Robin Hood fans..
Have you ever wondered why some people recover quickly from difficulties, while the smallest thing seems to keep some of us down too long?
I’ve been wondering the last few weeks what makes some people more resilient than others? “The ability to spring back into shape” is a good description of resilience.
Think about how Robin Hood shoots a bow. An arrow is fitted to the string, the bow is pulled back and released at the moment of greatest tension. The bow has amazing resilience doesn’t it? The tension doesn’t break it and actually becomes quite useful in the end.
Some people are like that. They’re the people during job layoffs who find new jobs before others do because they possess a mental resilience and great confidence in themselves. Why wouldn’t another company need a great employee? They neither view themselves as perfect OR unworthy. They’re aware of their faults and can make fun of themselves. They’re also aware of their strengths and utilize them. Very useful people to have around!
They are the people who are surprised by an unexpected bill, pay it with a laugh and get on with their lives.
They are the people who get betrayed by a friend and give up their bitterness to learn a lesson and become a better friend themselves.
They are the people in funerals that others gravitate to because they are hurt, but have hope.
Brave, resolute, but with something else added to it…
Resilience. Nothing keeps them down.
We offer a course to dating couples at Venue called SYMBIS, or Save Your Marriage Before It Starts, which Erin and I also went through. I figured we have all these kids so we might as well get married? Haha. Not really, we’ve been married awhile but always find things to learn from, and the course is great if you’re already married too. I’m not sure about its accuracy though, it suggested I might be a little impatient?:) Other than that it seemed spot on… (This is a joke if you don’t get sarcasm. Everybody in my life has told me at one time or other that I need to “relax”)
One of the testing sections is about Resilience, and the results that have come back to me are a little alarming, but not really surprising.
Most Resilience scores are quite low.
One thing that has been creeping up in the back of my mind regarding Canadian culture is how resilient we think are, versus how resilient we actually are.
An easy (and funny) example is how emotional we get when the test results show us a different truth about ourselves than we thought. IE: if it craters your emotions when your resilience comes back low…. Ya might not be resilient:)
I’m not making fun of any individual because nearly every test came back the same in this category. It’s more than a trend, it’s a reality we need to look at.
It starts in our thinking that an arrow can be fired without tension on the bow. What if the cost of accomplishment was always Failure + Learning + More Failure + Pain + Effort = Result? We need to have our thinking reshaped!
I’ve heard the main deciding factor of Leadership described as “How much pain a person can take?”. This differs with our current mindset of “How many people would admire me?”:)
We also make the fatal error of thinking Strength is Resilience. Just because you can live with tension or pressure doesn’t mean you will “spring back” and fire an arrow, or that the arrow will hit the target. There are many people bravely suffering in the cycle of their own poor decisions, and there’s nothing particularly admirable about that because the moment they get better the pain will stop.
There is also the strength that is good up to a point but, when the climate is just right, or one too many things pile up, they shatter and take forever to get fixed.
A Resilient person lives in a constant breaking-down-rebuilding process. Brokenness is just part of their lives, but so are successes. A win doesn’t make them proud or satisfied, and whatever gets thrown at them doesn’t seem to stick for long.
“The ability to spring back into shape” is a good description of resilience, but I would maybe add to it something else:
“The ability to spring back and be REshaped”
I’m still studying the effects of resilience, but for now I’m going to do the only thing I can think of that can increase my own…
Hang around Resilient people.
They’re a bit irritating though,
they always laugh when I try to get them to feel sorry for me:)