Let’s Talk Resilience | Lisa Steingold

Let’s Talk Resilience

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Resilience doesn't necessarily mean charging ahead. It can mean taking one small step at a time.

Lana Del Rey wrote a song titled “Born to Die”. She sings;

Don’t make me sad, don’t make me cry

Sometimes love is not enough

And the road gets tough, I don’t know why

What do these lyrics have to do with resilience?

A LOT.

  • One of my dear friend’s sister is pregnant. She has a 2-year-old daughter, a full-time job. Her husband has been in hospital for 4 months. 
  • My old instructor had a motorbike accident which left him unable to walk or even go to the loo alone for 3 months.
  • Another friend of mine has cancer and was told she’d have to have 6 months of treatment. She’s now in her 18th month of treatment.

This isn’t a case of my life is worse than your but all of the above does pale in comparison to where I find myself right now; with COVID, trying to get a home loan before the clock runs out and deal with current work pressure. 

While sitting on the couch for the 3rd day in a row, I decided that today was the day to talk about resilience. 

What is resilience?

I know the scientific definition of resilience but it doesn’t do justice to the word, I feel. Resilience is that little bit of power or energy you get, to keep going, or to take an action, when you feel like you can’t. 

The bottom line is it’s being able to adapt to life’s challenges when they present themselves and not throw in the proverbial towel.

3 Keys to being more resilient

Okay, so how do you do this resilience thing? The funny thing about life is that we don’t practice being resilient until we have to. 

I don’t have all the answers but I do know what’s worked for me. 

1. Compassion

The chocolate brand KitKat used to have an ad that said “Have a break, have a Kitkat”. 

I’m not suggesting you use chocolate as a crutch but I do suggest giving yourself a break. You’re doing the very best you can. 

What would you say to yourself if you were your own best friend giving yourself advice? 

Be compassionate and take compassionate action towards yourself. That includes cancelling unnecessary plans and doing just enough. The house doesn’t have to be sparkling clean. If the kids don’t eat all their vegetables it’s ok. If you show up to work and just do what you need to do for the day it’s ok. If you don’t answer all your messages, it’s just fine. 

You do you for now. That brings me to…

2. Do one thing

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed when a lot is going on. Just do one thing. Right now, right this second; drink the tea, take that shower, get up, put your clothes on…do all these things one at a time.

What I mean by that is don’t think of everything. It will take you down a rabbit hole. And right now that’s just unnecessary.

Just for today do you have food and a place to sleep? Well, that’s the bare minimum, for the rest you will deal with it one at a time.

It doesn’t mean you’ll ignore what needs to be done. Hiding won’t help. It just means you do one thing at a time; taking the very next step.

3. Get support

Reach out and get the support you need. It’s okay to allow people to do things for you. Sometimes I think that’s one of the grandest lessons for all of us. 

Let your friends help you. Get someone to do your taxes. 

Ask and you shall receive. Often your friends will offer before you ask. Accept. If this is your lesson in receiving, take it.

You can cry, but you’ve got to keep peddling

My friend Jenni Green started a brand called Bia Cycling in the middle of the pandemic when all seemed lost. And she was battling with Lyme disease. But she kept going. She’s like that Jen, she just doesn’t let up especially when she’s in it for a cause. 

When we used to do events together, she always told us, you can cry but you’ve got to keep peddling. 

Thanks for that Jenni Green. It’s probably one of the wisest pieces of advice I’ve ever received. 

So if you’re reading this piece and wondering how you’re going to carry on, just know you CAN do this. 

I don’t know why the road gets tough, for some more than others but just remember;

You’ve got this!

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