Recipe for Strength and Resiliency

An interesting topic of discussion came up the other day. A group of folks was talking about how some people perceive the economic ups and downs of late, and one of them said, “You know, the poor already know how to handle adversity. They deal with it every day. It is those who are suddenly hit with a job or property loss, those who have never had this happen to them before, who need the help.”

One of the most remarkable attributes of human beings is our ability to “come back” after a loss or failure. Like the words of the old song (written in 1936, during the Great Depression – and just as valid today): we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again. We can look at defeat as a new opportunity, a chance to grow and learn, and see the world as “new again.” However, if we aren’t challenged with defeat on occasion, we can forget how to be resilient.

So, the question becomes, “How do I get some of this resiliency?” Here are a couple of suggestions. Tonight, or when you have a few minutes to spare, write down 10 things that really went well in your life. It doesn’t matter when they happened in your life. After you have them written down, remember them, one by one. Feel how good it felt to succeed, to be a part of something truly wonderful. Go ahead and wrap yourself in those good feelings. As you do this, you are raising and reinforcing your self-esteem.

Next, take some time and write down 10 things that didn’t go so well. The point is not to tear down that additional self-esteem you just built. You want to remember how well you recovered. Yes, it was bad, maybe even awful, but you came out the other side, and you came out stronger and more confident. That’s building resiliency.

Teach this to your children, your parents, perhaps a friend or co-worker in need of a little assistance. And come to think of it, today would be a good day to start.