“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” Confucius
Recent blog posts have looked at the British stiff upper lip in response to the excellent recent BBC 2 series on the subject by Ian Hislop. Forthcoming blog posts will continue on a similar theme looking at some amazing people from different corners of the world who demonstrate that coping with adversity doesn’t necessarily require just a stiff upper lip, but can also require resilience and “bouncebackability”. Resilience is a crucial factor in our own happiness experiment. It would be unrealistic to expect to go through life without having to cope with adverse events or experiences. Why do some people seem able to survive traumatic events and even experience post traumatic growth whilst others flounder and become completely overwhelmed by their circumstances? It is often assumed that resilience is a character strength we are born with, but scientific evidence shows that resilience is a skill which can be learned by all of us. By developing our resilience we are better able to cope with life’s adversities and to increase our well-being. There are many resilience building techniques to learn and to chose from and there will be some which work for you and some which don’t. As with any skill worth learning, practice makes perfect – so give it a try.
If this is a skill you would like to practice you could take a look at The Resilience Factor by Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatté. The book, written by two resilience coaches, encourages you to take a resilience questionnaire and teaches you 7 different ways to overcome life’s hurdles. As “self-help” books go, it is considered to be one of the best of its kind.
For additional inspiration I would encourage you to listen to this amazing TED talk by Janine Shepherd: You are not your body.
Posted by Shona Lockhart, 23rd October 2012