One theme keeps seems to popping up lately in my life. Now with various countries lifting lockdowns and multitudes of companies starting to ramp up their gears, I keep hearing notions similar to “We are stronger than before” or “We have come out of this tougher and better”. It makes we wonder a) if we really did because it seems like everyone wants to really pretend COVID never happend and b) why we have this need to feel like we have perseviered. We can’t just leave it at the fact that we have all suffered for months on end and that was the end of it. In true human nature, we seek to find something positive result out of suffering.
Recovering from toughness or difficulties is the definition of resilience. Resilience is a unique lifeskill that can be learned and developed, but somehow some people just have more of it naturally. It’s quite handy, a power we assign to superheros that no matter how hard a situation is, they are able to adapt to it and bounce back quickly, coming back better than before the battle instead of battered and beat. And we admire it about people around us, leaders that stay cool under pressure or people whose spirit and joy can never be shaken by the pitfalls of life. There’s a great book by Meg Jay called “Supernormal – the untold story of adversity and resilience” that explores this topic as to how some people not only overcome but also thrive thanks to adversities. The key element here is the fact that without difficulty and suffering, you will not build or grow any resilience. In other words, resilience is what you learnt out of a tough situation, an elasticity to adapt to it and to manage not only your surroundings but also your inner well being. As Meg Jay writes in her book “fighting on the outside is just as important as fighting on the inside.
It is important to note that you will note that taking care of yourself is one of the main factors growing resilience. While they do say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” I rather refer to Nietzsche who said “in moderation, whatever doesn’t kill us might make us stronger”. Jumping off the second floor balcony might help you with a fear of heights but will not helpyou ability to walk. Finding out what you can handle and what you need in order to handle an adverse situation is key on coming out “stronger than before”.
There is a saying “every opportunity is a chance to grow”, although I’d like to also ask why that may be true some opportunities are also a chance to watch Netflix in bed. Sometimes just recopering is growing. You can’t be the best runnerin the world if all you do is run day in and day out. Even Usain Bolt has a day where he rests. Maybe two. Becoming tougher and stronger has a lot to do with self care and self love. So if you want to come out of tough times better and tougher, ask yourself what you need to get you through. Resilience will not come on day one, but on the day you figure out what you need to manage difficult times. Because as beautiful as life is, challenging times are just another part of it’s beauty.