The Truth About Resilience

Resilience is an increasingly prevalent buzzword that we find used in business settings, schools, doctor's surgeries and even in mindfulness classes, but what does it actally mean?

A dictionary definition for human resilience:

"The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness..."

Here we see a definition that suggests resilience as an optimal response to adverse conditions. Often it is framed as relience to stressful circumstances.There are lots of courses that claim to 'build resilience', often through team work or systems of self awareness, perhaps the secondary, more material defnition of resilience can also be informative:

"The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity."

This implies the ability of an object to stand up to the conditions imposed upon it and return to a its original state. There's no way that humans ever return to their original state after experiencing something in the environment, otherwise we'd always return to the state of infancy. Change is the universal constant, after all. Perhaps though we can ask the question of what state we wish to return to after an experience? What would we like to carry forward? What changes do we notice or would we like to see take place in ourselves after certain experiences?

Guiding change, therefore is the objective, and the information an experience gives us provides us the insight to change in a direction that is healthful.

With this reframing of the stressful experience as something that builds us towards, not away from, our objectives, then we see that resilience isn't really the helpful buzzword that people tend to think that it is.

We are not just innately resilient, surviving almost everything that the world throws at us, we have the capacity, skills and resources to build out of any difficulty to aid our development.

Yes, we don't want to get bogged down emotionally in difficult situations, and self awareness and relaxaton protocols aid us in this, but let's keep sight of the fact that those difficult conditions that we are experiencing are giving us fuel for growth and meaningful development. Then we will be able to keep sight of the fact that every moment is part of a bigger picture of our story, and that they will pass, and we will always be the better for them...