Updated: Jan 14

As we have learned the past few months, our lives, along with all our goals and plans, can change in an instant. The strength we need to successfully navigate change, requires resilience!

Qualities of resilience include healthy coping and problem-solving skills, taking positive action, persistence, adaptability, flexibility, ability to compromise, self-knowledge-a sense of values and purpose, optimism and hope, strong relationships, good social skills, the ability to ask for help, but most importantly: learning from past setbacks.

Learning from these setbacks is so important! As I look back at the stories in my life that hold the greatest lessons and meaning for me, I recognize that they also happen to revolve around the greatest challenges I faced. Overcoming these challenges has made me a stronger, more confident and resilient woman.

Some of the most difficult setbacks in life are betrayals of those closest to us, or injustices we have faced – bullying, humiliation, or discrimination.

The pain of betrayal can leave us angry at the person or people that betrayed us, but we have to look underneath that; at the hurt, that leaves us feeling unworthy, unlovable, fearful of rejection, and pretty down on ourselves in general. Holding on to anger keeps the negative feelings with us. The act of forgiveness moves us out of the role of victim and into a role of empowerment.

When we forgive, we gain something larger than ourselves over the one who harmed us. We gain back a sense of control over our lives and over what we will allow to harm us. Forgiving empowers us to be more resilient, by letting go of the victim mentality that we are unworthy or unlovable.

When we overcome painful events in our lives, we gain a more mature understanding of what it means to be humble, courageous, and loving in the world. We gain a deeper empathy and connectedness with others because we all have been hurt in some way. We can create an atmosphere of grace in our homes and workplaces, and step up to protect our communities from a cycle of hatred and violence. All of these choices can lighten our hearts and bring purpose to our lives.

Forgiveness is the key to refusing to be a victim of an injustice inflicted on you, or a setback in your life. When we don’t forgive, we aren’t acknowledging how much power we are giving to the negative feelings attached to the harm done to us.

Forgiveness is the key to putting fears of rejection and feelings of unworthiness behind you, so that you can live more fully and authentically. This gives the added bonus of engaging the trust of those you lead and interact with.

Learn about what strategies for building resilience might work for you:

Do you find it helpful to think of strong individuals who were resilient?

Who can you reach out to for support to build a resilient mindset?

What have I learned about myself and my ability to maintain resilience?

Has it been helpful for me to help someone else foster their own resilience?

What characteristics and strengths do I have that help me to be more resilient?

What has helped make me feel more hopeful about the future?

Habits for Resilience

Stay connected. Actively build networks, ask for help when you need it, maintain friendships, get active in causes that matter to you and organizations related to you career interest. Being the persona that you need when you were younger or anyone in need provides you enormous benefits in return.

See opportunity in crisis. Bad things happen. You choose how you respond to them.

Look past the now at how the future could be better because of the changes that you are forced to make. You should learn something about yourself and grown in some respect, being vulnerable can make you stronger, kinder, and more grateful. Focus on changing goals that need to be altered -it’s all in pivoting well.

Keep going. Even small steps toward goals matter. If it seems overwhelming-ask yourself whether the goal is realistic.

Develop an unshakable belief in yourself. Have confidence in your knowledge and ability to figure out whatever problem presents itself. You know you can figure it out somehow! Trusting your instincts helps build resilience.

Keep it in perspective. I always ask myself, “5 years from now, will this be a big deal?” This helps me not sweat the small stuff.

Stay positive. Expect that good things to happen, remind yourself about all the times things DID work out-that is how you got this far, right?

Practice self-care. Take time for things you enjoy no matter how busy you are. Exercise is building physical resilience and is the ultimate self-care. Meeting your needs for mental space and relaxation allows you to deal with situations that require resilience.

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