The Zen of Success – Resilience
As with Optimistic Vision, we are born with about 50 percent of the resilience we’ll ever get, according to the latest research, and building the rest is up to us, and I think you will agree that in these very uncertain times, we have never needed it more. To develop your resilient attitude, when comparing yourself to others (everyone does this), put yourself in a good light rather than a poor one, for example, I’m not the least flexible person in martial arts class, but I am the most flexible of the newest students.
Personal resilience is our ability to recover from setbacks, both major and minor, to embrace change and to soften, rather than fight, in the face of hardship, and I would suggest that it can be viewed as a kind of sustainable, robust form of strong self-esteem.
Now right away, we have a problem with our self-esteem in the consumer driven societies we live in today, and it is that we’ve been encouraged from an early age to develop our identity based on what we can acquire and achieve, as well as, who we know and who know us, rather than on who we really are, this actually makes us highly dependent on others for our self-esteem, and it becomes something that we see as outside of our control and subject to change as others’ opinions of us change.
We might feel we need to achieve certain qualifications or accreditation for example in order to be acceptable to others, or we might feel the need to wear certain fashionable clothes, drive the right car, and belong to the right organization to fit into our community, or groups.
Now, I’m not saying that all qualifications, trends in fashion and networking are a bad thing unto themselves, but what I believe undermines developing and controlling our self-esteem and resilience is complying with such external criteria without question, and without checking them against what would be ethical and authentic for us personally.
Similarly, with acquiring personal possessions to boost our self-esteem – what will determine how dependent you are on the external world is the level of your intention in making that acquisition, and the kind of business decisions you make can be greatly affected and have a lasting impact on either the success or failure, based on your understanding and control of resiliency and self-esteem.
Studies of resilient people have revealed a number of qualities that encourage thriving, no matter what circumstances might occur including (1) strong relationships with people who support, encourage, and reassure, (2) the willingness to allow strong feelings – anger, grief, fear – without avoiding them, (3) the ability to make a plan and carry it out, (4) confidence – an attitude of “I can,” rather than “I can’t,” trusting oneself and one’s abilities, (5) the capacity to learn from life experiences. People who emerge from challenging circumstances often report insights such as greater clarity about life and appreciation for loved ones, and they feel gratitude for what the experience has brought to their lives, (6) strong self-care, as resilient people are attentive to their own needs, as they nurture themselves, and seek out help when needed. See how you might actualize them in your own life.
Ordinary people, just like you, are able to move on and flourish in their lives despite tremendous difficulties, and we are so fortunate that the opportunity is available to all of us, in every moment, to choose life. What do you choose?