Adversity is a reality that all people must face, because the world is full of challenges that we cannot predict nor avoid.
No matter how dark truth may be, adversity can have more than one function: Not only can it create obstacles but it can also serve as a tremendous catalyst for growth. Resilience means turning tragedy into transcendence, and realizing strengths and talents you never knew existed. Tragedy and adversity does not have to knock you to the ground, but if it does, you don’t have to stay there. We can allow it to elevate us instead. Rather than getting stuck on “the ground” or in the slumps of our problems, resilience tells us to keep moving but how exactly does one become resilient?
Everyone reacts to adversity differently.
Have you ever noticed how some people just seem to get over tragedy so easily while others tend to suffer for much longer? Studies have shown that what makes some people more resilient than others are particular factors, ones that are within our control. So yes, the magic is really in your hands.
One important trait resilient people have is that they practice acceptance.
They understand that adversity and pain are a part of life. More importantly, they understand that “as hard as it is in the moment, it’s better to come to terms with the truth of the pain than to ignore it, repress it, or deny it.” This doesn’t mean that we admit defeat, but rather that we are coming to terms with what has happened and regardless of how painful it may be, we still believe in our ability to bounce back.
Another trait that resilient people have is social support.
Resilient people know how to reach out and ask for help. When going through a tragedy a support team can be there to sympathize, empathize, and also challenge your thoughts, if they feel you are letting the situation get to your head by perceiving it to be much worse than it is.
In one study, “Respondents who reported strong supportive social ties were less likely to develop psychiatric disorders and more likely to recover from them if they did.” On the other hand, those who did not have strong social support had an increased chance of developing PTSD when faced with a traumatic event.
Whether or not you could be described as resilient, one must remember that we are all faced with difficulties, and that we can dominate them, once we decide to face them.
The key to overcoming anything in life is reminding yourself that a terrible moment can have purpose in your life, or bring meaning to it.
Losing a loved one can cause someone to look at life in a more deep and meaningful way and it could encourage them to make positive changes to theirs. Becoming physically impaired can make a person reach out and connect with others when they wouldn’t have otherwise. Someone who didn’t break their leg when they were young might have not become an orthopedic surgeon. Even Edison made 10,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb, until he broke on through the other side.
Our hardships shape us more than we realize, based on the significance we assign to them.
The good times are always great but it’s clear that even tragedy has it’s place. If the world is a stage, perhaps it’s time to consider the role conflict plays in our lives and how we respond to it, and because of it.