Resilience. This is an interesting and important word. What exactly does it mean?


Resilience is not exclusive to extraordinary people, it is a natural and frequent response to the human being. It is the capacity to assume extreme situations or rise above experiences of deep emotional pain. Some people even living in adverse circumstances not only do not suffer psychological trauma but they seem stronger. However, does everybody has that capacity? Are people born that way or do they acquire resilience? Can it be developed? 

Resilience is a process in which people adapt themselves to tragedies and be able to move forward and even let these experiences transform them for good. There are thousands of inspiring examples from people who during and after the darkest point in their life they raised victoriously. For example Mohamed Soltan, an American-Egyptian who was a political prisoner in Egypt. He lived unspeakable things. After almost two years, he was finally released. 

Mohamed Soltan not only survived, but now he advocates and fights for the rights of political prisoners. He considered his time in prison and all the injustice as a lesson to help others in the same or even worse situations. He is an example of resilience because he found a reason to live and fight.

Are People Born With Resilience?

This human capacity to overcome destabilizing events or difficult life conditions is innate to the human being. This means that everybody can resist falls, dust themselves off, and move forward. Resilience is not only for the minority because it is an essential part of human nature. There is an instinct inside everyone to survive and overcome.

This ability is also related to self-knowledge, self-esteem, independence, the capacity to establish bonds, initiative, and creativity. All of them play together when a person is transformed by tragedies and pain. People not only are born, but they can also learn and improve. 

Upping Your Capacity for Resilience

How can people augment their capacity to overcome adverse situations? It is important to remember that simply because a person is strong does not mean they are not vulnerable or do not suffer from what has occurred. What makes the difference between the resilient and those who let life destroy them is that they realize that they can control how they think and how they act, no matter what happens around them.

Some researchers that have investigated resilience have exposed that the traumatic experience can generate three types of change: related to oneself, interpersonal relationship changes, and spirituality and life philosophy changes. 

Becoming a resilient person for some people implies relying on spirituality and a peaceful attitude in life. Others become fighters in causes and find relief and hope by helping others, like Mohamed Soltan, who decided to help, becoming a passionate fighter for a cause that experienced firsthand.

Not all people go through the same process to gain resilience. Some of them need the assistance of others, such as family or therapists. They do not become resilient the same day they go through hardship. They need the comprehension and time to process what happened or is happening and how it will impact their future for good.