BREAKING THROUGH: Developing Personal Resilience

little girlHave you ever wondered why some people rise in life, evolve and climb to ever higher heights, even in the face of countless hardships, while others are crushed, stop short of achieving their goals, or simply give up and quit?

Life is filled with challenges, and if you haven’t yet learned the tools for how to keep going, how to test your limits and go beyond, then you might have stopped short of achieving your highest aspirations. Personal Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” so the old saying goes. But what if you believe you aren’t one of the tough ones. What if you have been one of the ones that doesn’t get going, but instead “gives in” or “gives up.” Personal resilience is not a gift from birth, or a rare talent that some are born with. It is learned, developed and honed into a skill that becomes your gift that will keep on giving. When you learn how to grow your personal resilience through testing your limits, you become empowered in ways you had never imagined, one small step at a time.

“It is far more important to know how to deal with the negative that to be positive.” says Martin Seligman, in Learned Optimism.

Malala, the young girl, who was shot in the face by the Taliban in Pakistan, wasn’t born a hero. She didn’t know she would find the strength to become a leader, to fight against oppression and education; she simply wanted to become educated and was shot for it. Malala became a symbol of freedom and courage for all the world.

Most of us won’t have to find the depth of courage and strength that Malala had to dig deep to find, but we can strengthen our fortitude, test and discover our limits and our inner abilities. Just like the character in my novel, SCORPION, Avery found her personal resilience in moments of great challenge. She learned to increase her focus and endurance through practicing Internal Martial Arts.

5 WAYS to Develop Personal Resilience

  1. Engage in a physical activity; when you get to your limit, go beyond a little at a time. Runners “go the distance”, Yoga practitioners take their body further and deeper, meditation uses the mind to go past moments of discomfort. By “going past” your perceived limit, you teach your mind that it can do more, and you will generalize that ability increasing your fortitude to go beyond your perceived walls.
  2. Notice every moment you feel like giving up, or “giving-in”. Don’t buy into the feeling, instead take yourself a bit beyond and it will change your life one step at a time.
  3. Expect challenges in life. When we believe everything should come easy in life, challenges hit us hard. When we believe challenges are part of life, they become easier. The habit is already changing. We were all created to move forward in time.
  4. Consider all the things you have achieved in your life already because they were important to you. You learned how to walk, talk, read and even more complex skills like writing, making music, or playing sports. By now your skills have become so natural you barely think about them. Focus beyond the moment of discomfort, towards your aspiration.
  5. Notice the growing feeling of tenacity and persistence and how alive you feel with that.