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All About Resilience - Spirits Up September.

Our September theme, Spirits Up September highlighted perseverance and resilience, focusing on what you need to get back up when life tries to knock you down. This blog is all about resilience & soon we will release another focused only on perseverance. If you missed our Monday morning Instagram lives or the IG posts, it's not too late for you to catch up on the topic, so you can learn about what you need to get back up and build resilience.

What is resilience?

RESILIENCE is defined as the ability to recover from life's challenges quickly. It is not dismissing healing, speeding up healing or faking like you don't care. It's recovery and quick recovery. To recover means to return to a normal state of mind, health or strength. It's quckly returning to your baseline behavior when trouble strikes.

Resilience & Self Awareness, A Story

Personally, I believe resilience is built through self awareness, if you know yourself enough to know what you need, you can respond to troubling emotions quickly and effectively. One story that always comes to mind when I think about a time I recovered quickly is from 2018 during a period of homelessness for me. I was living in my car and paying a car note, while also trying to save so that I could sublease a friends apartment, by the end of the month. I received a call that my mom (who's name my car was in at the time) needed to be home to sign a check that would be delivered in the morning.

Y'all, why I wake up to my car being towed for missed payments.... So, there's my home gone and my hope for getting a real home (the apartment) gone too. And as if things could get any worse, Keep it Vertical was booked to vend at TrapxArt that night. I remember being in the parking lot of my mom's job screaming and crying to the top of my lungs for a brief moment before saying - "okay, but I have to figure this out." I took the money I was saving for the apartment and bought another car from a friend, a few hours later. I then called a few of my friends and family that had purchased Keep it Vertical items from me and used them to display merchandise at my vendor table and helped customers place online orders. Surprisingly, it all worked out.

I know myself well enough to know that when things happen, I need a moment to break down and I gave myself that moment before allowing my normal logical thinking and problem solving brain come through.

How to build resilience?

According to Dr. Ginsburg, child pediatrician and human development expert, there are 7 components that make up being resilient.

1. Competence - Competency is is the ability to know how to handle stressful situations effectively. It requires having the skills to face challenges, and having had the opportunity to practice using these skills so that one feels competent in dealing with situations.

2. Confidence - Confidence is the belief in one’s own abilities and is rooted in competence. We gain confidence by being able to demonstrate our ability & competence in real situations.

3. Connection - People with close ties to friends, family, and community groups are likely to have a stronger sense of security and sense of belonging. These individuals are more likely to have strong values and are less likely to seek out alternative destructive behaviors.

4. Character - People with “character” enjoy a strong sense of self-worth and confidence. They are in touch with their values and are comfortable sticking to them. They have a strong sense of right and wrong and are prepared to make wise choices and contribute to the world.

5. Contribution - If someone can experience personally contributing to the world, they can learn the powerful lesson that the world is a better place because they are in it. Hearing the thank you’s and appreciation, will increase their willingness to take actions and make choices that improve the world.

6. Coping - Those who have a wide repertoire of coping skills (social skills, stress reduction skills) are able to cope more effectively and are better prepared to overcome life’s challenges.

7. Control - When one realizes that they have control over their decisions and actions, they are more likely to know how to make choices in a way that they can bounce back from life’s challenges.

Of each of these 7 traits, I feel the most confident in my ability to express competence and less confident in my ability to express and feel connection.

Which one do you feel the most confident in and in which area could you use a little growth? Why do you think that is? Let's talk about it in the comments!

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