Cultivate Resilience

resilienceChange, especially when it comes upon us suddenly or unexpectedly, is painful.  We don’t like to have our comfort zones altered in any way.  A small range of variety and only the addition of good things like a bigger paycheck, please – this is the good life for most of us.

Being willing to change allows you to move from a point of view to a viewing point — a higher, more expansive place, from which you can see both sides.

~Thomas Crum

Some changes, regardless of our normal malleability make us brittle, at least for a little while.  Changes such as a death, a job loss, a major illness – usually something catastrophic – make our lives seem suddenly overtaken by sharp, cutting edges everywhere.

The greater the amount of natural resilience that we possess, or the better we are able to nurture and grow our natural amount of resilience, the better chance we have to adjust and feel like our normal selves again.  Notice I didn’t use the word return.  We like to use the phrase ‘return to our normal lives’ when we experience shocking changes, but the reality is that the shocking change is just as much a part of our normal life as getting up in the morning and plodding through our regular routine.  We just want to distance ourselves from the unpleasantness.

There is some small part of each of us that draws inside and doesn’t know quite how to go on, our own inner Miss Havisham (from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations).  Personally, reading this as a teen I thought that her family must be quite different than mine by letting her create the stasis that she did.  In my family, you got your moment to think, adjust to the new reality, and then the expectation was to figure out how to move forward.  I cursed this behavior then, and bless it now.

Pay attention to how you respond to difficulties.  Give yourself a moment or two of crap that is maddening.  And then train yourself to start to look forward, develop a plan (or two) to get yourself back on the track that you want.  Enlist the aid of someone who can help you from backsliding into the brittleness of stasis.  Look for joy.

© 2013 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations


Filed under Personal Growth, Work Life

3 responses to “Cultivate Resilience

  1. There is nothing constant, except for change itself.

    Change is always upon us so your advice to get good at being resilient and dealing with change is very relevant. I’ve struggled to deal with the change in my life after leaving high school and you’re advice to cultivate reslience is very appropriate.

  2. Pingback: Resilience, Part One | change it up editing

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