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Resilience--Bend and Bounce So You Won't Break
By: Marti MacGibbon
Posted: February 28, 2012, from the March 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Resilience is the ability to bounce back, adapt to adversity and roll with the punches. It provides you the flexibility to restore yourself and your life after difficulty, trauma and loss, and it is a quality in high demand during these rapidly changing times. Resilience is not something you are born with; you can learn, build and develop your resilience. A sense of humor can also be learned and developed, and it, too, can really help you to roll with the punches. Following are four strategies to help build your resilience.
1. Get connected and stay connected
Resilience does not mean standing alone through hard times. Relationships with others who are supportive and positive are essential to achieving and maintaining resilience. Mentors, friends, family, advisors and associates can provide encouragement, experience, strength and hope during uncertain, adverse or painful times.
Isolation creates brittleness and inflexibility—you’re more likely to sink into a negative state of mind when alone with losses, failures or trauma. And your connectedness involves not only receiving, but also giving encouragement, experience, strength and hope. When you reach out to support and share with others, you gain and build resilience and allow yourself a chance to heal. Get involved with support groups and the community, and remember to have fun. Fun does wonders for your sense of humor, your resilience and your health.
2. Look back, learn and—whenever possible—laugh
Allow yourself to review past events and reinterpret them, drawing strength from your experiences. As you review your life, step back and look at yourself objectively, as if you are watching a movie. Review your story. Find humor, inspiration and courage where you can. Give yourself credit for character and grace, and avoid blaming or judging yourself or others. Refuse to engage in beating yourself up. Accept the things you can’t change and take stock of the things that are within your power to change.
One thing that is always in your power to change is your attitude. Everyone has a story. Remember that you are the author of your life story. You can find your bearing and begin working toward a triumphant third act or conclusion.