We all know someone who effortlessly bounces back from difficult situations. Nothing seems to fluster them. If this person was a slogan it would be the old Timex ad, "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking." It's easy to describe this person as tough or an optimist, but perhaps they are just resilient.
re·sil·ient - /rəˈzilyənt/ - adjective
1.(of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
Every day we navigate through a series of responsibilities, goals, obligations to family and friends, and work at an almost relentless pace. We speed through life so fast that we often don't see that pothole ahead. And if we do, we assume that we will be able to drive over it with minimal damage. But what happens when that pothole turns out to be a sinkhole?
I know people who seemingly have nothing but bad luck. Major health, personal, financial crisis' inflict their lives. Each one seems insurmountable, and yet they make it through, and they often come out on the other side better for the experience. Perhaps these people who can always bounce back just do so naturally. There are plenty of people out there with naturally sunny outlooks on life. They were born with resiliency coursing through their veins. I recently encountered some setbacks both professionally and personally. With each difficulty, I felt like giving up and letting despair and thoughts of failure wash over me. It was tough to just get up each day, let alone get up with a positive outlook. And that is when I recalled something I had learned about earlier this year; how to build resilience. That's right. You can LEARN how to be resilient! You can acquire and hone it like any other skill.
Artist and Entertainers work in an industry that is rife with disappointments. There is a lot of rejection. Like, A LOT. Additionally, the business side of being an artist or entertainer can cost you in time and money. Many spend years spilling hours of time, energy, and finances to thrive in "the biz", and it doesn't always come with a high ROI. In a high pressure industry it is easy to careen into that sinkhole on the road. It can be hard to continue to give 100%.
I found myself in a sinkhole recently. It was difficult to find the point in working so hard for what seemed an unattainable goal. Around the same time I was a part of a program that was teaching others in difficult situations about building resilience. This program focused on individuals with an incurable health condition, but I came to find it's tenants were applicable in most any situation.
Now, it's important to note here that being resilient doesn't mean you always have a smile on your face. It doesn't mean that you have no bad days. That you never get angry or frustrated with the difficulties occurring in your life. It means that you persevere despite them. It means you find it within yourself to keep going and, hopefully, change the situation for the better. You can take steps to build and maintain your resilience. And the below graphic is my take on how to build resilience within the a profession of acting. Working within on these actions helped me to refocus my energy and reignite my drive to succeed.
It's my hope that they can be a tool to help you get out of your own sinkhole.