What is Resilience and Why is it Vital to Your Success?

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Resilience is the ability to successfully adapt and recover from challenging life experiences. It is the ability to endure adversity and grow despite challenges. Resilience doesn’t mean there won’t be setbacks, but it is the strength and will to keep going despite the pain. Take the COVID-19 pandemic as an example. Many people have shown resilience by finding means to manage and get through a very challenging time.

Resilience is not a lack of stress, emotional distress, or suffering. It is the power to work through all the disruptions and suffering that life throws at you.

See also: 5 ways to adapt to change and build a more resilient business model

Why is resilience important?

Resilience is important because it is an essential life skill. Perhaps the best example of resilience was the late Nelson Mandela, who said, “Don’t judge me by my success, judge me by the number of times I’ve fallen and gotten back up.”

Without resilience, you are easily overwhelmed by challenges and what should be a temporary setback paralyzes you. Our survival in this new world depends on our ability to adapt and thrive in the face of trauma and adversity. Without resilience, we fall back on unhealthy traits like avoidance and helplessness. Resilience not only empowers us to accept difficult situations, adapt and move forward, but it is also the core force that makes it possible to bear the burden of life.

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What it takes to change

When I was in eighth grade, one of my teachers called a student to the front to express how disappointed he was in the student, despite his apparent potential in schoolwork. The student was none other than me.

As I stood in front of the class, he explained why he was disappointed in me and how I was late for class even though my house was only a few minutes from the school. It wasn’t that I failed; My grades were mostly average. The reason for his disappointment was the waste of potential and opportunity.

See also: 8 Ways Successful People Master Resilience

Although I thought his gesture was harsh, his assessment was accurate. I devoted my time to other things, like playing sports and fooling around with my friends. I was an excellent reader as long as it wasn’t homework. I was slacking, my teacher knew it and so did I.

Every time results came out, I would get nervous and promise myself that “I would change” and that I would really try. Deep down, I knew I could do much better than my grades suggested. I felt like I had to work really hard to be successful. I had to change something. But how?

By the end of my senior year I was so uncomfortable with some of my antics and the kind of person I was becoming. I wanted to be a role model for my siblings; someone for others to admire. I realized this was something I had to do for myself. What I wanted to do with my life was up to me. And that’s when I started to change.

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I wanted to go to college, but I decided to do things differently this time. From that moment, I began to focus my energy on building life skills and habits that reflected the kind of person I wanted to become. I started spending my weekends familiarizing myself with the courses I would be taking not only in college but also in my private time. I started planning and working towards my success.

There were times when I lost focus, but I got myself back on track. I knew that if I planned ahead for my success I would be a few steps ahead of my peers, which gave me a positive feeling. I could see myself changing; I wouldn’t be the class clown. I would become a more responsible and committed student.

And so it happened. I showed up in college as a student excited to be successful. After the first semester, I had the reputation of an A student. Sticking to this road to success was no longer an option; I had already set higher standards for myself.

See also: 7 Keys to Developing Resilience

Sometimes I think about what would have become of me if I hadn’t had this resilience and courage to change. What kind of life would I have? One thing I know for sure is that maybe it was a lifetime of regrets. Regret that I chose the easier path, Regret that I didn’t try hard enough even though I knew I was capable of more. And although the change was slow and gradual, there were times when my friends who knew me made fun of me as a class clown and times when I made a mistake. The fact that I made the decision to make the change and showed resilience made me ready at the right moment.

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But what led to this long-awaited change? Having my new girlfriend has certainly influenced me; However, it was nothing more than the fact that I had hit my emotional bottom and was not content with the lack of focus in my life. I started to think of myself and my actions in line with who I wanted to be. More importantly, I didn’t wait for college to change, I started the journey right away even though I was still in high school.

Perhaps you are in a challenging or overwhelming situation and need to get through it. Resilience will play a key role in getting you over that limit. As a first step, if you can make the decision and stick to it to change the way you work, reflect on yourself and challenge your thought patterns. Over time, you will also notice changes in your life. By using resilience, you can change the way you think and behave to achieve your definition of success. My lived experience says don’t wait, start now!

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