What exactly is Resilience?

A traumatic event doesn’t always have destructive effects, it can also make us stronger. Each of us has a choice: turn the fall into an impulse or ignore the challenge and become a victim of its failure.

We call resilience a process of positive adaptation to adverse events. It has two components:

  • Resistance to adversity with a positive approach that supports stress as an engine of growth.
  • Ability to transform this negative circumstance into an opportunity for development, in order to emerge stronger from the situation.

Resilience is the ability to be flexible and to know how to adapt to circumstances in a positive way, as well as to develop the ability to project into the future and move forward without giving up your goals.

Is the resilient person born or made?

Resilience is not a characteristic that people have or don’t have absolutely, but it is the result of behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that make up the personality.

The answer to this question is BOTH.

There is a third of the population that has been seen to have a greater capacity for resilience. There is a serotonin transporter gene and when a person possesses it, they have a greater capacity to approach life with optimism, an essential quality of resilient people, among others.

On the other hand, there are certain skills that can be learned and improved to become more resilient people. At the end of the day, it is about acquiring habits and behaviors, training our brain as if we were learning to play an instrument or a new dance step.

Qualities of a resilient person:

The people we can call resilient are characterized by having developed the following capacities:

  • They are confident in their resources and build on their strengths to meet challenges.
  • They know how to accept their mistakes, without justification or blaming others.
  • They are resistant to stress and provide security to others.
  • They do not generate anxiety in the face of uncertainty, so they can provide a feeling of being in control.
  • They see the logical solutions to the problem, always looking for a way out.
  • They have a positive attitude towards life.
  • They do not stay in difficulties but see them overcome by putting effort and establishing strategies to achieve their goals.
  • They are authentic, sincere and have no problem rectifying when they are wrong, nor are they afraid to ask for forgiveness.
  • They have the ability to make sense of what they do, feeling responsible to build a better world, and collaborate with others to achieve that purpose.
  • They help and support others or spend time.
  • They use a sense of humor as a coping strategy in the face of conflicts, knowing how to relativize, being proactive, and providing energy and new ways of seeing problems.

These capacities don’t have to be all present and developed to the maximum, but in some way, they lead us to be more resilient every day. 

Turn adversity into stimulus

Anything worthwhile takes effort, and success and failure are heads and tails of the same coin. It is important to learn to win and lose, or better yet, learn to lose to win.

The purpose of resilience is to help individuals and groups not only cope with adversity but also benefit from negative impacts.

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