How to find resilience

Have you ever met someone that makes facing hardship easy? It seems like they get knocked down a thousand times and they can quickly get back up. Further they seem better for it? Isn’t that what all the Rocky movies were about? 

When you get knocked down, stand back up

When you get knocked down, stand back up

“The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” Rocky

The underdog seemingly epitomizes the American dream. But not just any underdog story will do. The one’s that capture our imagination are the ones of overcoming insurmountable odds and coming out the other end better off.  

So, what can we learn from all the underdog examples we’ve got in our heads? Well, first off, you are going to get hit and knocked down. Sometimes you will quickly rebound. But there will be times when the odds are stacked against you and the light of day is a memory of some lost history.  

Our goal then, is not to try to live a life removed of obstacles and adversity. Rather, it is to learn from those adverse resilient among us how we can best the odds and overcome with speed.


With that said, let us simplify to look at their traits so that, when in need, we can pull from their bag of tricks.


1. Solid support structure. Resilient people have a solid team surrounding them that they can lean on when the going gets tough. This isn’t to say that when they cry about how hard things are their friends will wipe their tears. Sometimes it’s a quick slap to the face. At the end of the day what defines this support group is that they are supportive, they really care, and they are like minded.

2. They see the bigger picture. In the midst of the chaos it can be easy to start thinking that “this is all there is”. A resilient person may feel that way for a period but they will quickly pull upon experience to change their perspective. This change in perspective is typically longer term and helps them realize that all things are temporal. Good and bad, positive and negative all fade in time in the ebb and flow of time.

3. Polyanna. For those of you not old enough to remember, Polyanna was a character in an old film that always saw the bright side of everything. While this may sound counter intuitive, even tricking yourself into being positive by posturing, can have a positive impact on you. Not only can it help pull you out of the funk, it may even lead to a longer healthier life. Resilient people know this and pull upon this as needed controlling their body and mind into a positive state.

4. They workout. When hard times hit it can feel like life is spinning out of control. While a natural inclination is to seek solace in solitude or bad habits, the resilient focus on the controllable. They understand that it is easier to stay positive if they care for themselves physically and mentally.  One priority is to ensure they eat and sleep well, get out for a walk or the gym and meditate. All of these activities reduce stress which allows them to focus on solutioning.

5. Journaling. Resilient people understand the benefit of getting it all out. Especially getting it on paper. Many times, this helps them to see or form a path through the hardship. It is also cathartic as much as pushing around iron is.  Focusing in on writing down what adversity is claiming you now is good. Ending the journaling time with what you are grateful for is better.  Both is best.   

You will find a way out or through, there is no other option

You will find a way out or through, there is no other option

You will face hardship. It is inevitable. It is going to happen. What you do in those moments will make all the difference. Not a difference on if you are going to face adversity, but in how long you will face each.

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