Please Join Us!
When: Friday, June 23 @ 1pm EST (5pm GMT/10:30pm IST)
Topic: Resilience: Be Ready for Anything
About This Week’s Chat
What “Resilience” Represents
I’ve often thought about the word “resilience” during the past few days. What exactly is it? What does it mean to different people? Where do you get it?
I don’t have all the answers, but I can share some of my experiences with you.
A number of years ago, I lived on a farm with my previous husband. I was often alone during the day, and, once, a worker from a neighboring farm robbed and assaulted me.
The police, my husband and many of our neighbors searched late into the night to find the culprit, but he was gone. I remember waking up with this thought in my mind the next morning: “What a nightmare.” I didn’t want to get out of bed, never mind leave my bedroom.
I realized that, no matter how much my perception about my safety had changed overnight, I had to get up and live my life. Of course I got trauma counseling and medical attention, but, in this case, resilience meant making a cognitive decision that I couldn’t live in fear of everyone and anything.
A few years later, I started working for a well-known health and fitness company as a sales consultant. I had never done sales before and, therefore, took the training I received very seriously. I did exactly what they told me to do and soon started breaking sales records.
After a few months, the branch I worked for began to rely on my sales more and more to reach targets. I, on the other hand, felt the pressure and worked longer and longer hours until I routinely worked 14-16 hours a day. I worked myself to the point of total burnout and into the hospital. My body forced me to come to a halt.
Obviously, I couldn’t stop working completely because I needed to earn an income. I had to return to work, but I also had to learn to handle my work differently so that it didn’t rule my life. I found it difficult because the neural pathways in my brain equated long hours to success.
During this experience, resilience meant that I had to learn that having a balanced life would help me in the long term. I also had to put in a concerted effort to recover from burnout.
About 10 years later, I got divorced. Some days I cried myself awake in the morning and I cried myself asleep in the evening. At some point I realized that I had to “gather myself to myself,” because no one else was going to do it for me. I was responsible for putting my life back together again.
Here, resilience meant getting up every morning and tackling the day with a goal-driven focus.
Last Sunday was the second Father’s Day without my dad. Last year it was shortly after his death, and I was still operating on autopilot. This year it came down on me like a ton of bricks.
So, right now, resilience to me means not to focus on thoughts of sadness, but to shift my focus to thoughts of gratitude for an exceptionally stable and loving father.
Mary Holloway (well-known foodie and speaker) says, “Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up.” I want to add, “and actually doing it.”
Resilience: Be Ready for Anything
We’re going to talk about “Resilience: Be Ready for Anything” during our #MTtalk Twitter chat this week.
In last week’s poll, we asked you what you think would most test your resilience. It was surprising to see that only 24 percent of the participants chose job loss, while 44 percent chose a hostile work environment. For all the options and responses, take a look at the poll here.
We’d love you to participate in the chat, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:
- How do you define resilience?
- How can you learn to be more resilient?
- In which situations are you most resilient? Why?
- What are the benefits of being resilient?
- Why do you think some people seem more resilient than others?
- In your opinion, what’s the most important element that influences resilience?
- How can resilience help you cope in a crisis?
- What are the pitfalls of being highly resilient?
To help you prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse.
- How Resilient Are You?
- Developing Resilience
- Optimism: The Hidden Asset
- Thought Awareness, Rational Thinking, and Positive Thinking
- Contingency Planning
- Managing Post-Traumatic Growth
- The Breaking Point
At Mind Tools, we like hearing from people all over the globe. We’d like to learn from you, too, and we invite you to participate in the #MTtalk chat this Friday at 1pm EST (5pm GMT/10:30pm IST). Remember, we feature great participant responses right here on our blog every week!
How to Join
Follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hash tag #MTtalk in your responses.