Friends, let me tell you about one of my most favorite book “Mans search for meaning”. I regard it as the most outstanding classics to emerge from the holocaust. Victor Frankl’s story of his struggle for survival in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps during world war II has some valuable lessons. He gives us a timeless formula for survival. It is an inspiring document of an amazing man who was able to garner some good from an experience so abysmally bad. The most striking thing about it is that when some cruel situations take away everything you possess, you still have one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you feel and do about what happens to you. Numerous people undergoing these harsh conditions died less from the lack of food, lack of medicine, than from the lack of hope and some reason to live for.
The one word which comes to our mind when we study these survivors is “Resilience”.
I cannot really predict whether we are going to become the victims of the world war III, but I can definitely tell you that at some point in time, life is going to shake you with a bolt from the blue, hitting you so hard that if you are not prepared enough, you will collapse, never to get up. More than education, more than experience, more than training, the person who succeeds is the one who can bounce back quickly. This is “Resilience”. Your genetic makeup does play a role but more than that, resilience can be learned, developed and practiced.
Let’s get prepared to face the blows of life.
10 best ways to develop resilience-
- Acceptance of reality
- Life is meaningful
- Will power and efforts to improvise
- Believe in yourself
- Use Optimism in the correct way
- Introspect your role and responsibility
- Equip yourself beforehand
- Build the protective shield
- Lend a helping hand
- Surrender and have faith
1) Acceptance of reality
Staunch acceptance of reality is the first step to develop resilience. Of course optimism works, but it should not exceed it’s limits. It should not distort reality. Accept that it has happened to you whether it is a serious illness, or a financial crisis or demise of your dear one, or a major defeat. Accepting does not mean revisiting the pain and hurt every now and then. The more you revise the unpleasant situation again and again, it will only deepen your wounds. So accept it, give adequate time to yourself to feel it, then analyze what best can be done and move on.
2) Life is meaningful
With conviction tell yourself that life is meaningful and beautiful in the end. The Bhagwad Gita says that whatever happens, happens for the good. However bad that phase may seem to be, we have to know and more than that completely believe that it has happened for the best, and in the end, it has a purpose, it comes with a learning and this will ultimately lead to a positive outcome.
3) Will power and efforts to improvise
After accepting the reality and analyzing the situation, one has to have an uncanny will power and pour in your heart and soul into the task to improvise the tough situation. If done passionately with all your sweat and blood, the worst of the things can change to the positive. Agreed that it will require time, patience and relentless efforts.
4) Believe in yourself
Every cloud has a silver lining. Have complete faith in yourself, remind yourself of the number of times you were stuck in a strenuous situation and you could pave your way out. Remember, tough situations don’t last, tough people do. You are bigger than any challenge life throws at you. Remind yourself, however bad this phase is, it will pass away and good times will come again.
5) Use optimism in the correct way
Don’t expect life to be a bed of roses. Expect and accept the prickly thorns too. Good and bad phases are a part and parcel of life. You don’t have the choice but to accept it. Optimism can be used in the way you respond to the situation and deal with it. Positive attitude can help you to push up your confidence so that you can still rise up, though life has pushed you down in the trench. Secondly, it can help you to choose the correct path, to deal correctly with the situation.
6) Introspect your role and responsibility
Have a deep insight regarding your role and responsibility for the troublesome situation. Are you guilty? Are you responsible for the situation? If yes, roll up your sleeves and toil hard to rectify your mistake. Do not shrug off your responsibility and run away from the challenge.
If not, do not pull over the bag of guilt on your shoulders and carry it life long. Everything in this world does not happen because of you. There are numerous factors responsible for a given situation. There is no point in unnecessarily holding oneself responsible and cribbing about it all your life.
7) Equip yourself beforehand by being mentally and physically healthy
The proper diet, exercise and sleep will keep you physically fit. It is essential to be physically fit to build a proper immune system, else your health becomes another hindrance and makes it even more difficult for you to cope up with the back-breaking situation. Mental health is even more important, as physical health also to a large extent depends on your mental health. Mental health comprises of having proper thoughts, being emotionally stable, being able to adjust oneself in the society and being able to face life head-on.
8) Build the “Protective shield”, well in advance
Meditation is the key to open up the doors of self-awareness, establishing connection with the Supreme soul and the cosmos as a whole. It keeps your mind calm and cool, happen what may. The tremendous energy that you derive because of yoga and meditation makes you think and perform in the correct direction. Tiding over the troublesome situation becomes smoother and easier. This cannot happen over-night, you need to practice meditation for years together. Done regularly and sincerely, it provides a protective shield which protects you from the storms of life.
9) Lend a helping hand
Lend a helping hand to people going through even more worse conditions. This has many advantages. The feeling that you are not alone in such a gruesome situation brings great relief. This also gives a feeling of worthiness, that you can still be of some help. This boosts your self-esteem. The joy of giving is the best and positive outlet to your frustrated and gloomy self. Thus not only the concerned person is benefitted, but also it provides you a platform to bounce back.
10) Surrender and have faith
If all this doesn’t seem to work, surrender to the Almighty with full faith. That in no way means that you sit idle and things will be sorted out automatically. It only means that hand over the reins to him, he will definitely show you the way out. Tread on the given path with full faith, the darkness will slowly fade away.
I hope this blog will help you in some way, to bounce back when life hits you hard. Bye for now. See you on Sunday, with another ray of sunshine.
— Dr. Anu
International Life Coach, Motivational Speaker and Corporate Trainer