Resilience is not one thing — you’ve heard me say this before, but I think this idea is super important right now. Resilience is a collection of resources we grow in ourselves through practice, skills like grit, gratitude, compassion, mindfulness, courage, connection, creativity and more. But sometimes when we’re in a struggle we forget about the tools we have. That’s where habits come in and help.
James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, says habits are like the compound interest of behavior. Tiny habits done consistently over time add up to more than the sum of their parts. And doing small habits over and over creates big changes in our behavior and in our lives.
Developing the pieces of resilience are like developing any other skill. We need to learn and practice them. Life is presenting us with many opportunities to use these skills, so I say let’s actually be proactive and use them in advance of the inevitable bumps.
Creating a habit to use the skills daily can be helpful. That might include mindfulness (meditation and disengaging from negative self-talk), gratitude (noticing what’s still good and writing down at least one thing you’re grateful for each day) or creativity (writing, reading poetry, painting, cooking, gardening, etc. all count — making a daily plan creates the habit). Remember, tiny steps are easier to complete and add up quickly!
What skills or habits of resilience have helped you in the past? These are clues to what you might want to add in to your day.
Learn from Your Own Resilience
Below is a list of skills. Which word(s) resonates with you? Note a time or times in your life you have used each skill that resonates (feel free to add your own skills or different words). If that is hard, think of times you have struggled and then think “what tools did I use?”
Perseverance or Grit
Do you ask for help or find allies?
In making your list, are there patterns? Are there skills that could help you right now? Can you write out a plan of how to practice them every day (just one small step is great)?
One Step in the Right Direction
What habits do you want to cultivate? What would do the most to move you in the right direction? If you’re feeling unclear, you’re not alone, but you don’t have to be stuck. A lot of people are rethinking what they want out of life right now.
What matters most? What lights me up? What am I missing?
Interested in learning more about the power of your stories to create a life of resilience, connection, and meaning? Check out my Write Into Joy workshops to learn how to build resilience and joy through journaling & reflecting. Click here to see a list of upcoming workshops.