By Nelu Mbingu
Everybody is guaranteed to face some obstacles as they live the length of their lives. Nonetheless, you may have noticed that some people seem to be able to overcome obstacle after obstacle without losing hope. These people keep getting right back up after hitting the ground. They have what they psychologists call resilience. With the following five tips, you might be able to join the cliques of the resilient in the world.
1. Stay Optimistic
When you’re facing a challenging problem, it’s often easy to fall into a negative mindset, and to start thinking, “I will never get out of this situation!” We often magnify our problems and begin to think of the future as a dark and dreary place where we will continuously have to face the same problem we’re facing at the moment. In reality, unless you’re dead, you’ll never find yourself in a situation that is completely devoid of hope.
If you want to become more resilient, make the habit of seeing the world in a positive light. Resilient people do not damn themselves to the problems they’re facing, but are optimistic about their situations. They expect things to get better. Know that your situation will not stay the same forever. Things will change. Someday, you will find yourself arriving at the light at the end of your tunnel. You will not be imprisoned by your problems forever.
Remember that you can always choose your thoughts. You don’t have to stick with the ones that automatically pop up in your head. Choose positive and optimistic thoughts that will make you the resilient person you want to be.
2. Trust Your Ability to Adapt
Not all of us realize this, but as humans we all share one magnificent characteristic that has helped us survive on the planet for thousands of years: the ability to adapt. There is no difference between you and the people who have survived the worst of the worst in life. Don’t listen to that inner critic that says you don’t have what it takes. You have all the tools you need to overcome your problems. You can conquer your challenges, just like the Mandelas and the Gandhis and the world. You have the ability to adapt to your situation and come out victorious over your problems.
Being resilient requires that you have the “I can do this!” mindset. You need to tell yourself that there is a way out of your problems (which there almost always is), and then focus on finding that way out. Don’t waste your mental faculties focusing on how bad your situation is or how unfair life was to you, but instead turn your survival skills on and start looking for ways conquer.
3. Think of Life as a Game
If you’ve ever played Angry Birds, Candy Crush, or any other game, then you know that as you progress through the levels, they only keep getting more challenging. And as you play and master the lower levels, you learn skills that help you face the challenges in the higher levels. Going from level 7 to level 8 means you’ve earned the right to attempt the more difficult level, and if you master that one too, you’ll earn the right to go through to level 9.
Life is similar. As you progress through the years, and you become more mentally mature and competent, you earn the right to face more difficult challenges. When you find yourself facing problem after problem while other people seem to be cruising through life, know that life trusts you more to be able to conquer the more challenging obstacles. If you want to be more resilient, hold on to this mindset and welcome challenges like the champion that you are.
And just like in a game where you might not conquer the level on the first try, in life, you might not conquer your obstacles on the first try. You might be knocked down a couple of times before you finally overcome them. You might need to change your strategy a couple of times before you find the one that works. But you keep trying again and again until you make it.
4. Focus on Learning Through It All
Start seeing your problems as valuable tools through which you can learn life lessons. If you look at your problems like that, they become momentary realities that will make their exit as soon as they teach you the lessons that they are there to teach you. Then, when you find yourself facing a challenging situation you won’t feel powerless and hopeless, because you will know that your duty is simply to learn your lesson and move on. You will have the optimism you need to be more resilient.
It might help to have a way to process and record your lessons as you conquer your struggles. It’s often difficult to think objectively and to see the lessons in your experiences as you go through them. But by recording your experiences in a journal, on a blog, or through YouTube videos, you’ll be able to look back at them later when your mind is calmer and the lessons are more obvious to see.
5. Stop Trying To See The Whole Staircase
A lot of times, we let ourselves be crushed by our problems because we don’t immediately see the 90-step strategy out of them. We don’t have the solutions figured out immediately, and so we start thinking that we’re doomed in our situations. On the other hand, resilient people have a knack for taking things one step at a time. They trust that the staircase will reveal itself in time, if they just take the first step.
You don’t need to have a perfect plan of how you will overcome your problems. You just need to find the immediate step that will take you to your solution, and focus on taking that step. If you suddenly find yourself as a single mother of toddlers, and unemployed, you don’t need to worry about how you will take your kids to college. Just focus on finding a way to feed them today, and later the way to college will reveal itself.
There is no difference between you and the most resilient person in the world. If you open your mind with tips like the above, you can also learn to spring back up again and again when you face obstacles in your life.
Nelu Mbingu is a self-improvement blogger, the writer of Lessons From Everyday Life. She writes thought-provoking articles on a variety of topics relating to personal growth and social success. Visit her blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter
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