"Bounce back like a tennis ball. Bounce back like a basketball. Bounce back like a soccer ball. Or really any kinda ball except a football." If you've seen the Netflix movie Always Be My Maybe, you know the lyrics. Shout out to my peeps!
Even if you don't know the lyrics, the song is a good message. Bouncing back means rising when you fall, not giving up, and believing in yourself enough to not let anything get the best of you.
That's resilience. And as we continue slogging through the pandemic, we've drawn on our reserves to adjust, adapt, alter and acclimatize to it. To bounce back.
Yet we aren't really conscious or aware of our resilience. And I think it might help us be even more effective when we not only become aware of it, but also when we deeply appreciate it. I wanted to share some examples of our resilience, and how meaningfully cultivating it can bring value to our lives.
Picking my son up from daycare the other day, I noticed how it doesn't surprise or jar me to see everyone with a mask on their face. It's actually the opposite, where now it's someone who's not wearing a mask that pricks my mind to pay attention.
Pre-pandemic, it would shock me to see someone wearing a mask. I'd wonder why they had it on, and if I'm being honest, be kinda judge-y about it. It wasn't "normal" and with the lack of context, made me uncomfortable. Think about it. Wasn't it the same for you?
Yet here we are where we've grown so accustomed to seeing more than half of everyone's face covered that we don't blink an eye, despite previous associations with sickness, or even violence (like a hold up at 7-11). This is how we've shifted and adjusted, and this is how we've demonstrated resilience.
Here's the Dictionary.com definition of resilience:
1. the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.
2. ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.
"Recover readily." I like that. We use terms like "the new normal" or "our new reality" to describe our living experience after coronavirus. Even that language speaks to the idea of recovery and adaptation, of resilience in the face of massive upheaval of our lives and society.
But we don't really notice our resilience. We think of it as just surviving, just getting through each day. And though it is those things, it's also about our ability to keep going, to find ways to deal with the challenges, and to adjust to a singularly different way of life.
I think it's time we appreciate our resilience. To notice and celebrate this amazing creative ability we all have to level-set our outlook and expectations, in order to accept the new reality of our lives. Realities like mask-wearing, social distancing, shelter in place-ing, constant hand sanitizing and stuff-disinfecting, and so on. Resilience is an innate and unchangeable gift.
When I noticed I wasn't fazed by mask-wearing, I actually felt gratitude. I was grateful that my subconscious had accepted this impactful change in the world. I was grateful that my mind made the observation in the first place. And I was grateful that my resilience, doing its work without complaint or need for recognition, would continue to faithfully serve me as the world keeps changing.
Bounce back, friend. Like a tennis ball.
Resilience: Read What is resilience and why is it important to bounce back? - Positive Psychology Building your resilience - American Pyschological Association Resilience: Build skills to endure hardship - Mayo Clinic Grit: The power of passion and perseverance (book) - Angela Lee Duckworth
Resilience: Watch / Hear The secret for building mental toughness and resilience - Marisa Peer Grit: The power of passion and perseverance (Ted Talk) - Angela Lee Duckworth How to build unshakeable resilience - Srikumar Rao Resilient - Katy Perry