“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” ― Steve Maraboli
Resiliency is defined as: “an object’s ability to return to its original shape or position”. Another definition of resiliency is: “the ability to remain competent under stress.” Successful people are peak performers. One of the key factors in “peak performance”, which is the ability to perform at our best all of the time, is resiliency. Top athletes are peak performers. They stay “game ready” all of the time. Athletes bounce back after losses. They keep their head in the game, and they stay in shape. They take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Success of any kind requires us to be “game ready” all of the time.
Like athletes, successful people have high levels of resiliency. They are able to bounce back and regain their shape after setbacks or “failures”. This ability to regain their original shape (stay true to themselves) and remain competent under stress is why successful people often seem to defy the odds and achieve the impossible.
Resiliency is crucial to not only our success, but our ability to navigate life’s challenges. Our ability to cope with everything is directly related to our perception of our ability manage whatever challenges Life throws at us.
I work a great deal with resiliency. I believe one of the contributing factors to burn out, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem is a lack of resiliency. I believe that it is so important to success, that we will spend the next twelve weeks looking at what I call: “The 12 P’s of Resiliency”. We will explore one P of Resiliency per week. Interestingly enough, each of the 12 P’s of Resiliency is a success tip in and of its self.
The first P of Resiliency is Purpose. By this, I do not mean having a purpose, although having a purpose is a key factor in resiliency. We will explore that in a later posting. By Purpose I mean understanding the purpose of challenges. Let me start by asking you, when did you grow most in your life? Did you grow in the soft, easy times? Or, did you grow most in the challenges? The true purpose of challenges is to build our strength and make us stronger so we can face what life has to offer us. In essence, challenges “fire” us the way a kiln fires clay. The firing makes the clay strong, durable, able to be used as a vessel. The strength created by the firing makes the vessel usable. Without the firing, the clay would have no value in the world—it would not be functional. The same is true for us. Without our inner strength, without the durability created by overcoming obstacles, we would not be functional.
Many years ago, I was going through a difficult time. I was over at a friend’s house when he was having a sapling tree delivered. The person delivering the tree was staking it to the ground to support it. I’m not sure what made me ask, but I asked him how long you should stake a tree. He answered, “No more than a year. Otherwise the tree won’t survive. When the wind blows, it causes the bark of the tree to tear. It is the knitting back together that creates the strength in the tree—the same way human muscles build. They get stronger from tear and repair. If you don’t allow the tree to face the wind and tear and repair, then it can’t grow. It will never become strong. The first big wind will blow it over.” Yah. Can you say “hearing what you need when you need it!” I got the message loud and clear.
The purpose of challenge is to create a tear and repair that makes us strong enough to withstand the really big stuff.
Michael Beckwith talks about how people have a big dream, and they pray for the fulfillment of that big dream. Then, all of a sudden challenges show up in their world and they whine and complain about them. How can we expect to fulfill the demands of our big dreams if we can’t handle small stuff? We are never given more than we can handle, so if we have big dreams, we must become strong enough to handle them.
Remember, athletes practice 90% of the time and play only 10% of the time (or less). The purpose of challenges is to practice and gain strength and resiliency so we can have true value and functionality in the world.
This week’s success tip is: Allow yourself to be fired by Life! This week, when you notice challenges in your life, think of them as making your stronger—tear and repair. This week, see yourself as becoming stronger and more able to handle the challenges your goal or dream will bring you.
- Think about challenges and obstacles you overcame in the past. Make a list of what you learned from them.
- How did those challenges increase your knowledge, skills, abilities, talents, creativity? What came out of those challenges? Who did you meet as a result of those challenges? What did you discover or find as a result? How did those challenges “fire” you, so you were better prepared in life?
- When you encounter a challenge this week, simply say to yourself, “Ah, an opportunity to practice and get stronger!”, or “This is preparing me for my goal/dream!”, or “I am becoming a stronger tree!”, or make one up of your own.
- At the end of the week, use the weekly review process outlined in the About tab to review your progress.