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Resilience: Our ability to recover quickly from difficulties.

Whilst it may seem as though some people are just able to bounce back from whatever life throws at them, this doesn’t come easy to everyone, including me! That said, resilience and becoming a more resilient person, is in my experience, a skill which can be learnt.

Sometimes, there can be moments which can immediately change the course of one’s life, such as a death in the family, a sudden loss of job or a severe accident. I’m going to focus on resilience from more of an everyday sense. Situations such as; a relationship which started off as the most amazing experience before gradually drifting or; starting a university degree full of motivation and leaving it feeling completely lost. Below are a few of my top tips for best assessing and providing the foundations to manage!

Trying to Remove Emotion

For me, the first step is to try and remove emotion as much as possible. This is much easier said than done of course; however, it will make rational predictions, decisions and a clearer path more apparent. By removing emotion as much as possible, you allow yourself to best assess a situation for what it is. In some instances, this may be as simple as ‘sleeping on it’, however in some cases this may require a little bit of extra attention. Exercise, mediation and listening to music are all calming, endorphin raising activities which can help.

The Importance of Writing

Writing it out (in combination with talking to trustworthy people in your life), sets the foundations for navigating through most situations. This can be as simple as dot points or if you prefer, articulating this in a more elaborated form.

What does writing it out do?

Firstly, it provides structure to your thoughts. It helps declutter what may be hundreds of scenarios playing out in your head. Often, it can be as simple as writing the positives and negatives of any situation along with opportunities moving forward.

For instance, I have recently found myself questioning my career path after working for over seven years in the Media and Advertising industry. With so many thoughts taking over my mind leaving me feeling cluttered, unmotivated and anxious, I was not doing myself any favours and heading down unnecessary rabbit holes.

After letting my mind wander to several rather unhelpful places (i.e. should I quit my job and live off the land? Or become a professional guitar player), I decided to slow down and document my thoughts. Over the course of a few months I’ve been able to identify and articulate a few crucial points. I started to pose questions to myself to make things clearer.

  • What do I believe I am good at?
  • What am I most passionate about?
  • What career options could cater for this down the line?
  • What would be the next steps towards moving down these paths?
  • What do I currently do in my job that directly or otherwise caters to any of these needs?

Through this process, I’ve found myself being not only map out potential futures with realistic steps, but also realised that there are elements of my current career which really do answer to some of my motivations. This has helped me gain appreciation for my current situation, therefore making me a happier person in the present and also more positive about a vision for the future.

Goal setting – A few tips to help stay resilient in the midst of setbacks

So many times, I’ve found myself with a big goal in life only to be hit with a few setbacks. This triggers me to lose all hope and give up…if this sounds like you, then read on!

When you have a big ambition in life such as; owning a home or a major career change, it’s important to break these up into smaller goals. This helps put a roadmap together working back from your big goal to help you stay on track. Further, by breaking these up and ticking along little wins, you will feel a sense of achievement, progress and motivation to ultimately keep working towards the end game! These are all positive feelings which will help you feel your resilient best.

In my experience, the other huge benefit of breaking up a big ambition into smaller progress goals, is that they leave you best prepared to stay on track when inevitable little setbacks hit along the way.

I hope these few little tips, which have benefited me, may provide some help in building resilience. Thus enabling you to continue striving towards being the person you deserve to be.

Ashwin Govender

Love Me Love You Collective