Experiencing the Power of Resilience


What do you do when the hard times begin to directly touch you, your family, your community?  When the hard times strike, the hopeful words about Americans being "tough by nature" can ring a little hollow.  What is toughness?  What is resilience?  In very practical terms, what does it look like?


Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself whether you poses the traits I am about to describe.  If you do, then you are, according to the best scholarly research on the topic, among the resilient.  You should do fine.  It may not be easy, but you will make it through.  From the perspective of science, you can look yourself in the mirror and say, “I am resilient.”


Do you take action?


Research evidence shows that resilient people take action.  Think about your situation.  Productive action may be effectively blocked on every side.  Right?  Actually, that’s not what the research indicates.  Resilient people, you see, take action first in their creative thoughts.

In the mind there are no blocks except mental blocks.  But resilient people leap these inner hurdles by believing in their own hardiness and ability to cope with virtually any circumstance.


Resilient people are pace setters.  They lead the pack.  They are capable of acting independently.  In fact, many times, resilient people do those things that others are not willing to do or even try.  Often their response to tough times is stridently self-determined.  They simply do not wait for somebody else to come up with a solution.  They act quickly on their  intuitive gut sense, and often other people follow by reinforcing and rewarding their initiative.


You might be thinking, I wish I had such courage!  The evidence shows that resilient people do not confuse action for heroism.  Resilient people aren’t blind heroes.  Sometimes resilient people are the ones holding back from the crowd.  While most of the time resilient people move toward problems instead of away from them, they also possess emotional elasticity.  They can feel great courage and great fear, and be aware of both.  The difference is that when they feel fear, it’s usually for good reason.  Resilient people respond appropriately, in the moment, without obsessing about it.


Resilient people, you see, have a capacity for the good old “gut check!”  Interestingly, they don’t often pay much attention to the actual facts of the matter.  They listen to the facts only long enough to “get a read” on the situation.  Then, they do other things that may have less to do with the facts, like asking God what to do.  Over all, research indicates that resilient people are only somewhat tied to “reality.”  They tend to be unwaveringly and unrealistically optimistic about the future.


Do you band together collaboratively with others?


Resilient people do not go it alone.  While they may be quick to lead, they don’t see themselves as loners.  In fact, they fully and confidently expect other people to pitch in and help.  “Let’s all pull together,” is their mantra.  They assume that everybody is going to take the “high road” and that everybody is going to do their part.  This belief is so strong that it can be endearingly annoying to other people.  They sometimes don’t fully acknowledge that participation is a choice.


Resilient people think in terms of the wellbeing of the group.  They know the great inherent danger in selfishness and are not, strictly speaking, naïve.  Yet, they are willing to trust that one’s higher self will ultimately be expressed—even in adverse circumstance.  In fact, they often see adversity as an opportunity for everybody to rise to a higher sense of community.  Resilient people don’t buy into artificial social barriers.  They are skeptical of social status and arbitrary hierarchies.  They don’t have very much deference for ego either.


This apparent freedom from an over-sized ego enables resilient people to be able to admit their mistakes whey they are wrong and quickly move on to something new.  It allows them to embrace help from external sources with effervescent and effusive gratitude.  It also gives them a sense of humor, even when they are the object of the laughter.


Are you king of the jungle?


If you answered “yes” to this, you aren’t resilient.  In the jungle, fight, freeze, or flee instincts determine action.  In the experience of resilient people these instincts have been replaced by serenity.  Do you remember the famous serenity prayer?  You know, the prayer about changing things (or not) based on wisdom?  Research says people are more resilient when they are able to maintain a restful posture when nothing can be done.  They have learned to harness the power of corporate and individual ritual to keep themselves human, and humane, even in the fact of great adversity.  Resilient people may find themselves in the jungle, but the jungle is not in them.


Here’s to your resilience!












Please contact us at the following: (909) 890-4466 | office@carecounselors.net

www.care-counselors.org | 1881 Commercenter Drive East, Suite 232, San Bernardino, CA 92408



Please contact us at the following: (909) 890-4466 | office@carecounselors.net

www.care-counselors.org | 1881 Commercenter Drive East, Suite 232, San Bernardino, CA 92408