Life tests all of us when we need it least. I can personally attest to this, and I’m sure you can too. You’ll never know exactly when your next test is scheduled, however, it’s important to train yourself to handle challenges with resiliency.
Resiliency powers you through adversity, allowing you to overcome obstacles of all sizes and varying magnitudes that threaten to bring you down. Resiliency helps you bounce back when you discover your girlfriend cheating on you. Resiliency powers you through the second phase of those psychotic Insanity workouts. Resiliency is what’s needed when you finally muster up the nerve to hand out your demo and nobody returns your calls.
4 Principles for Resilience Training
1. Remember your obligations.
Warren Dunn wasn’t just a great football player in high school; he was a devoted son who was very close to his family, especially his mother. He had considered her his best friend. Preparing to leave for Tallahassee football camp, things were looking up for the young man, who undoubtedly looked forward to his mother attending all of his games – until tragedy struck. Just two days before he was to depart, his mother was murdered in a botched robbery.
Sports journalist Don Yaeger stated Dunn remembered his mother’s words regarding hardships in life: “You can be bitter or you can be better. As my child, I ask you to choose better.”
Dunn honored those words and maintained his commitment to college football, playing for the FSU Seminoles before later signing to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During time off, he distanced himself from flash and fame, instead traveling back and forth between home and work to help his siblings with homework.
He also spent a significant amount of time preparing to meet and forgive his enemies, who were on death row for his mother’s murder. By the time he was able to meet with them, he was able to embrace them with full forgiveness and no bitterness in his spirit.
2. Carpe Effin’ Diem. Seize the Day.
In the midst of adversity, developing hardihood requires you to keep moving forward, even when you don’t know the how or the why. During the worst of times, we forget that while we may not have control over everything, we have control over something.
Brush your teeth. Take a walk. Cook dinner. Drive around the block. As simple and stupid as these suggestions sound, you can easily remember times you were so upset you couldn’t even think about eating, sleeping or brushing your teeth. Reframing your daily structure to include the normal beneficial habits and routines you’re used to is important for a solid foundation upon which you rebuild.
3. Employ the “HYFR” Principle.
In “Hyfr,” (Hell yeah f*ckin right) Drake says he’s learned working with the negatives could make for better pictures. He also knows that, despite cynicism, “them n*ggas he’s wit” is with him. (FYI: The Bar Mitzvah theme is cool, but I’m not a huge fan of the video.)
There’s a widely-believed myth that overcoming adversity, and developing resilience in the face of hardship is a something to be done alone. That’s bull. Overcoming bullsh*t in your life requires you to be on a team. You need your partners to support you as you recover from your fall, even if they’re just lending you an ear or taking you to the strip club. Likewise, when your close knit friends and family members can be a part of your journey, they feel valued and want nothing less than to be there for you. Don’t shut them out.
4. Count Your Blessings.
You might have spent your last $1500 on rent, but you have somewhere to sleep now. You might be negative $100,000 in your bank account until the 15th, but all your bills are paid up until next month. You might have broken off your engagement with your trifling fiance, but at least you discovered he cheated now instead of after you’ve already tied the knot.
Regardless of how painful the situation is, how messed up life is, there’s still a silver lining in every struggle, it just takes time – sometimes lots of time – to figure out what it is you’re supposed to learn from it. Feel your emotions, work through the experience, and come out on top faster by realizing that things could always be worse. Don’t believe me? Look at videos of unbelievably horrible situations uploaded on WorldStarHipHop.
Resources for Developing Resiliency:
WAHMs Know How to Face Adversity – Overcoming hardships is something everyone faces, even your 8 year old daughter.