Life is full of challenges, and those who are willing to take on more difficult tasks and obstacles are more likely to succeed in the long run.
In this blog, we'll explore the importance of choosing more challenging paths, building resilience, how resilience can help us thrive in life, mentally and physically, and the neurological effects of resilience.
The Importance of Choosing More Difficult Challenges
Choosing more difficult challenges can have a significant impact on our personal and professional success.
When we challenge ourselves to do more than we think we can, we expand our capabilities and develop new skills. This not only helps us achieve our goals but also builds confidence in our ability to overcome obstacles.
In fact, research has shown that high-performing individuals often have higher levels of resilience than those who struggle to achieve their goals.
A study by Masten and Tellegen (2012) found that individuals who experienced adversity in childhood and were able to overcome it demonstrated greater resilience in adulthood.
Similarly, Fletcher and Sarkar (2013) found that Olympic champions who had experienced setbacks and failures in their athletic careers were more resilient and able to bounce back from adversity.
Resilience is a quality that can be developed over time. By taking on challenges that are outside of our comfort zones, we can build our resilience muscles and learn to adapt to changing circumstances.
Additionally, practicing self-care, such as getting enough rest, eating well, and engaging in regular exercise, can also help us build resilience and improve our overall well-being.
There are also neurological processes at play when it comes to building resilience. Research has shown that experiencing stress and adversity can lead to changes in the brain that enhance our ability to cope with stress in the future.
This is known as stress inoculation, and it works by strengthening the connections between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, which are responsible for regulating our emotional responses (Charney, 2004).
"Another analogy for resilience is that of a rubber band. When a rubber band is stretched, it doesn't break. Instead, it bounces back to its original shape. In the same way, resilience allows us to stretch ourselves beyond our limits and bounce back from setbacks."
The Importance of Resilience for Thriving in Life
Resilience is not only important for achieving success but also for thriving in life, mentally and physically. Studies have shown that resilience is associated with better mental health outcomes, including lower levels of anxiety and depression.
Additionally, Bonanno (2004) found that resilience was associated with better physical health outcomes, including lower rates of chronic diseases and better immune function.
Furthermore, neuroscientific research suggests that resilience is not a fixed trait, but rather a dynamic process that can be enhanced through training and practice. By engaging in activities that challenge us and require us to adapt to changing circumstances, we can build our resilience and enhance our ability to cope with stress.
Tips for Building Resilience
Embrace challenges: Seek out opportunities that challenge you and push you outside of your comfort zone.
Practice self-care: Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being can help you build resilience.
Learn from failures: Instead of seeing failure as a setback, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Cultivate a growth mindset: Believing that you can learn and grow from challenges can help you build resilience.
Develop a support system: Having a network of supportive friends and family members can help you cope with stress and bounce back from setbacks.
Why We Really Need Resilience
Choosing more challenging paths and building resilience can have a significant impact on our personal and professional success.
By embracing challenges, practicing self-care, learning from failures, cultivating a growth mindset, and developing a support system, we can build our resilience muscles and thrive in life, mentally and physically.
Resilience is not only a fixed trait but also a dynamic process that can be enhanced through training and practice. So, rise to the challenge and build your resilience to achieve your goals and thrive in life.
In the world today I believe that we are hyper focused on not going through challenges but I personally believe this is what creates new doors to new levels in life.
As the saying goes - Pick the path that is easy and your life will be hard or pick the path that is hard and your life will be easy. The choice is yours...
Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Sports Nutrition Advisor, Breathing Performance Coach, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist Coach, Over 10 years experience in the health and fitness industry, while also running his own businesses since 2014 allowing him to implement and practice tools that allowed him to thrive in life.
In the past Chris experienced first hand on how to overcome his own severe anxiety and depression through changing lifestyle habits and behaviours through holistic health.
- Masten, A. S., & Tellegen, A. (2012). Resilience in developmental psychopathology: Contributions of the Project Competence Longitudinal Study. Development and Psychopathology, 24(2), 345–361. doi: 10.1017/s095457941200003x
- Tugade, M. M., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2004). Resilient individuals use positive emotions to bounce back from negative emotional experiences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86(2), 320–333. doi: 10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1680
- Southwick, S. M., Vythilingam, M., & Charney, D. S. (2005). The psychobiology of depression and resilience to stress: Implications for prevention and treatment. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 1, 255–291. doi: 10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.1.102803.143948
- Bonanno, G. A. (2004). Loss, trauma, and human resilience: Have we underestimated the human capacity to thrive after extremely aversive events? American Psychologist, 59(1), 20–28. doi: 10.1037/0003-066x.59.1.20
- Hu, T., Zhang, D., & Wang, J. (2015). A meta-analysis of the trait resilience and mental health. Personality and Individual Differences, 76, 18–27. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2014.11.039
- Kalisch, R., Müller, M. B., & Tüscher, O. (2015). A conceptual framework for the neurobiological study of resilience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, e92. doi: 10.1017/s0140525x1400082x