Resilience: 3 Ways to Bounce Back Strong From Adversity

Resilience: the ability to bounce back from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity, toughness. 

On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, I tweeted the following:

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to what happens to you. Decide today to make the best of any situation. Good or bad.

Less than 24 hours later, I was notified by my employer of almost 30 years that my position had been eliminated due to financial difficulties.

It was time to practice what I preach.

Here are three practices that are helping me effectively overcome this setback:

1. Reflect selectively. 

There are lessons to be learned in everything. One thing I learned from my situation is that there are very few sure things in life. I do not advocate continually asking why a situation happened, but I recommend that when facing adversity in the future, ask yourself: what can I learn from this? 

2. Focus on the future. 

It is easy to be resentful and bitter about what life brings. It is far more constructive to channel that energy and emotion into positive action. The past cannot be changed. 

Some good questions to ask:

What would a wise person do in this situation?
What is a constructive next step?
What new opportunities does this present?
How can I turn this negative into a positive?

3. Maintain a healthy perspective. 

Trials and difficulties are a normal part of life. If handled well, adversity can make us stronger. Hardships have a way of growing, maturing, and strengthening us. rom a spiritual perspective, I believe that God is ultimately in control, and I find peace in Romans 8:28:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.”

Remember, how you respond to adversity is your choice. You can let it build you up or bring you down.

As for me, I am excited about my future and the possibilities that lie ahead. In the words of the classic Chicago song, I’m ‘Feelin’ Stronger Every Day.’