Problems and mistakes do not define you. They only allow yourself to write your story. Your actions are your story. Your “personal definition” is the summary of your actions.
Why do challenges and struggles make some people stronger and make others weaker? How is it that some teams/people come back from devastating defeats while others simply give-up? What are the keys that unlock potential?
These are the questions that former Navy SEAL Dennis McCormack and co-authors George Everly Jr., and Douglas Strouse, examine in their book ‘Stronger: Develop the Resilience You Need to Succeed‘. Resilience is an individual’s ability to properly adapt to adversity and stress. Adversity could be viewed as simply as any-time something does not go as planned or as complex as when there is someone actively trying to prevent you from accomplishing your goals.
People who display resilience are able to overcome setbacks and accomplish greatness. The authors state that the five characteristics needed to develop resilience are:
- Active Optimism. It is not just a belief, or idealistic view, but rather the ability to see the desired outcome that then creates positive action.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston S. Churchill
- Decisive Action. Once the optimism is in place, you must be decisive and act in order to recover from setbacks. You can and must gain the courage to make difficult decisions.
“…the cure for most obstacles is, Be decisive.” – George Weinberg
- Moral Compass. We must let integrity, honor, ethical actions, and fidelity guide our decisions under demanding circumstances.
“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” – Marcus Aurelius
- Relentless Tenacity: Determination. It is bring determined to finish and persistent enough to carry out your desires.
“Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown.” – H. Ross Perot
- Interpersonal Support. It is important to know who is on your team and how they support you.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
As achievers and dreamers, we have goals. How do we reach them? How do we achieve our objectives? Some people have begun to call resilience by another word, they call it grit. One of the pioneers in this field of study is Angela Duckworth. Through her research Dr. Duckworth has found that grit is the quality that enables individuals to work hard and stick to their long-term passions and goals amidst obstacles.
In one of my favorite books, Mindset, by Carol Dweck, the author teaches:
“…no matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”
These Secrets are the 6 Keys to Developing Personal Resilience (Grit)
- Always Take Action – inertia is powerful. The more time is wasted, the weaker our resolve becomes. Fortune favors the bold. Doing is always best.
- Always Release Stress/Tension – find a way to unwind and express emotions: draw, journal, meditate, speak to a personal friend, exercise, create art, write letters to others….
- Always Be Learning – learn from mistakes, learn from success, learn from others (watch, observe, ask questions, read)
- Always Stay Connected – people who are resilient have other people they rely on. Be that friend for others. Make emotional deposits into your friendship bank for a time when you might be low.
- Always Adapt – be flexible. Our expectations often dictate our emotional response, expect change and adapt to the current reality.
- Always Follow Your Why – know and understand your purpose, your true motivation. When the storms of life are raging, your “why”, your purpose becomes the safe haven, the place you can always retreat to, regroup, and then start again. Follow your own desires, not those of others.
We will always be facing obstacles. The ability to overcome these challenges is what leads to success. Resilience is the strength to overcome setbacks and press forward with a singular focus and dedicated purpose. In order to achieve your own personal greatness – make sure to work hard, feel your emotions, learn, help others, adjust, and stay grounded with your values.