Resilience is our ability to overcome adversity; to bounce back. And in order to become more resilient, we must have the solid foundation of knowing who we are and showing up as our authentic selves. Every day, we are receiving messages telling us who to be and how to live our lives from many different sources. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like being told what to do. In previous blogs, we have compared fitting in vs. belonging and focused on being authentic and so now, it is time to ask, “Who do YOU want to be?”
This question may be overwhelming, especially if for years, we have been directed by others on whom we should be and how we should live our lives. Answering this question is a deeply important, personal, and spiritual journey that we must each embark upon to not only find fulfillment and contentment with who we truly are, but also to be resilient enough to overcome the challenges we face.
Because we are spirits living in bodies on this shared experience of being human, the spiritual journey of getting to know ourselves, honoring who we truly are, and living our lives from a place of authenticity creates the cornerstone of building resilience. Only when we have good boundaries and stand up for ourselves will we be strong enough to overcome all of life’s challenges from this deep well of inner strength.
Our ability to bounce back and authentically show up are built by having hope that we have the ability to reach the goals we have set, taking the time and attention to become critically aware of what we are experiencing and the effects the experience has on us and others, and by recognizing and letting go of the ways that we numb ourselves to what we are feeling.
Hope is actually a cognitive process that involves setting realistic goals, working to reach those goals even when it is difficult and we fail, and believing that we can actually get there. It’s all about perserverence and belief in ourselves- natural factors in our ability to overcome adversity.
Another factor in building resilience is critical awareness. This is the ability to question what we are experiencing and determine why it is happening, how it impacts us and others, and who is benefitting from what is going on. Take our society’s view of appearance and body image as an example. We may compare ourselves to unrealistic images, feel not good enough, and then buy into the need for specific clothes or products to try to feel better about ourselves. The product industry benefits greatly from this- it’s a HUGE money maker for many. Recognizing what is happening helps us to tap back in to who authentically are and to let go of unrealisitic expectations of ourselves that are often set by others.
Finally, to build our resilience, we must be brave enough to feel all of our feelings. We have to try to lean into feeling uncomfortable sometimes because that is how and when we grow. And in order to do this, we must resist the urge to numb ourselves (which in many ways is also a big money maker). Yes, we all numb out in some way sometimes, but when this becomes the way we attempt to cope with daily life, it causes bigger issues.
So, that brings us back to the question of who you want to be. When we allow external sources to shape who we are, how we feel about ourselves, and how we live our lives, we are putting ourselves at risk for things like hopelessness, powerlessness, disconnection, and fear, which all sabotage our ability to be resilient. That’s not how you want to feel or who you want to be.
So, this week, I invite you to think about who you really want to be. Notice how you are living your life or how you are avoiding it. Take a look at how much you are controlled and directed by external sources without even noticing. And recognize that you have the power within you to make changes. Lean into hope and taking steps toward how you want to live and feel.
I would be happy to help along the way. Reach out and we can chat about it.
I will be doing the work right along with you.
Chat again soon,