The most valuable skill you’ll need: Resilience

woman with balloons
We know for a fact that life from time to time is going to be hard and difficult. Since failure and pain are inevitable experiences, I firmly believe that the number one skill a person should invest on is resilience, meaning the ability to bounce back from difficulties. Resilience is a component of emotional intelligence and contributes to both personal and professional development. No matter how smart and capable you are under normal conditions, the conditions won’t always be normal, so resilience will help you adapt. Especially nowadays in our competitive and fast paced world those who can’t respond to challenges will be stagnant.

Being resilient doesn’t mean that you will not suffer, however you will rise above the suffering more easily. Resilient people have a thick skin and do not collapse even when the going gets rough. They manage setbacks and unlucky incidents with a realistic, problem-solving attitude. If you find yourself weak in terms of handling pressure, stress and adversity you will be glad to hear that resilience can be nurtured.

A few of the ways I am personally applying in order to build resilience are the following:

  • Embrace change as a natural phenomenon: understand that some things just “happen”, they don’t necessarily “happen to you”.
  • Develop a strong social network: supportive relationships are a therapeutic safety net.
  • Avoid the victimizing mindset: your past hurdles do not define your future, unless you allow them to.
  • Notice your situation under a different perspective: in other words keep things in a broad context.
  • Transform “failures” into lessons: knowledge gained the hard way is long-term and more powerful.
  • Find a deeper meaning in your life: there is no one else who can describe this better than Victor Frankl, so I suggest you read his book Man’s Search for Meaning.
  • Make no mistake, books are on my first aid kit, too! A sample of novels related to coping with difficulties that I have appreciated reading :
    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
    Finally, here at LitTherapy we have a specific place for this kind of books, hence you can encounter more at our “Overcoming Hardship” category!

In case you wish to delve into resilience, I recommend this great course by edx.

Start practicing and your resilience muscle will reward you!
Let me know how it goes,
Anastasia

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