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  • Are you resilient?
  • How long does it take you to recover from a setback?

Have you ever done or said something so embarrassing that you wanted to go back to bed, cover your head, and hide from the world for a week? Whatever you did was a mistake. You wished you could turn back the clock one minute before the mistake and alter your actions or statements. I know I have. I just wanted to get as far away from that inescapable feeling as soon as possible. Conversely, has anyone ever harshly criticized you? Leaving you to wonder, was I or my actions really that bad? Over-the-top criticism could make a person not want to experiment or take risks. However, in either case, it is not the time to go into a shell. That is the time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and be resilient.  


An online article in, “5 Pillars of Resilience”,  offers the best definition of resilience I have read. The author defines it this way, “Resilience is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustments to external and internal demands.” This is how I practice resilience. I incorporate learning experiences and feedback that serves me, discarding what does not. However, if it is unjust or harsh, I seek to recover through prayer, meditation, and exercise. It helps me treat people the way I want to be treated even if they do not reciprocate. 


Being resilient is more important today than it has ever been. When on social media, I often read about how many people applaud others for putting or shutting someone else down. Bullying and various forms of shaming appear to get more “likes” than positive comments or memes. Do you think any of those people are colleagues in our work environments? Of course, they are. 

People in a variety of industries have been disciplined to the point of being fired for comments made on social media. Despite these examples, it doesn’t appear that those with bullying or abusive mindsets are interested in changing their ways. The onus is on you to protect yourself and maintain your character. In other words, you must learn to work with nasty people without becoming one.

Self-awareness is the first step. Know your strengths and weaknesses and what triggers you. Reflect on what others say and then decide if it accurately describes you. If it does, take steps to improve, but if it does not, dismiss it. As most of you know, hurt people hurt people. They could be trying to bring you down because they don’t feel good about themselves. Step two, be assertive, not aggressive; teach them how to treat you by letting them know what you will tolerate and what you won’t. The third step is to meditate and exercise. Let the endorphins help you recover from the attacks on your self-esteem. 

When is the last time you had to practice resilience?