The Stoic philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome promoted being resilient as the way to deal with adversity. And resiliency has experienced a resurgence in popularity in the modern age amid TED talks and self-help books. So why do so many of us think we have it when the data says we don’t? Because resilience isn’t something you’re born with – it’s something you learn. And it’s not something we were taught at home or school – it’s something most of us are left to figure out on our own.
“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient.” –Dr. Steve Maraboli
Life is a series of difficulties and evolutions. It’s about how we fall and get back up. And resilience is our ability to cope, rather than fall apart, in everything from a significant life trauma to day-to-day hassles.
Suppose you’re exhibiting some unhealthy coping strategies to avoid reality, like dodging friends, self-medicating via various means (drugs, booze, video games, porn), feeling overwhelmed to the point where you’re dysfunctioning. In that case, you might have a resiliency problem. It’s like the little kid who lays down on the ground when they’re upset, refuses to say why or get up. Except you’re a grown-up. The good news is, resilience exists on a spectrum, and you can control how and if you move up and down that spectrum.
91% of the most resilient Americans believe mental health is as important as physical health, but only 33% of Americans are likely to ask for help when faced with a negative situation. – Everyday Health
As we mentioned before, resilience is something you learn. So yes, it’s time to put on your big boy pants, get off the ground, and ask for some help. While you’re getting dressed, here are three quick tips to get you started:
“True will is quiet humility, resilience, and flexibility; the other kind of will is weakness disguised by bluster and ambition.” – Ryan Holiday
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
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