Why Being Resilient Is the First Step to Growth

Going through a crisis isn’t easy, but it often leads to transformation and lasting success.

October 27, 2020 3 min read

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. It’s the word of the moment — possibly the word for all of 2020, after COVID 19, of course.

As we continue to attempt a recovery from the sucker punch of the coronavirus, we’re reminded again and again that we have to be resilient. Despite being knocked down physically (if you contracted the virus), financially, emotionally, professionally, and personally by this planetary scourge, we’re urged to get up, yet again, and get back in the game. 

Yes, it’s exhausting. But it’s good advice, as far as it goes. We must dig deeper, each and every time, to stand up and fight this thing. Only we can’t stop there.

Today offers this: “Resilience is about getting through pain and disappointment without letting them crush your spirit.” But if all we do is “get through,” we’re missing a boatload of opportunity. 

Challenge and crisis can spur what Psychology Today defines as “post-traumatic growth,” which is “positive psychological change experienced as a result of adversity and other challenges in order to rise to a higher level of functioning.” In non-sciency terms, it means transformation after trauma.

Related: 4 Steps for Building Your Team’s Resilience

Why change spurs creativity

The good news is that transformation, or higher-level functioning, can manifest itself in numerous ways, allowing for more creativity, new applications of transferrable skills, a greater appreciation of relationships and nature, and a sense of gratitude for what we previously took for granted. 

Related: 9 Ways to Rewire Your Brain for Creativity

When we experience post-traumatic growth, we’re presented with opportunities to make life better, or perhaps different, than before. Life-altering challenges and changes, all of which we’ve experienced in these pandemic times, make us see things differently, often altering our perceptions of what is important. If we take advantage of this opportunity to clarify our values, needs, and desires based on this new reality, we can next begin to make decisions to reach goals with greater precision and focus, as we eliminate things that we thought mattered, before we realized they don’t.

Additionally, post-traumatic growth can help us define our personal brilliance — exactly what we bring to the table, both personally and professionally. When pressed to find new ways to accomplish goals, our minds go to our natural talents and skillsets, further crystalizing our strengths, and letting us know when it’s time to call in reinforcements, build our tribe, and get productive through collaboration.

Related: 11 Tips to Build Emotional Resilience

Yes, resilience is key. But when we go further, encouraging our own post-traumatic growth, we can also discover our brilliance — becoming “brilliantly resilient” and learning to not simply survive, but thrive.   


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