By Morgan Blair – MA, Intern
Resiliency is the ability to overcome challenges of all kinds – trauma, mental illness, tragedy, etc. – and return to life with the deeper wisdom of your own personal self. Resiliency is an important trait for individuals to foster because adverse life experiences are inevitable, but it is not a simple tool to foster.
Clinical psychologist, Meg Kay, spent two decades gather information about what it means to be resilient and how someone becomes resilient. This is what she concluded “Resilience is not a trait. It’s not something you’re born with. It’s not something you just have,” she says.
Instead, it is a trait that each individual must work to obtain. The good news is that anyone can foster resiliency in their lives through active steps meant to validate, challenge, and cope with adverse experiences. Here is a snapshot of some of the steps Meg Kay’s research uncovered.
- Recognize that your struggle is valid. No matter what you’re dealing with, be kind to yourself through the emotions coming up. We have to accept our experiences first before being able to overcome them.
- Recognize your strengths and use them. To get through adversity, we have to learn to channel the areas we excel in. We need to fall back to the areas where we naturally feel more successful and confident in order to balance the other areas of our lives.
- Don’t try to do it alone. Humans need support. We are social creatures who crave validation. It is imperative that we each have support when we are facing challenges in our lives.
If you take away anything from this short article, let it be this. You have the capability to be a resilient person, to get through intense adverse experiences. It is a matter of putting into action the steps that researchers have found to help foster the resiliency already inside of you.