According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, resilience is “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”. So how can we adapt to change? How can we embrace change and flourish with it?
Here are a few strategies:
- Embrace failure and welcome challenges
Failing is part of the learning curve. If you do not fail, you do not grow, you do not learn. If you do not go out of your comfort zone, you will not be able to grow. Maintaining a positive outlook when faced with a challenge enables you to seek improvements. Turn failures into opportunities, what can you learn from it? How is this experience going to help you improve and better yourself? When I was in primary school, one of my school friends fell seriously ill after contracting an infection when she fell off her bike. We used to play a lot and from one day to the next, she was in and out of hospital for months, walking on crutches for over a year, missing school frequently. But one thing I remember, is how she was willing to go back to school no matter what or how, struggling to walk, sitting to the side of the classroom so she had enough room to lay her leg on a chair, being uncomfortable etc. But her willingness and eager to be part of the classroom and to learn was amazing. She was so strong mentally, facing any challenges that came her way and making the most of it. Her resilience was remarkable.
- Do not waste your energy on what you cannot control
If you cannot control something, why should you waste your time and energy thinking about it and trying to do something about it? Instead focus on what you can control and what is within your reach. Talking to one of my friends recently about the outlook of her losing her job because of the current situation amidst the coronavirus, I admired her response, which was: “No point worrying about it, there is nothing I can do about it, it’s better to live in the now and make the most of it”. While I can see some people thinking that it is all good to think like that, but once she loses her job, what will she do? Exactly, she is one of the most resilient people I know, and I have no doubt she will bounce back because she will look for opportunities and turn this situation to her advantage. She will not feel victimised or pessimistic, she will throw herself into new opportunities.
- Think positively
How you interpret the situation is up to you. You can see the glass half full or half empty. By keeping a positive mindset, you will attract positivity and appreciation. Be grateful for what you have, and do not worry about what you do not have. Be the optimistic person and not the pessimistic person. Look at the situation through a positive frame of mind, so that you can come out of it better than you were before. Think about it and ask yourself what good has come out of this situation?
- Think about a situation in the past when you failed what you set yourself to achieve. What did you learn from it? What can you learn from this experience? What are you going to do differently going forwards?
- How can I deviate my time and energy from thinking about situations I cannot control towards opportunities? How can I live in the present moment more? Have you tried meditation? Focusing on your breathing to bring you to the present moment?
- Keep a gratitude or appreciation journal and record your thoughts on a daily or weekly basis, or 3 times a week, whatever works for you. Think about positives that took place during your day or week and focus on them.