What is resilience?
Lately, I’ve been really interested in the word, ‘resilience’ and the question of, ‘How do we help people, and specifically former racers and short-term missionaries develop resilience? And before I get ahead of myself…resilience is simply the ability to be adaptable and to bounce back after experiencing adversity. At the time, we may feel as though coming home from the World Race is the biggest change we will ever experience. However, life is full of adjustments and change.
Even here at M2B, I’ve found that almost all of the Navigators on my team have experienced at least one big transition this year ranging from new jobs, moving to new states, getting married, going back to school, etc.
Why is resilience important?
I think this is an important observation because there’s often a big scary word that can go hand in hand with transition, it’s loneliness. When we’re in the thick of a transition, it’s easy to feel alone and as though we’re the only person who struggles with change. However, when we broaden the equation, we realize that to be in transition might actually put you in the majority. In fact, as I reflect on my own World Race squad, I can’t think of a single person who hasn’t experienced at least 1-2 major transitions post race. And in today’s world, many even have at least 1 big transition a year.
Little Changes Add Up
I’m certainly not an expert, and often find myself floundering and failing through transitions. However, this is something that I’ve tried to improve upon and from what I’ve gathered, I think we can all make little changes to increase our resilience over time.
Last year, I even took a class on resilience through Future Learn. If you want a deeper dive into what I’m talking about, I would highly recommend it. It’s also free unless you choose to get a certificate at the end.
One of the biggest takeaways from the course was not waiting until things are really bad to start becoming more resilient. We want to start implementing tools and tactics relating to resiliency when things are actually going really well. This gives us a solid foundation so that when the big changes start happening, we are less shaken.
In practice, the course included a few specific tips including:
- Maintaining good relationships
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Focusing on your mental health (such as journaling)
- Eating well
While this might seem like common sense, if we’re going through big life changes, these things are often thrown off kilter, am I right?
As the course concluded, the Professor, Marcus O’Donnell left us with 4 key takeaways from his research which included:
- We build resilience along with others. For example, we develop resilience when we both allow them to help us and as we support and help them.
- We should all develop a set of key skills that allow us to live more resilient lives. These can include: problem solving, communication, and creativity.
- We must quiet our inner critic and show more kindness towards ourselves. This can go hand in hand with developing mindfulness practices.
- We all want purpose and a sense of purpose helps us to become more resilient.
I’d love to know your thoughts? Please leave a comment below and let us know how resilience has played a role in your life? Are you already a resilient person or would you like to become more resilient? Please share.