• Ryan Glidden

The Most RESILIENT People Have These Two Qualities


As a yoga student and teacher, I am always interested in exploring the answer to the big question, Who am I?

One answer (or at least part of an answer) that the yogis give is, your reality is where you place your attention.

This statement is meant to express how powerful and thus how important it is to master your mind.


A very philosophical view of this would say that the events of your life are just that, events. They are neither good nor bad. Events don’t have emotions, people do. Of course, that is not how anyone experiences the world.

When an event happens we think and feel our way through it. Some things can make us feel happy, while others can make us angry or sad.


Your reality is where you place your attention. To build up the powers of the mind you must strengthen your skills at both self-awareness and self-introspection.


Self-awareness

This is your ability to recognize your thoughts and feelings. The person who says they aren’t angry while passively exerting aggression and frustration towards another is unaware of their current state. Yelling at someone that “I'm not angry” is another example of this. Some people do not have a strong ability to identify and label their emotions. Not being able to identify and label an emotion makes it very difficult to change it should you so choose. This in turn eliminates your ability to consciously choose your emotional state.


Like any other skill, improving self-awareness takes time. Take a few moments at different points in your day to stop and breathe. Check-in with yourself and ask, “how am I feeling right now?” Do your best to answer the question honestly without any feelings of judgments or expectations.


Feelings and emotions, like everything of form, exist on a scale of opposites. If the emotion of hate exists then at the same moment the emotion of love also exists. When we begin to know this we can start practicing to choose the opposite emotion to create more peace and happiness. Where you place your attention is your reality!


A good way to help with this is through feelings. Feelings in this context are physical sensations in the body. For example, we can have feelings of cold or hot or tension or ease. The mind and body are intimately connected. When you create ease in your body it creates ease in your mind. When you notice emotions that disrupt your peace, do your best to create ease in your body. This can be as simple as taking a few slow deep breathes and consciously relaxing the muscles in your body.


With more practice (yoga and meditation) you will become even more skilled at self-awareness.

Self-introspection

There are two very broad categories of people in this concept. They are survivors and victims. Survivors will look at a challenging and difficult situation and figure out ways to overcome it.


Survivors adapt and redefine themselves with confidence. Survivors are also aware of their limits and blind spots.

Self-introspection has allowed them to become more conscious of their strengths and weaknesses. A survivor will then do their best to surround themselves with the people that complement their weaknesses as strengths. The survivor is not intimidated by these people because of their strong internal locus of control.


The victim is in many ways the opposite of a survivor. Victims are the ones who blame others and external situations for their current struggles, problems, and challenges. They often are defensive and can find themselves in a state of self-loathing or self-pity.


The victim mentality has more of an external locus of control. They see the outside world as determining their fate and thus are more prone to anxiety because of the unknown and potential uncertainty of their life.


The most resilient people tend to be survivors with strong self-awareness. Their ability to understand their current state and then feel empowered to change it if necessary, allows them to adapt, overcome, and redefine themselves as their highest expression of meaning and purpose.

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