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“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” ~ Carl Gustav Jung

Flowers growing through concreteNo matter your age, it’s possible that you’ve been through a lot in life. Perhaps you’ve had traumatic experiences, lost people who were very close to you, and/or you’re dealing with daily discrimination and prejudices. Despite these traumas, you’ve bounced back and are going on with your life. You’re still living, fighting, and taking on the world. Pause and think about that for a minute. That’s pretty remarkable!

Resiliency is the capacity to recover quickly from hard times. It’s that “toughness” quality and the ability to adapt well to stress and adversity. Resilient people have the ability to re-frame the phrase, “What’s wrong with me?” to “What happened to me?” They are able to take negative experiences and use them as fuel for tackling new challenges, as well as helping people who are in similar situations. Humans are social creatures and a strong social network is vital for everyone, so it’s important to have a strong support system.

Some people have a natural knack for resilience and the ability to handle and rebound from stressful events better than others. But everyone can build resilience. It’s possible to strengthen your inner self by defining and believing in yourself as capable and competent.

No matter what has happened to you, or what you’ve experienced, everyone can benefit from reminders of the strengths they have. You can support your resilience by thinking along these three lines: I Have, I Am, I Can. As an exercise, try writing down responses to each of these lines. Keep this sheet of paper in a special place and refer to it whenever you need a reminder of how resilient you are.Ladder over brick wall

I Have: (List the external supports that help you get through the day.) Examples: strong relationships, structure, rules at home, role models

I Am: (Think of the inner strengths that you already have and can be developed further.) Examples: a person who has hope and faith, cares about others, is proud of myself

I Can: (Describe all the interpersonal and problem-solving skills that you have acquired to handle daily issues.) Examples: communicate, solve problems, gauge the temperament of others, seek good relationships

 

Written By:


Community Suicide Prevention Coordinator

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