Meet the Tardigrade Water Bear, the world's most resilient animal.
The indestructible creature thrives in the most hostile of conditions yet measuring only one millimetre.
The water bear can handle anything you throw at it: extreme pressure to radiation.
It can survive being frozen, boiled and can even float around in space.
The water bear copes really well with challenges and setbacks.
The water bear is Resilient.
But what does Resilience actually mean?
According to the Oxford Dictionary it is “The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; the ability to return to its original Shape after it has been pulled stretched or bent”
But how resilient are we really?
Just like the water bear, some of us were born resilient, and we can certainly all think of someone we know that has overcome every failure & bounced back from every possible obstacle that they encountered.
The question is why do others still succeed and flourish, despite immense pain and trauma?
Those people aren’t just strong or thick skinned. These people are resilient.
How can I improve my own resilience, you may ask?
Here are three strategies you can put in place immediately
1. Reflex Self-Talk
Your inner voice is the most powerful instrument you have if you know how to use it. Some, describe it as their guidance and wisdom. For others this voice is destructive and bring nothing other than trouble.
In my experience repeating positive statements and affirmations to oneself, double your potential and level out your energy level. It also relieves the day to day pressure.
If on the other hand, your self- talk is negative, your self-criticism will lead you to focus on constant doubts and failures which can be debilitating.
Language and cognition expert, Steven Hayes, says “Negative thoughts are like passengers in the backseat of the car you are driving. You hear them, but your focus should be on the task ahead.”
2. Your Social Support System
It is crucial to surround yourself with a great team of people: Those who can support you and encourage you. But also, those who sometimes believe in you more than you believe in yourself. Avoid those who drag you down and tell you “you can’t and you won’t”. Choose your friends wisely. Jim Rohn said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” Do you spend the most time with people who pull you down and suck the life out of you or with positive and uplifting people?
Spending time with friends who can boost your confidence will, not only get you to adopt their attitude, but will also make you feel valued, supported and loved.
3. Your lifestyle
“Wear your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else.” We are all familiar with this sentence when we board an aeroplane.
How many times do we tend to put our own health and well-being at risk in order to help people around us?
Not looking after yourselves, only results in getting ill and not being able to offer any help or support to anyone else!
Water, sleep and relaxation should be your three best friends:
Hydrating yourself will oxygenate your brain cells and enable you to stay alert.
Good quality sleep will increase your productivity, creativity and ability to focus.
Getting enough “me time” will help recharge your batteries on a regular basis. Take a deep breath, relax and watch the tension release...
Are you facing challenges that seem overwhelming at present?
Do you feel like you can’t cope?
Do you feel like giving up and throw in the towel?
It is perfectly normal to feel this way.
What you decide to do thereafter is what will determine your success in life.
Learn and grow from your setbacks.
Expect, that difficult situations arise into your life whether you like it or not.
Prepare for those dark winter days and rejoice when your spring time comes.
Challenges and failures allow us to grow. You are the hero of your own story. You were born that way and no one can take this away from you. So, utilise these strategies to transform your battles into victories.
Just like the water bear we too can survive through physical torture or ailments.
We experience extreme stress and pressure that makes us boil to 100 degrees.
Sometimes we find ourselves being isolated, no one to talk to or to understand you. But we have this resilience within us that makes us who we really are and enable us to achieve our goals and dreams.
If the water bear can do it, so can you. As the author and speaker Les Brown once said "It's not over until you win".