BEING STRONG

Each one of us has within a force we don’t fully understand. Sometimes, we live our entire life without knowing what we are capable of and some day, something happens… Something that makes it come out and show us all our strength. But, you can also choose another way and work on this force, this inner strength, regularly.

It is called resilience, that which is the ability existing inside of you that allows you to face the difficulties life throws your way, in a positive manner, being able to move on and learn from each and every one of them. The good news is: resilience can, just like everything else, be trained.

Each problem you face in life should be seen as a lesson, where you develop your ability to make decisions and deal with their consequences, where you also learn to live with your doubts and insecurities. Resilience allows you to be healthy in any context of your life, teaching you how to protect yourself and deal with stressful situations. It’s a much needed basis for your personal growth and must be built and worked from as early as childhood. If you have kids, this is the moment to start building theirs’.

Although, if you really want to do it, you need to believe in yourself. It’s necessary to believe that you’ll be able to do something and be sure that even if you happen to fail the first time, you’ll be able to try it again, and again, until you do succeed. This process of developing your resilience is a slow one, in constant growth and mutation, building upon itself each time you face another difficulty or challenge.

It’s important to be aware that “getting over” some situation, doesn’t mean you will remain exactly the same person you were before, in fact, you’ll be able to adapt to this new reality and build something good from it.

Resilience is an important skill to develop and it will help you to make decisions in a more confident and autonomous manner. It will aid you, help you to have a more realistic perception of your skills and abilities as well as being able to adapt to different situations and contexts, providing you with a better quality of life. Furthermore, resilience helps you face life with more optimism and energy, develops your curiosity about the world around you and makes you more open to new experiences.

Looking for family and friends’ support is also a good strategy to develop, aswell as noticing that needing other people’s help is not a weakness. In truth, only someone strong and confident, is capable of admitting that he or she needs help.

How to promote resilience?

This is an ability that comes from deep within yourself and you should be working on it every day, with confidence and determination, yet there are some things you can do to make that easier for yourself and the ones you love.

First off, you shouldn’t fear looking for comfort from friends when necessary. Likewise, you too should offer affection and support to others, in much the same way you’d like for them to be supportive to you. The difficulties we face in everyday life are hard to overtake by ourselves and many times the support of other people is an important help, the help we need to stand up again.

Secondly, the creation of realistic expectations is quite important, for both, ourselves and others. You definitely should believe in your abilities, you should know that with effort you will really be capable of doing what you want to, but, you should also have a realistic notion of your difficulties and limitations and build your expectations accordingly, otherwise the feeling of failure and/or frustration might be more devastating than necessary.

The human contact and social relationships are also fundamental for the construction and development of our resilience, so, you should try to boost your positive social connections, making an effort to participate in different activities when possible. Even a small participation will provide you contact with different social environments and people who might have something to teach you. It’s really important to develop your interpersonal abilities, investing in relationships and creating bonds with others.

You should also look at your problems in a less devastating way. Keeping calm is the first step to increase your ability of solving problems and every time you do succeed, the less scary future problems might seem. You will be more confident and less afraid of taking on the world. When something really serious comes out, you will be able to have a more proactive attitude about it.

In order to achieve that, you should stimulate in yourself, just like in your friends and relatives the habit of introspection. What do I know? What am I capable of doing? What are my major difficulties? How could I improve on them? This small exercise will help you take conscience of your faults and your strengths and you’ll be able to define strategies in order to solve the difficulties that are coming up in your life, as well as keeping the emotional distance that allows you to deal with adverse situations. We all know that dishing out advices to others is easy, but when we are talking about ourselves, it’s quite different… It’s just a matter of being able to see any situation from an outside perspective and looking objectively at it.

Besides that, there are a group of factors that allow you to maintain confidence and to believe that even when something goes wrong, you can always try again. They are the ability to take initiative, sense of humor, creativity and critical judgment. You can’t wait for the world to solve your problems for you, you have to get up and do it and that’s the way you should deal with all situations and take the reins in your life.

And, last but not least, a sense of humor is imperative. Life changes everyday, and sometimes not in a good way. We should face it with a positive and humored attitude, trying to make our existence easier and healthier. And don’t forget, creativity and critical judgment will help us find alternative ways, even when everything seemed lost.

With your personal effort and the support of your friends and relatives, you will be able to accomplish the most difficult task, make that painful decision or experiment a new activity, a new job, or even a completely new life. And, if nevertheless, you can’t do it, you will try again with strength and courage.

Ki Magazine – no. 11
May 2014

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