Purpose in Resilience

September 26, 2019

Janice Stone


resilience ... the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

Our resilience is our ability to cope and bounce back from a crisis or setback in our life. It is using our strength to see past our problems and handle the challenge, allowing ourselves to return to a place of joy and gratitude.

Our purpose is who we were made to be and how that lives out in our values and passions in action. Having purpose is a key element enduring tough times with resilience.

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Having resilience does not make the difficulties go away, but rather it is the ability to adapt to the adversity. It is a skill that can be built, developed, and learned. Your resilience is what will help you get through hard times such as disease or health issues, a job loss or choices made in your workplace that are difficult, disaster or death, financial challenges, or relationship struggles.

How do you deal with difficult circumstances and hardships? Do you withdraw and stay disconnected, react in anger, become a victim, or use substance abuse when feeling overwhelmed? Or are you able to see the big picture and see past the the setbacks and challenges, handling the stress to find the joy and purpose again?

It has been said that resilience is the ability to roll with the punches. The challenges are still there but you are able to still feel joy, engage in life and handle the stress. It can also help you cope with various mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression that can come with stress and trauma. It will not eliminate it, but can increase your ability to cope.

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That sounds good and all, but how does this actually work? How do you develop resilience, or improve your resilience? Here a few tips to remember when looking at our life purpose and resilience:

**Know Your Purpose - When you identify your own unique life purpose you have a clarity and confidence to why you do what you do. This clarity can help you keep a big picture in view when walking through difficult times. Have you ever watched someone go through a hard diagnosis or maybe a divorce and wonder how they are even going through it without falling apart? I can remember crying on a friends shoulder during a very difficult time in my life saying, "I cannot do this. I just cannot do this". Although I felt unable to walk the journey I was needing to walk at that time, I did. I made it through because of resilience. I knew the bigger picture, that it wouldn't last forever, and looked to the support of others remind me.

**Have a Community of Support - Have a support team. Know your family, friends, or professional support that will help you. Strong and positive relationships will be extremely important to give you support, a listening ear, wisdom, acceptance, and love. Faith community and knowing there is purpose in life will be invaluable in compassion, comfort,  a reminder that you are not alone and meaning. Support and faith are key elements to resilience.

**Be involved with others - Volunteer or be involved in caring or serving others. This is part of seeing the big picture, knowing you are not alone in hardships, and gives you compassion and empathy for others. When you can take the focus off of yourself and put it on others that need help, it reminds you of the meaning behind your purpose. It will also give you a sense of accomplishment and appreciation.

**Have a Plan - When you are proactive and have a plan you are reminded of your purpose while in the struggle. You can set things in place that will help you ahead of time, preparing you for those unexpected setbacks. It is much more difficult to try and navigate hardships when you wait until you are in them to begin dealing with the journey. If we wait until the trial happens we are more "thrown" and it takes longer to bounce back. Your purpose is part of your plan, but daily, weekly, and yearly action plans and intentional thinking will be instrumental in rebounding. Resilience takes practice and planning.

**Be Healthy - Eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercise are a huge part of resilience. An active and healthy lifestyle will help you bounce back quicker physically as well as mentally. Running and walking have been a huge part of how I dealt, and deal with stress and hard circumstances. Having a balanced diet and good sleeping habits will also give you the energy and mindset you need to recover.

These tips are not meant to replace any professional help that is needed. If you need help, wisdom, and guidance please do not hesitate to see a doctor, counselor, or expert in the field that you are struggling in.

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When you can identify and discover your purpose you see how the events that have occurred throughout your life make sense in a way they hadn't before. Once you know your purpose, you can lead from it and make the choices that will give you resilience to endure hardship and be stronger and more courageous for it. We cannot choose all our circumstances but we can choose how we will respond to them.

Know your purpose and lead your life from it with the clarity and confidence that purpose gives.