Resilience is defined as the ability to bounce back from adversity, and is the inner “stuff,” or power that grants us the resolve to navigate difficult life challenges.
When we are resilient, we are better able to adapt to changing circumstances, recover from setbacks with less stress and anxiety, and stay the course of our long-term vision. We can remain calm in the face of what we fear, better manage our emotions, and avoid becoming overwhelmed by our stress and anxiety.
When we are resilient, we are also better able to communicate effectively, manage conflicts, and maintain relationships with others. Resilience allows us to remain clear of mind and capable of diffusing conflict, by being able to empathize, be creative, and become curious, all of which are capabilities that break down when our minds and bodies are stressed.
Some examples of the most famously resilient people in recent history include:
Nelson Mandela — a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary who spent 27 years in prison for his political activism. Despite these struggles and the real pain of oppression, he remained resilient by never losing hope. The letters he wrote from prison, published in is autobiography , A Long Walk to Freedom, underscore the immesnse depth and power of his resilience. After his release from prison, he went on to become the first black President of South Africa.
Malala Yousafzai — a Pakistani activist for female education who survived being shot in the head at the age of 15 when she spoke out against the Taliban’s ban on girls’ education. Despite the grievous attack, she remained resilient and continued on in her commitment to advocating for women’s rights and education. Malala has gone on to become a global advocate for girls’ rights.