3 Things Highly Resilient People Do
I can’t help it – I’m a “list person.” I love lists of any kind. Grocery lists, shopping lists, to-do lists, packing lists, reading list, and so on. In fact, sometimes I make a list when I don’t really need it, just so I can cross items off it when complete.
Even better, if I complete a task that wasn’t on my list, I write it down simply for the satisfaction of crossing it off. Half of you reading this know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. The other half think I’m slightly obsessive.
A few days ago I published a blog, “3 Things Highly Resilient People Don’t Do.” My blog wasn’t intended to be a comprehensive list, but a place to start. It makes sense to have a list of things that you don’t want to do if you want to be more resilient. But, it also makes sense (if you are a list person like me) to have a list of things to do if you want to be more resilient. Highly resilient people are action oriented. They know that they have to do something different to get somewhere different in life or be somewhere different.
Transformation takes time, effort and energy. True transformation doesn’t occur overnight. It’s the cumulative result of constant forward progress. Sometimes measured in yards. Sometimes in inches. Here are 3 things that you can do today to be more resilient. It’s not a comprehensive list, but a place to start.
1) Find Hope
Desmond Tutu said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light in spite of all the darkness.” Highly resilient people know there is hope out there, even when it’s too dark to see it. Hope means that things will get better. Having hope means having faith that things will get better. You may ask why you should have hope, pointing out that things don’t always get better. Like they didn’t get better for little girl who died from cancer.
It doesn’t matter how bad life gets here on earth, there is always hope. We may not see it. It might take years for things to get better, but they always will. If not here in our earthly life, then certainly afterward. This past week we celebrated Easter, and Jesus’ death for us that brought us eternal hope. I know things get tough. I’ve been there too. I know there are times life may not even seem worth living. But, never forget that there is always hope. Whatever you are going through today, there is always hope, in this life or the next. If you aren’t sure you can find hope – borrow someone else’s. The world needs more hope.
2) Leave yesterday behind
It’s one of the things I struggle with even today. Dwelling on the past is always a challenge for me. Sometimes it’s remembering the past and what I wish I could forget. Sometimes, it’s just thinking about a mistake I made yesterday. Maybe it’s something I said or did that I could have done better.
Leave it behind. What’s in the past is just that – past. You can’t see where you are going if you are looking behind you. Note – I am not saying forget yesterday. I am saying learn from yesterday, and then move on. Whatever yesterday was, we have to leave it behind. We can’t change it and dwelling on it will not fix it, repair it, or make it better. The best we can do is move forward and resolve to learn the lesson so it doesn’t happen again.
3) Look for another perspective
If you look hard enough, you will find someone who has/had it worse than you. In fact, when you start to really look, you find that you are have more to be grateful for than you thought. Resilient people are grateful for what they have, rather than bitter about what they don’t have. It sounds cliché, but you can ALWAYS find something to be grateful for.
The CDC tells us more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies and I’m one of them. Twice a year, the headache, sinus pressure, itchy and watery eyes, and sore throat generally make life less than pleasant at best, and sometimes low-grade miserable. The weather channel app on my phone assures me that “breathing comfort will get worse” over the next few weeks.
But, I don’t focus on that. I focus on what I am grateful for. Highly resilient people remember that there is always another perspective – the one of gratitude. I have memories from the past of shame and hurt, but I’m grateful today for a caring husband who supports me. I have sore muscles from working out but I’m grateful for the health and strength to exercise. I have a sore, scratchy throat from allergies, but I’m drinking clean water. You can ALWAYS find something to be grateful for.
Like many, resilience and leadership author Ria Story faced adversity in life. She was sexually abused by her father from age 12 – 19. Forced to play the role of a wife and even shared with other men due to her father’s perversions, she was desperate to escape and left home at 19 without a job, car, or even a high school diploma.
Unlike many, she learned to be resilient, and turned her life around, not only surviving but thriving, in spite of the overwhelming circumstances of her youth. Click here to order Ria’s new book, Beyond Bound and Broken today!