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What is resiliency?

januszkoch 25 grudnia 2017 0 Comments

Why some of us, overwhelmed by the life problems, unhappiness and trauma, prefer to end their lives or “live” in never ending depression, grief and sorrow when others, after similar difficulties in life, stands up, and become stronger than ever before?

Differences between resilient and non-resilient people

People, which have ability of resilience are psychically elastic. They see “the light in the tunnel” in every hard situation in their lives, when others are complaining about their lives and themselves. They’re naming themselves as victims, so they have excuse to passively and pessimistic approach to live.

Michalen Neenan, in his book: “Developing Resilience: A Cognitive Behavioural Approach” considers that the key to understanding resilience its knowing that we should recognize that more important is how we are interpret the situation, than a situation in and of itself. The same or similar circumstances can be saw differently depending on different persons.
Resilient persons think and act elastic, they don’t have fixed point of view so adjusting to heavy and still changing circumstances in their lives, comes faster to them (but I’m not sure that this comes also easier to them, they’re stronger but not completely resistant to the psychical pain).
For example, one men when his girlfriend leave him, will be troubled himself very hard (“I cant live without her”, “I lost love of my life”) where someone else, will be live like nothing happened (“this wasn’t that person”, “maybe another woman will love me”).

Resilient doesn’t mean not vulnerable

Being resilient person don’t make us completely resistant to negative situations in our lives.
It doesn’t matter how strong we are, and how good we are dealing with adversities giving us from life. Worse moments surely will come and bite us, and later, nervous breakdown, depression will be caused by that, but not permanent. After longer or shorter time, day by day, our situation will be better.
The vulnerability to injury doesn’t means that we are weak. People who are completely resistant to this, doesn’t exist. We are not machines, robots.

Resilience does not make us that we will win all the battles in our life, but finally, this ability can help us to never give up.
Neenan writes that resilience make us strong but still vulnerable. Vulnerable and dependent from others and their help like feedback, advice and our skill to take and use that help.
In solitude and isolating from other people, is no place for resiliency. We should be always open to advice from other people, independently how strong we think that we are.

Good and bad emotions

Resiliency it’s also presenting our emotions. Strength is not about hiding them, trying to damp, or feel only positive. Experiencing negative emotions its part of the resiliency. The point is not to delve into them, finally, letting to paralyze and destroy us. They are connected with our negative thoughts that also can destroy us from inside.
For example, we can take mobbing. Person who is bullied in his work, by colleagues and bosses, blames about how he feel, his persecutors.
The truth is, that nobody can make us feel bad with ourselves if we don’t allow others to do that. This can be look a little cruel, but responsibility for our reaction. thoughts and action it’s also part of resiliency. Very important part.

Courage – a key word

Resiliency isn’t resistance to psychic pain, but a courage to take it and accept. You should know that you will have a hard times in your life.
Sticking your head in the sand, trying to avoid problems, stress can lead to multiplication of trouble. We have to face them, because our situation will be worse if we try escape from them. Inner voice tells you that something isn’t right, when you look at your life. So, you take a first step to change that (by using intuition). Next step it’s connected with courage, which is essential attribute. Without courage, you can’t do almost nothing, because, when you make decision, you choose between love and fear. Courage is closely related with love, people who are full of love, are almost always brave.
Being brave is closely related with faith, faith in God, your passion and yourself.

Responsibility for reactions

Another feature of resiliency it’s to distinguish between what can affect us negatively and what cant.
If your partner say that she/he have enough of your relationship, break up with you, you should know that you can’t affect her/his decision. You can choose between falling into depression or adopt a decision bravely and live on without breaking down. Yes, you feel sad, after all, but also, you can draw the appropriate conclusions, and thus your next relationship will be better.

Full sense of life

Resiliency it’s not just coping with problems, but also taking full joy from life and improving its quality. Making friends, acquaintances, being self-employed, making risk and taking full responsibility for your life. Regardless of how was that life before, how is now and who you are.

What you can and can’t do

It’s the ability of acceptance of adversity (but not passively), distinguishing between what is and what is not under your control, what you can change and what not, trying different solutions to face problems which meet us in our life.


Neenan also notes that we are too much focusing on the outside world, rather than look sometimes inside, into ourselves. There is a big connection between one and the second world. Often too shallow, curved perception of second one, rigid, inflexible attitude, have a bad effect on how we perceive the first. We become prisoners of our own beliefs.
This works both ways, these two worlds influence each other, and can’t exist without each other.
If storm is in your inner world, it affects outside world and vice versa.
Similarly, when the sun is shining and everything is ok.

The sun in your soul, should never go down. If there is a storm, rain, know that:

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.- Vivian Green

Sounds hard and unrealistic?
You think that worrying is easy and constructive way of solving problems?
Because you can still complaining about your life (inside and outside) or take action, with is impossible, very hard or non effective, when you think pessimistic.

Searching for meaning of life

About a year ago I had the pleasure to read a book written by Victor Frankl: “Man’s Search for Meaning.”
Author of this book is a perfect example of a resilient person. He was a prisoner in three concentration camps, but his survival skills, maintain faith despite the very unfavorable circumstances have made that he survived hard camp life. After war, he become a psychologist, writer and person who help others.
According to him, the key to survival in difficult situations is a sense of meaning, the meaning of life. In the camp, those who want to survive, had a much better chance of staying alive than those who give up.

So, it’s kind of a grotesque, when some of us makes big tragedy, because their lost keys to the apartment, smashed a plate, paid for something more money than they should, etc etc. etc.
Those kind of problems, doesn’t make itself, we make them.

Very important thing

Winners never lose, losers never win – Dave East

We must have something, that causes that we want to fight for ourselves. Regardless of the seriousness of the situation, you can always find something positive if you want to look for it. Those who lose their faith and hope, lose.

A psychologically mature person looks for the positive in every situation, for no experience is entirely negative – Dean Koontz

Final conclusion

Resilience it’s a behavior, way of thinking and taking appropriate action. Everyone can learn it.

Im very surprised by a little popularity of this issue.
Developing resilience can change our lives, we can be stronger and happier, but we must take a full responsibility of our lives, behavior and thoughts.

It’s connected with changing our mental habits, being brave and sometimes, very, even extremely, positive thinking – keeping faith and don’t giving up, regardless of what happening near and with us.

Remember, there is nothing You can’t do, so believe and be brave

Take care,

1. Michael Neenan “Developing Resilience: A Cognitive Behavioural Approach”
2. Psychology Today „Developing Resilience”:
3. „The Road To Resilience”:

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