By Sunny Simon

     Sometimes I’ve  wondered if I’m a creampuff. You know, no hard exterior. Recently my tough girl barometer was tested, and I have a mean-looking black eye to prove it! It happened on our way to dinner when I tripped over an uneven patch of payment. I went down before my husband could catch me and in horror he watched my head bounce off the pavement. I hobbled back to our hotel room while my man administered first aid. He suggested I lie down to rest and he order in dinner. I firmly declined the shrinking violet role and opted for dinner out.

     Okay, not a huge example of resilience, but the accident caused some reflection. The only control we have is the ability to respond to what life throws at us. Whether the challenges are large, or small like my fall, they can be opportunities for strength building. My head was sore and kept reminding me how hard cement feels when your skull dances off it, but I was determined not to let it ruin our evening.

     According to Dr. Zelana Montminy, author of the book, “21 Days to Resilience,” living with resilience is more than just bouncing back; it is about shifting our perceptions, changing our responses and experiencing real growth. Resilient people refuse to let adversity define them. And good news is resilience is not entirely genetic. It is a skill we can develop.

     Want to be more iron clad? Begin with practicing flexibility. My friend Carol, recently broke her foot and was warned by her doctor to put no pressure on the foot for 8 weeks. Refusing to allow this to inhibit her travel, Carol rented a scooter like vehicle. Her broken foot rests off the ground while her good leg pushes providing momentum to travel around her home, the mall, or wherever she wants.

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     Other recommended strategies to encourage resiliency are keeping a positive outlook, embracing change and becoming a diligent problem solver. When an unwelcome event occurs, adapting a “why me” stance is of no use. Start brainstorming ways to deal with whatever curveball life has thrown your way.

     As I reached for a way to embrace the change in my appearance, I thought hiring a talented face painter to transform my black eye into high fashion designer art would be pretty cool. Since that was not the most practical solution, I settled for a heavy duty concealer lessening the dark-eye effect.  

     Remember, like it or not, difficulties will happen. Work on becoming more resilient so you can face those challenges head-on. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com