You Must Do These Four Things to Build a Resilient Life
Do you know anyone that seems to bounce back quickly from stressful situations in life? Do you wonder what these people have that helps them to accomplish this?
Ladies and gentlemen, this ability to bounce back quickly is known as resiliency. I have learned that not many people know exactly what resiliency means or why it is such an important skill to have. Resiliency is the ability to recover and adapt to difficult and stressful situations after life has thrown you a right hook out of nowhere. It is a skill that humans can develop by creating a practice of resiliency. Humans are one of the most resilient species on this planet. We have overcome war, diseases, famines, economic downturns, volatile political climates and many other difficult challenges. As a society, we have managed to adapt and evolve to threats both new and old, but on the individual level, we still have some work to do to build our resiliency skills.
So how can we, as individuals live a more resilient life? What are the key areas in our lives we need to fortify and constantly strive to improve to help us adapt to changing circumstances? I have created a list based on personal experiences that led me to develop my resiliency and I will share them with you today.
The first pillar is health, the second is meaning, third is asking for help and the last is gratitude. I'm sure you could add a few more onto the list but I personally believe these four are the foundation you can use to establish and build your resiliency skills.
Starting with the physical aspect, maintaining our physical health has multiple benefits other than what we see in the mirror. If you’re in physical shape, you're more likely to have higher self-esteem, confidence and decreased instances of depression. In some cases of minor depression, engaging in some sort of physical activity can work as well as an anti-depressant. Having a workout routine is also likely to improve cognitive function. Exercise also helps decrease the intensity of anxiety symptoms which can include rapid heart rate, sweating and rapid breathing. I can attest to this, as I have struggled with depression and anxiety for many years and having a workout routine has had a great effect on decreasing my symptoms.
When it comes to your mental health, striving to be a life-long learner is important because your mind needs its "food" just like your body. It's just like any other muscle in the body where if you don't use it, you'll lose it. If you're only feeding your mind garbage by binge watching reality TV and reading gossip magazines, then you're only doing yourself more harm than good. Your mind is always hungry for new experiences and information. Feed it positive and useful information, and you'll reap the benefits from it in other areas of your life.
When it comes to life’s meaning and purpose, it does not matter what your
religious/spiritual/scientific beliefs are, yet having some sort of belief system is important in finding life’s meaning and purpose. I am 100% certain that we aren't on this planet because of coincidence or luck.
Gary Vee once quoted that the odds of any one of us being born are 400 trillion to 1.
400 frickin trillion to 1! That's insane!
We each have a special gift and purpose in this world. It's critical that we realize this and live a life that honors that purpose. It may take some of us a little bit longer to figure it out, but I believe we eventually do. Meaning and purpose can come from anywhere; from our careers, our personal passions, our family, or spirituality. If you are struggling with figuring out your meaning or purpose, there are many ways to explore this by volunteering with a nonprofit that’s working on a cause you care about or getting more involved in your community or social circle. Whatever it is, this will help you figure out what brings meaning into your life and you'll be well on your way to living an incredible life. You can find opportunities to volunteer in your area by going here.
3. Asking for Help
This is a tough one for a lot of people, especially men. Our ego and pride is our biggest enemy when it comes to asking others for help. We often get in our own way and fail or suffer through an ordeal that could have easily been remedied if we would have just asked for help. Life's not meant to be done alone. We need each other in order to survive and thrive as individuals and as a society. Nobody can do it alone. If you’re struggling with something, reach out to a friend, family member, someone you know from your spiritual practice, a therapist, or a life coach. There’s no excuse and no shortage of people ready and willing to help you!
When times get rough, most of us immediately focus on the negative in our lives. In fact our brains are wired that way. Instead, we need to do the opposite and be grateful for what we have. If you're living in the United States, congratulations! You've hit the jackpot! Be grateful for the fact that you don't have to worry about some of the same things someone living in Syria, Haiti or Afghanistan has to deal with. Lose your job? At least you have your health! Starbucks run out of your favorite pumpkin-spice-frappe-mocha-whatever drink? At least you didn't get shot at (I hope) on your way there! Do you have a roof over your head? Clean water to drink? All your limbs intact? I could go on and on.
Instead of feeling upset about the promotion you were passed over for or unhappy about where you are in life, remember that it could always be much worse than what it is.
A useful practice for me is one I practice each morning by writing down three things that I am grateful for in life and/or telling a loved one how much I appreciate them in my life. This has greatly enhanced my sense of gratitude and has helped me focus on the good things in my life as well as improving the communication and connection in my most important relationships.
Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself for 30 days. This video sums it up nicely.
Let’s think back to someone in your life who is an example of being resilient. Does this person inspire you? I believe you can be as inspiring to someone in your life too by building your resiliency skills. I want to challenge you to practice these four pillars for 30 days. I strongly believe that when you have practiced these four pillars and make it a part of your daily living, you will be better equipped to adapt to and overcome whatever life throws your way. If you need support, you can find me here.
Our Catalyst Coaching Intensive can help you with resiliency and other life skills.