Why is my resilience so poor?

We all find it hard to bounce back from something bad in our lives. Standing up to prolonged pressure, mistreatment or difficult circumstances is even harder. In this time of self-improvement and social media profiles which only show the positives of the lives of others, it is very easy to feel that our resilience is low compared to others.

Well, I have news for you. Your resilience is not nearly as low as you think it is. How do I know? Because you are reading this. If your resilience was zero or close to zero, as you may think it is, you would not be taking steps like reading an article to try to improve it.

Identifying the need to improve your resilience is a hugely resilient thing to do in itself. It involves self-reflection to recognise that you have an issue or issues to address, and then actively taking steps to do so. If you had no resilience, you would be just sitting there and letting all this stuff happen to you.

But you recognise that there is an alternative to this. You want to stand up to the bad stuff that is coming at you, even if you don’t know how to do it or feel you are strong enough for the fight. By making that choice, indeed by just recognising that you have a choice, you are being hugely resilient. Well done.

Our minds are strange places that none of us really understand fully. Resilience is all about our thoughts and how we let them rule our lives. The sources of our troubles may be external, but the battle is fought within.

We have all heard the stories of boxers who lost the match before stepping into the ring. They convinced themselves that they had no chance of beating their opponent, and naturally went on to lose. You may not always win if you give yourself a chance in your own head, but you will definitely lose if you don’t.

Look back on your life. All of us can point to times when we overcame barriers to achieve unlikely successes. These may not be huge, public things, but the point is the same. You have overcome adversity before and you can and will do so again.

Sometimes we will bend when something bad happens. That’s not lack of resilience, that’s being human, that’s caring, that’s having feelings and emotions. But like a tree in a storm we may bend to absorb the pressure but then bounce back afterwards. It takes some of us longer than others to bounce back. So what? It’s not a race. We get there in our own time and our own way. Be yourself and love who you are. Bounce back too quickly and you may just be putting yourself straight back in the line of fire!

Why is your resilience so poor? It isn’t. It’s great. You just need to stop judging yourself, be kind to yourself and remember that just keeping going in life is a huge accomplishment. Life is not an Instagram timeline. It’s full of nasty, mucky, painful stuff that has to be dealt with. Every day you are dealing with that, however you do it, you are showing huge resilience. You got this.

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