Resilience: The Must Have

Resilience | Self Governance Project
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Are you resilient?

That is probably the most important question to think about and answer this year, because in the coming days, you may need it more than ever.

Economic Headwinds

There’s really no easy way to say this- it’s is very likely that the U.S. and world economies are heading for a recession and/or collapse.

To help illustrate my point, here are just a few red flags over the last several weeks:

I’m not a financial analyst or economist, but the realization of these things along with many other factors could spell disaster for the U.S. economy and the global financial system at large.

The dot com bubble almost took down the whole financial system, as did the housing/financial crisis of ’08. Many experts call the current economic conditions the “everything bubble” because so many different markets are in bubbles created by the “recovery” policies from 2000 and 2009. And bubbles don’t stay bubbles for long.

I know this may sound frightening, especially if this is new information. But it’s important to understand that there are many cracks in the societal foundation.

Are You Ready For It?

The purpose of today’s article is not to focus on the potential gloom and doom of an economic collapse. Rather, my purpose today is to explore the following question: if something like this were to happen, are you prepared for it? Physically? Mentally?

If you lose your job, can you still take care of your family?

If you lose access to bank accounts, how do you move forward financially?

If your retirement account gets decimated in a market crash and you’re close to retirement, what will you do?

While I don’t want to sound like an alarmist, it is important to pay attention to what is happening around us and come up with plans should the worst come to pass.

However, the plans and precautions I take may not be the right ones for your family. The one skill or preparation that is applicable to everyone, regardless of what actually happens in the future, is the skill of resilience.

What Is Resilience?

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties just as strong, if not stronger than before. It’s the quality that keeps us from giving up when things get tough. Resilience helps us stick with something even when we are met with setbacks, disappointments, failure, and sorrow.

People who are resilient focus on what they have control over rather than their circumstances. The resilient do not let worries about the future or mistakes of the past control their actions in the present. Instead, the resilient man or woman is confident in his or her own abilities and understands that no matter what happens, things will work out because they will it so.

The resilient choose their own way no matter what happens.

How Do You Become Resilient?

Resilience is not a quality that people are simply born with. It’s a quality that comes with accepting and facing adversity. There isn’t one particular way that you can become resilient, but there are several concepts that can help you improve your ability to be knocked down and get back up.

Locus Of Control

In Latin, “locus” means place, so your locus of control, according to psychologist Julian Rotter, is the place that determines your behavior. People are usually thought of having an internal or external locus of control. Those with an external locus of control typically believe that their behavior and their circumstances are guided by chance or fate. Those with an internal locus of control believe that their behavior is controlled by their own actions.

The locus of control often distinguishes the victors from the victims.

While much of this is shaped by our upbringing, the good news is, we can actually control the location of our locus of control. I won’t go into the exact way of how to do that right now, but see this article if you want to learn more.

Learn The ABC’s

To become more resilient, you might want to learn the ABC’s. But I don’t mean the alphabet.

What I’m talking about is a model in psychology from Dr. Albert Ellis. He suggested that we face adversity or an activating event (A). We then experience thoughts, feelings, and interpretations of the setback. These things are typically our beliefs (B). The consequences (C) are how we act because of our beliefs about the event.

We can’t change the event or the adversity. But we can change the beliefs we hold and develop about the situation. If you find that you are down in the dumps because of something that happened to you or something someone said, you must learn to rewire your beliefs to change your reaction. By doing this consistently, you are able to build up a shield of emotional and mental protection.

Let’s look at an example. Say that you were passed over for a promotion at work and you start to become upset and frustrated. You can either continue down that path that leads to anger and bitterness, or you can use your ABC’s.

In order to challenge your beliefs, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What kind of evidence supports my beliefs about why I didn’t get the promotion?
  • Are there any positive alternatives to why it didn’t work out?
  • What are the chances that the implications of this situation actually happen?
  • How useful is holding on to this particular belief about the situation?

If you can answer these questions during life’s natural setbacks, you should be able to work your way through those beliefs that would keep you down. As a result, your resiliency will increase.

So keep practicing those ABC’s.

Conclusion

Resilience is the quality that seems to be in short supply these days. Many people, specifically those in the millennial and Gen Z generations, don’t really know what it’s like to have hard times.

But it’s the hard times that shape us and mold us into well-adjusted members of society. Rather than seeking out difficult circumstances or situations, we can use our daily challenges to help build our resilience.

It could be that all of these economic headwinds simply blow over and nothing happens. But if they don’t, and we do run into hard times, the one skill you’ll wish you had is the skill to get back up on your feet.

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