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May 27

The Pillars of Resilience

Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up.’ Look at the life of Nelson Mandela, a visionary who refused to accept injustice, inequality, and hawkishness. He faced a death sentence under charges of treason, just because he was fighting for a democratic and free society. In 1964, Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment. The epitome of what we can call a major setback. Nevertheless, after spending 45 years in prison, Mandela was released and went on to become South Africa’s first black president. An icon of peace, forgiveness, and humility. His life is a story of resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks, stress, diversity, and all different misfortunes to life. That strength to pick yourself up again when curveballs are being thrown at you is a superpower. Like any superpower, you learn how to use it so that you’re in control of it. Listed below are the pillars which will help support your resilience. These key pillars can be applied to both your personal and professional life.

  1. Mental awareness

Our thoughts are subtle and invisible, but they can affect our reality. When you settle your mind on your failures and losses, that’s all you’ll think about and talk about. The more you talk about it, the more you re-upset yourself and go on re-living all the negative emotions you were feeling. When your mind is constantly reflecting on your setbacks, you give power to those thoughts. As a man thinks, so is he. To build on your mental resilience, consciously avoid negative input. Being mindful of your thoughts towards the circumstances you’re facing, will empower you to accept and adapt to situations and move on. Psychiatrists advise people to train their minds by creating habits that build a healthy mindset. For example, intellectual curiosity. This is spending some time in focused thoughts, exploring new ideas every day. Positive mental stimulation during challenging times is what increases your psychological resilience.

  1. Emotional well-being

So often when we hit rock bottom our emotions get the best of us. We feel helpless, defeated, and insecure about ourselves, our business, or our relationships. People who are aware of their emotional reactions have a better chance of learning how to manage their feelings. It is important to acknowledge what you’re feeling and why. That ability to take control of your sentiments and to think positive whilst monitoring your emotions strengthens your emotional resilience. You can boost your emotional resilience by being optimistic. Putting confidence in yourself, in your relationships, or in your business. Also, learning to face your fears head-on gives you that control. The fear may be coming from your loss, your addiction, your abuser, or your failures. When we avoid those scary things hurting us, we become more scared and we give them power over our emotions. One way to go about this is by telling yourself that, ‘I’m scared, but, I can learn from this’.

  1. Self-care

A healthy body can sustain a healthy mind. Physical fitness is an essential part of mental and psychological well-being. How many times have you heard people telling you to breathe when you’re having a panic attack or during a stressful situation? When oxygen in the blood is properly moving throughout the body, it helps clear your mind, reduces stress, lowers your blood pressure, reduces pain, and improves your general health. Exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep, and practicing good general self-care is important to help you process your feelings.

  1. Self-awareness

If you’re highly self-aware, you can objectively evaluate and manage your emotions. This can help you align what you’re feeling to how you’re going to behave or react. Self-awareness is the ability to focus on yourself and how your actions, thoughts, or emotions affect your values or purpose. It is important because it will help you make decisions that will keep you aligned with your internal standards. Even when faced with challenges and setbacks, when you’re aware of your individuality, your inner drive, and true self, you can easily bounce back to your vision or ambition. Spirituality also plays a role in boosting your resilience. Having something bigger than you to believe in creates a fighting spirit from within you.

  1. Acceptance

Resilience entails being aware of the situation you are facing. So often people choose to settle on denial. They want to dwell on finding out why certain misfortunes come their way, and they hold themselves back from learning how to overcome those setbacks. By remaining aware of the crisis, you maintain control over the situation. This is acceptance and taking responsibility for the impediment ahead of you. The next step is to learn from your mistakes. Any mistakes we make in our various agendas should not be regarded as a setback, rather, it is a setup for a comeback to learn and improve ourselves in that area. Forgive yourself and also forgive the people around you. Bitterness is an enemy of progress. It steals your focus, your happiness, and satisfaction. Always self-reflect on your progress. Find gratitude in each step you’re taking, good or bad. Accept what you can and cannot change.

  1. Social resilience

The final pillar is social networking. It is very crucial to create and maintain human bonds and a social support network. Your resilience also grows from building social connections that will stand by you when your strength is failing you both mentally or physically. Build supportive relationships that will not kick you when you’re already down. Even our brains need social support to function optimally. Happier and more positive human interactions will help your body to release those ‘happy hormones’ which calms your mind and reduces stress. Shy away from people that drain your positive energy.

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Teddy A. Jones
Jun 3, 2021

Hell there Stormi. I have never heard any such thing. I am therefore unable to provide and opinion on something which I have no knowledge of, except to say that would be very much out of character with what has been reported and documented of him ad nauseum.

Stormi Smith
May 31, 2021

Hi! Just wanted to ask for your opinion on something. Someone I know who lived in SA says that Mandela was actually a murderer and that on his order people were put in concentration camps. What do you think?