Do you remember when you were a child and someone would say – “Oh, you are a clever girl/boy” – how did that make you feel? I know from my experience, it certainly didn’t make me feel bad. It was a good think – It was encouraging.
Imagine if you were brought up being told that you are extremely clever in everything that you did – what would happen if you’re faced with a challenge and your support team aren’t there to encourage you or tell you how clever you are anymore? Or, if you meet someone smarter than you? How would you feel? How would you deal with that?
You would feel less confident, less optimistic about the outcome and less resilient in this situation because you have never faced this challenge before.
Gift v. Growth
It’s the concept of gift v. growth. You may be very intellectually gifted but if you do not choose to increase your knowledge and work hard to get further ahead, you will be left behind. It’s the mentality that – “I won’t do this because I know I’m not good at it…” which makes you become less resilient in situations.
This can apply to everything – your relationships, trying new foods, choosing whether or not to sky dive, the positioning in your family…
With the latter in mind, it was my little brother’s 21st birthday yesterdat and I definitely think him as a resilient young man. My middle brother and I have always been very academically strong and often people compare us three to each other. My parents have never compared us, which is a big part of why we are not affected by other people’s ranking of our achievements and we never compete with each other either (well, if we do it’s in a jokey way and I always win…)
In my family, I have always been seen as the traveller who goes on daring experiences and my middle brother has always been seen as the smart one – where does that leave my younger brother? People don’t see how passionate he can be and how smart he really is. Because he’s slightly introvert, he can be overshadowed by us two but recently people have begun to recognise his achievements… finally!
I think he’s absolutely remarkable because he takes everything in his stride. He’s so confident in himself, works so hard and really is the most resilient person I know.
As well as having a strong support system, as mentioned in a previous blog (Art of Resilience: Lesson 1), resilience is affected by your growth as a person. It is so important to work hard and not let external factors affect your mind set. Someone could be telling you – that you’re messy, you’re messy, you’re messy! Well, no – perhaps, they’re OCD and their measurement of messiness does not coincide with your measurement of messiness.
You need to make sure that you grow to become more comfortable and confident in yourself – only then will your resilience grow.