Tuesday, September 6, 2011


“No matter how far life pushes you down, no matter how much you hurt, you can always bounce back.”--Sheryl Swoopes, All star basketball player, Olympic Gold Medalist

Do you ever just like the sound of a word? Resilience is a word I’ve always liked. According to the English Dictionary it means, “The ability of a substance or object to return to its original shape after being bent, stretched, or pressed.” The ability to bounce back. Psychologically the term resilience means ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy; the ability to recover emotionally.

My first memory of hearing and using the word resilience was long ago when I was in my early twenties and worked in a department store selling cosmetics. “Resilience” was stated as a benefit of using one of the nail products that I sold at the time. Most of us think we need nail hardeners so that fingernails will be hard and grow long. Actually nails that are too hard will break, sometimes deep into the nail bed which can be painful. Nails that are too soft will split or tear. What’s desirable are nails that are resilient—flexible enough to bend slightly under pressure and bounce back into shape without breaking or tearing.

Resilient. I liked the sound of the word. It seemed to resonate with something inside me. I knew it was important. I also liked the analogy of being resilient, being able to bounce back after pressure. The word has always meant strength to me. A type of strength that bends flexes and remains intact.

Resilience is a quality that we need these days. With the economy, unemployment and business climate many of us are dealing with multiple changes, career disappointments and financial setbacks. Add to that the challenges that come along in life such as illness, death of loved ones, divorce, job loss, family crisis’s, and the multitude of things that stress and worry us and we all have situations we need to bounce back from.
Some people seem to take whatever life throws at them and bounce back quickly and easily while others seem devastated at every new predicament.  What’s the difference? What qualities help us to bounce back more quickly?

The next few blog posts will focus on how we develop resilience.

What are your thoughts on resilience?

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