What does Resilience mean to you?


Recently I asked followers of my facebook page “What does Resilience mean to you?” and received many great responses (see below).  The theme that come through in all responses was very much about the ability to deal with and overcome challenging events when they occur. 

  • To me Resilience is having the skills and ability to bounce back from negative events in your life or community.
  • For me resilience means to have overcome obstacles or challenges….Resilient – To bounce back.
  • To me resilience is been able to stay strong and keep on going on when those around you depend on you
  • Being resilient to me is about keeping on keeping on. If you are an eternal optimist like me it makes it easier to find a positive & push through the situation!
  • I think resilience is definitely about skills, techniques, your own experiences & those of others that give you the ability to keep on keeping on. Maybe it is easier to do if you have whatever it is that we describe as “mental toughness”. So maybe, resilience is part learned and part personal strength.
  • Resilience is the ability to keep moving forward (this could be at an individual or community level). Resilience is knowing that things will get better. The ability to view your current situation (no matter what) and look for ways to improve it.
  • Keeping a positive perspective, even when the odds are against you! Knowing things will get better even if they are not great right now. Rising to the challenge when thrown a curve ball.
  • I’m learning that resilience can both be something you attain as well as something you can give and show to others. In that respect resilience would be an ultimate gift. To be able to help others build their resilience to their stressors – whatever they can be – should be central to community. Resilience relies on us learning from those who’ve gone before us as well as us picking ourselves up, and dusting us down and stepping forward – even if they’re dolly steps. It’s about accepting that sometimes there is no reason, and that sometimes thinks just suck – but knowing that it’s also likely not about you.
    Resilience is not about hardening the shell around you, but in delving into what really matters, filter out the crap and concentrate on what you can affect, change and ultimately cope with.
    We are resilient when we know deep inside that we have the resources and backup to face the challenges ahead.
  • Resilience is about having relative stability and balance. Periods of stability in world politics are periods of peace, when powers are (more) balanced. These periods allow us time to recover and grow from past atrocities. Resilience within organisations means stable, consistent, reliable frameworks and systems. It means a balanced team, who trust and cooperate with one another because they have the security of knowing the systems and processes to support them in their work. It’s not about attitudes. It is about shared access to knowledge, a sense of community and empowerment. This is why cross-cultural communication poses such a challenge for organisations in terms of resilience. Each of us carry inherent assumptions of the most appropriate approach to deal with interpersonal challenges. This differs from culture to culture. An organisation IS its people. Most people have commented here on personal resilience. As long as you’re alive and can keep smiling, you’re ‘moving forward’ in life. But resilience for economies and resilience for organisations is about the trust that comes from shared access to knowledge that stability and balance provide. Fluctuations are ok. They’re good! We learn from them and are better prepared to deal with future changes. So long as we come back to a relative centre point, resilience remains. Collapse occurs when a resource is pushed to breaking limits and balance cannot be restored because you have lost a founding/principle factor that was key to the previous state of relative stability.
  • To take a negative comment, action or event and utilising it so you come out with a stronger resolve for the next time it may occur, therefore making yourself resilient to these occurrences. Turning that negative into a positive and moving forward.

I have always believed that adversity is a challenge for personal and professional growth and being prepared is the best way to deal with the trials we face as individuals, organisations and communities.  If we have the right tools in our tool box we can be resilient in the face of the greatest challenges.

Building resilience across communities is fundamental to building strong, healthy communities to enable “a glass half full” approach to recovering from disaster be they natural, social or economic.

In my view a key to community resilience is TRUST. TRUST in ourselves, our community and the government.  Developing this trust through open communication, collaboration and strengthening community relationships is central to building not only community but individual resilience.