6 Months and 6 Lessons on Resilience


As July comes to an end, it also draws to a close my 6th month up here. I’m using this sixth month as a metric to look at how far I have come and how far I still have to go.

It’s not always easy going after what you want, what you know is right, but you have got to keep on keepin’ on. Taking a risk, in and of itself, is scary, let alone existing in life and dealing with the unexpected. Embrace the fact that life happens and resilience is the bridge that keeps you above the rushing rapids and makes the impossible possible. 

Here are six lessons of resilience I’ve dealt with over the past few months.

6. Turn rejection into a resource (literally).

Anyone who has applied to jobs knows the feeling of receiving those dreaded “Thank you for applying but…” emails. No lie, I’ve submitted over 200 job applications in the past year and received my fair share of rejection emails.

After the initial dozen or so I started comparing the rejection emails. Some of the emails I received were less than favorable while others were the standard automated response. However, some of them were surprisingly nice and left me feeling hopeful even though they were notifying me I didn’t get the job!
I started archiving the rejection emails that I liked.  Cut to a few months later and I had to help write rejection emails. What did I do? I used all of those rejection emails I archived to help create my own. I took parts of several different ones and literally turned my past rejections into a valuable resource. It was a full circle moment that was just another example of how rejection being negative is a misnomer.
Rejection is really just redirection.

5. A Person who helps the People helps the Person.

A part of being young and a marked characteristic of millennials is a degree of self-involvement. I admit I’ve succumb to it, as have most of my peers and it  does more harm than good, especially when trying to become successful.

Part of being resilient is about being able to say to yourself that it’s not about you. Resilience manifests itself in the people around you.
Helping other people is where true strength comes from. Building others up through your time or resources makes the world a brighter and lighter place.

4. Sharpen your Axe.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Abraham Lincoln

It’s not just about the work and labor; it’s about cultivating your energy and craft.
Sharpening your ax means exercising, eating right, and more importantly giving yourself a break. You can chop away at your battles and challenges but if your axe is dull, you will have to work that much harder and that much longer.

3. Wash your hair with shampoo, body with soap and your mind with Gratitude.

Gratitude is like a warm healing remedy that washes away bitterness, frustration, and resentment.
We accept that dirt, dust, and grime build up on our bodies on a daily basis. It’s a part of living in the world around us. We’ve come to practice getting clean by buying soaps, shampoos, and even adopting a set time to wash away the day’s dust.

Gratitude is what we need to wash our mind and soul with on a daily basis, especially in our efforts to reach goals and become better people. Being grateful helps us rinse away the negativity and become fresh. Unlike showering with water, there’s no limit to standing under the shower head of gratitude (and no matter how long you soak in it, you will never become pruney).

2. Remember Weather vs. Climate.

Weather is described as the conditions during a given period of time while Climate is conditions prevailing over a longer period of time. The operative word being longer.

I realized that approaching setbacks with this notion was useful. One rainy day does not determine our climate. One set-back, missed opportunity, or rough-patch are not the actual state of our life.
Let the rainy days roll through because everyone experiences rain. And like different climates, things grow in all different ones. It’s a matter of finding the one that fits you, adjusting to it and adapting.

1. Grounded Hope

I used to call myself delusionally optimistic but I recently found this article and discovered the term ‘grounded hope’ which describes my disposition more accurately.

Being positive is important but blind optimism (constantly saying things are going to be fine when they clearly are not) is dangerous.

Being resilient has meant taking on the challenges, not sprinkling inspirational phrases on them and hoping they will take care of themselves.

If none of this inspires you, I hope this GIF will. Resilience never looked so fabulous.

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