underneath it, will depend on whether you’re resilient at heart or not. And, if you’ve taken some time to determine that you’re not all that resilient, take heart! This is something that can be increased with a change of mindset, and inward determination.

“Everyone knows that resiliency is an important trait. It’s the defining feature of some of the most successful people in the world, enabling people to come back from failure, disappointment, setbacks, or complete changes in their lives.”

What Creates Resilience?

There is truly one way that resilience can be built up, and most people don’t go looking for it (nor should they.) That one way is by getting through circumstances or difficulties that has caused one to suffer defeat. Not just one type of defeat as you’d see in the sports arena, but physical defeat, mental defeat, emotional defeat, or even financial defeat.

Resilience isn’t measured by how much you can take, but how quickly you bounce back, and how much farther ahead you land from where you fell. With the right mindset & being conscious of making an effort to be resilient, you learn from mistakes made that might have landed you under the weight of difficulties, and diligently search for the way to plow through the adversity, and move ever onward.

Problems are a miserable thing, and can downright break people’s spirit. As you’d find in the book of Proverbs, “A broken spirit, who can bear?” When you’re defeated at heart, the rest of you won’t have the strength to fight off whatever it is that you’ll need to persevere through, and bounce back from. With that understanding in mind, the heart is the genesis of where your strength lies, and where you’ll stir up the strength to be resilient.

As you find yourself being able to look back on your downfalls, and know that you’ve seen through them and you’re still moving on, you gain resilience, and build it up as would a bodybuilder would his muscles. If a similar problem arises, you have previous experiences to draw from that will be your weapon against reoccurring hurdles.

Watch over your Heart

Health wise, of course you should take care for your heart via what you do, what you eat, etc… But when we’re talking about the heart here, we’re talking about the inward workings that make you, you. The place where your fight or flight reflexes reside; where your deepest emotions and most inward thoughts are generated. The spirit, the inner-man, life force, whatever you want to call it. There are times that we won’t feel all that resilient. That’s when you need to stir yourself up. When the heart feels heavy, when circumstances have you beaten down, when you feel like you can’t go on- these are the most important times to make a stand. These are the most important times to resist the temptation to allow defeat to sink in, and instead, switch to analytical/resilience mode.

Being Analytical

Being analytical (rather than apocalyptic or sunk in depression) when taking a fall, will help you to see things clearly, and will also help you to avoid doing the same thing twice. When you strip down all of the difficulties to get into this mindset, when the heart just wants to lay down and wallow, analyzing your situation along with your options is a choice. An extremely difficult choice, granted. But a choice nonetheless.

Analyzing what caused for you to fall or fail, and observing the steps you’ve already taken to get into the position you’re in, often reveals things you could’ve done, should’ve done, or would’ve done. All those are only good for future reference, to avoid falling into the same situation all over again. But as far as dwelling on those things go, it doesn’t do anything to help you back up.

Instead of dwelling on the would’ve/could’ve/should’ve avenues when analyzing a situation, seek out the “can do’s.” What you could’ve done doesn’t make any difference, but what you can do is where your next step resides. Even if your next step is to seek counsel to gain some wisdom about how to get out from the burden of whatever it is that bested you. It’s a step out of stagnation, and a flex of resilience that will help you to chart a course.

Change of Status Quo

Sometimes the adversity we face doesn’t come by way of unexpected trouble or being stricken with hardships. There are situations that people just want to be removed from. This is something that I mention in the book about my desire to be who I am, rather than what the world expected me to be.

When it would’ve been much easier and more comfortable to settle for the status quo, yet be denied my own personal sense of authenticity, it took persistence and resilience to overcome.

Perhaps you’re in a position that you’d like to see changed for the better, or are staring down the barrel of adversity. Maybe you’ve been knocked down, but don’t feel like you have the strength to not just persevere, but overcome the things that have knocked you down.

It all starts with you. It all starts with the heart, or better put: the resiliency at heart. It’s a decision to move forward, and move out of the comforts of stagnation. 

Generate that Spark

All of these things are easy to say, easy to read, and easy to understand. But make no mistake, choosing to be resilient in the face of hurdles that have knocked you down is never easy to do. But, if you can reach within and generate that spark of resilience, that spark will eventually turn itself into an inferno.

Once that inferno is ablaze, you’ll not only get up from where you’ve fallen, but will make great leaps, bypassing what knocked you down in the first place. And next time something comes your way attempting to knock you down, your previous experiences will have bolstered your resolve, and built up your resilience, making overcoming all that much easier.

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