How to build resilience and attain personal growth

Learning is like rowing
Learning is like rowing a boat upstream. If you stop, you go backwards. (Author unknown)

I remember Miriam’s words as though they were spoken this morning, when she said to me years back that tough times never last, but tough people do!  “We were both fresh from college, under-employed, under-paid, and to make things worse, young mothers,” Miriam said, bursting out in laughter, when we recently bumped into each other in the streets.

“I know,” I said, pop-eyed as I reflected on her statement, and looked at how good she looked, compared to back then.  I knew that I too must have been a sorry sight back then, I thought to myself as I smiled.  We ended up talking for a while, before shifting our impromptu meeting to a nearby coffee shop—just to catch up with what had happened in our lives, since we last saw each other more than twenty years ago.

So it turned out that after going our separate ways, we both did what we had to do in order to make ends meet.  From our discussions, we concluded that obstacles will always form part of life, but the important thing is to be resilient—keep moving towards accomplishing your goals—never give up no matter how long it takes.  How?

  • Focus on possibilities. When you focus on what can be done, your eyes open to see opportunities.  But when you focus on problems, you only see more problems.  Miriam realized that the only way to find a well paying job was to learn a new skill, so she enrolled for evening classes for a marketing degree course.
  • Improve the quality of your life. At some point in life (if you are lucky it should happen sooner than later), you need to let go of what does not improve your life—habits, relationships, and things—so that you can become a better person, and create room for what inspires you.  Miriam realized that her relationship with baby-daddy was not good for her, so she ended the relationship and moved back to her parent’s place, where she was able to reflect on her future, surrounded by people who cared and loved her.
  • Change with the times. Always remember, what troubles and irritates you is a teacher.  So, learn the lesson, then change your thinking.  This is because the mind is a magnet, and it attracts what you think about.  Miriam stopped thinking of herself as a failure because of her circumstances.  Instead, she focused on her future, knowing very well that she had to take responsibility for her actions.  The moment she did this, she subconsciously started making calculated moves that brought her close to accomplishing her goals.  For example, she stopped complaining about her poor pay, and instead got a loan and made an investment in furthering her skills by going back to school, and today she has a well paying job as a marketing director with a financial institution.
  • Criticism is not a bad thing. Not all criticism is bad.  But this does not mean that you should concentrate on it, and on the other hand, you should not fight it.  So, what should you do when someone criticizes you?  Let the person know that you appreciate the feedback, but do not react vehemently or immediately fight back, since doing this will be an unconscious way of letting the person to steal the show from you.  Then you need to evaluate what has been said, and ask a trusted friend to give an honest opinion.  You should then learn useful lessons from the feedback received.  Remember, there are many leaders and achievers who would have remained ordinary people, had they not been criticized.  The most successful people are those who are humble enough to manage criticisms.  As a young mother without having the means to support her child, Miriam drew a lot of criticisms from friends and relatives.  But she managed to prove them wrong—by working hard to get a degree, which was followed by getting a well-paying job that enabled her to provide a good life for herself and her son.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Anonymous


Comments are closed.