This quarter we have been taking time to better understand resilience – the ability to bounce back from setbacks and failures. The funny thing, though, is that when we think of that definition, most of us are probably picturing a person getting knocked down and getting back up on their own.
We tend to think of resilient people as those who are tough and rugged and can go it alone. Actually, as science has begun to study resilience, researchers have found that a common characteristic of resilient people is not that they are loners, but that they are very much connected. Science is finding that the most resilient people are those who have strong relationships and good support networks, both at home and at work. People who have strong relationships are more resilient as they can lean on others for support. The strong support system around them helps them be more resilient, helps them get back up, and helps them bounce back.
So we need a new picture of resilience. We need to see that resilience is not always about being a lone warrior but that resilience is often about strength in numbers. Investing in friendships and deep relationships is vital to being resilient. Resilience is the ability for us to get back up because we have someone with us when we get knocked down – someone who will extend a hand and pull us back up on our feet.
As we begin to crawl back out of the pandemic, and are able to engage more with those around us, let’s invest the time to develop those strong relationships again. The way to do that is to be with people. To do things with them. To invite them over for dinner. To go for a walk together. Play a round of golf together. Go to a movie together. Get some coffee together. Basically, we need to get together. But the same goes for our kids. They need to get together. They need to be together. They need each other, because sometimes the ability to get back up when life has knocked them down, is because someone is there to help them get back up.
Written by Karl Steinkamp
Recent Reflection Articles
Today, we are facing many challenges and it may seem difficult to find things for which to be thankful. However, I suggest that we should try to be thankful for the challenges themselves.
Resilience is not merely something you “sort of just have” or “don’t have,” but we can learn to develop it in ourselves. More importantly, resilience is something we can help our children learn and develop for themselves.