My cycling group has a motto on our kit that says simply Rule #5. Put “cycling rule #5” into Google and it says “Harden the f*%k up”. Resilience is often seen as just doing that, but it is so much more.
Like an athlete breaking a world record, it isn’t just a matter of going harder and being tough. It is critically about the training they put in before the event.
The training that supports our resilience is the work we do that builds our emotional well-being. Where does our level of emotional well-being come from?
We can enhance our emotional well-being in so many different ways. As humans we are social animals, we crave the connection with other people. The connection is greatest when we learn to be open and to share intimacy. Part of my purpose is to “honour my relationships with family and friends with fun and shared intimacy”. It is easy to have fun with people, but for me, the thing that distinguishes a true friendship from an acquaintance is the ability to be intimate, to be open and vulnerable. And honest. The more of this we do, the healthier our emotional well-being.
Most of us carry fears and insecurities that impact our behaviour daily. Brene Brown talks about the Paradox of Life in that we bury these fears because of shame and the belief that we would be unlovable if people knew about them.
The paradox is that when we learn to be vulnerable and open about these fears, and that we truly accept ourselves, we become more lovable to others. Maybe that’s how we need to harden the f*%k up!
Further, I think our ability to be honest and vulnerable with others comes from our level of self-acceptance, self-esteem, self-love, whatever you want to call it. We forgive weaknesses and frailties in our friends far easier than we to to ourselves. I have sometimes joked that if I had a friend that was as hard on me as I am on myself I wouldn’t keep them as a friend for very long. Well, I was a lot more blunt when I said it, but you know what I mean.
I work on this for myself and discuss with clients the value of journalling. Thinking, reflecting,and writing about our fears, feelings and emotions brings so many self doubts to the surface and by recognising them, understanding where they come from, we can often find the self acceptance that builds our emotional well-being.
When we are connected to ourselves and to our loved ones, our cup is full, our emotional well-being is at its best, and so too is our resilience.