Dissecting The Origins And Meanings Of Resilience Quotes

By Stephanie Kirby

Updated December 20, 2018

Reviewer Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC

Psychology Today defined resilience as " an ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever." In many cases, resilience is synonymous with toughness, strength, and determination. One of the guarantees of life is that each will encounter challenges, difficulties, or tough times.

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However, the true test of resilience comes along after someone has taken a metaphorical hit. They can either succumb to defeat or rise above the obstacle and live to fight another day. This is a choice that only the person at hand can make. Resilience is not a trait which can be given or taken away. Put simply; resilience comes from within, although it can be strengthened over time.

Over time, many great minds have pondered resilience and issued various quotes. Quotes are inherently designed to stick with people and hopefully inspire or uplift them during the time of need. However, for a quote to effectively do its job, having a thorough and concise understanding of its origins and meanings is paramount.

"The human capacity for burden is like bamboo- far more flexible than you'd ever believe at first glance."

― Jodi Picoult

The preceding quote comes from Jodi Picoult, an American writer, and author. In layman's term, the quote affirms that each person can overcome dark times and challenges even if it initially appears unlikely or even impossible.

One of the most critical elements of resilience entails the ability not to allow setbacks to become permanent. Just because someone falls does not mean that they must stay down. Resilience and overcoming burdens are all about understanding that burdens are temporary and not everlasting. Keeping this in mind during times of struggle is what creates the flexibility to withstand and rise above the burdens, strife, and difficult times of life. The power of resilience begins in the mind.

"Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems." ― Gever Tulley

The above quote originates from Gever Tulley, an American writer, entrepreneur, and computer scientist. Tulley's statement simply affirms that resilience breeds more resilience. On the surface, this may appear redundant, but it makes sense. People who are used to overcoming certain challenges or difficulties are likely to be better suited to rise above problems than someone who has lived an incredibly sheltered life and never had to fend for themselves.

Throughout various time periods, many people have claimed that experience is one of life's best teachers. Although the preceding notion has been contested in various settings, its origins lie within Tulley's quote. In many scenarios, the best way to build endurance is by going through something and gradually increasing stamina. Gever Tulley's quote embodies the reality that resilience breeds more resilience.

"In football, as in politics, resilience pays off." ― George Osborne

The preceding quote comes from George Osborne, a United Kingdom-based politician. In many regards, Osborne's quote can be taken both literally and figuratively. In football or any other sport, even the most talented players have to practice frequently to become the absolute best and triumph over others whose talent rivals their own.

A similar dichotomy exists within politics. It takes resilience to overcome the attacks from critics and to continue pressing forward with one's campaign. It takes resilience to stay grounded even when it appears as though the individual has a lead over his or her opponent. It also takes resilience not to give up when an election is lost. George Osborne is certainly correct when he asserts that resilience pays off in football and politics.

Football and politics can furthermore be viewed as metaphors for other parts of life where resilience is beneficial. Similarly to sports and politics, resilience can pay off in relationships, overall change, and other milestones throughout life. The ability to bounce back from a setback stronger than ever often determines the difference between success and failure. To accomplish greatness, to get to high places, each person must have and apply resilience, especially in times where it appears to be most difficult or challenging.

How To Increase Resilience Levels

Understanding the origins, meanings, and roots of the resilience above quotes are all well and good. Many great minds have vocalized the importance of resilience and the many associated benefits. However, all of the above is meaningless if one lacks resilience within themselves. Although resilience is an inner trait there are steps that one to build resilience.

Accept The Inevitability Of Change

One of the first steps is simply understanding and accepting that change is a part of life. Many people are afraid of change. It is inherently unfamiliar and, therefore, uncomfortable to certain individuals. For this reason alone, various changes throughout life can appear stressful and unsettling, especially if they are major.

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This is where the importance of resilience comes into play. By accepting the inevitability of change, the person at hand is much better suited to make the proper decisions to ensure that any shifts in their life are as smooth and nondisruptive as possible. Accepting change sounds basic at best and obvious at worst; however, more people struggle with this step than one might think.

Be Positive

Positivity in the face of turmoil or uncertainty is more powerful than most individuals can imagine. In most situations, a positive attitude can work wonders. It is especially useful in the face of obstacles, challenges, or difficulties. This is because many obstacles are simply opportunities in disguise. However, the proper attitude is needed to recognize the hidden opportunity.

Far too many people struggle with maintaining a positive attitude. Unfortunately, they fail to realize that positivity in the face of trouble is a form of resilience in and of itself. Instead of thinking "oh poor me, what am I going to do," persons confronted with obstacles should ask themselves, "where is the lesson in this," "how can I grow from this experience?" Granted, this is often easier said than done, but with the right mindset and determination, a positive attitude can be applied in any situation.

Remember Your Past Challenges And Victories

Sometimes looking back can help put current matters into perspective. Just about everyone has found themselves in past situations which seemed insurmountable at the time, yet somehow, they managed to overcome. Reminding oneself of these times as new challenges present themselves can build resilience and place things in perspective.

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An individual who is truly serious about building resilience should tell themselves "If I overcame ________, I could overcome this." No two circumstances or situations are the same. However, by remembering past battles and victories, one can often find the strength to rise above obstacles and come back ten times stronger.

A Final Word

Resilience is ultimately a choice. The quotes by Jodi Picoult, Gever Tulley, and George Osborne will hopefully serve as an inspiration to people as they embark on the journey that is life. Resilience comes with a slew of benefits including confidence, self-sufficiency, and inner strength. In many cases, resilience is developed over time, with practice and life experience.

Life can be a rollercoaster, but thankfully people do not have to experience the highs and lows without guidance or a support system. Having someone to confide in can make all the difference in the world and can even fuel some of the inner strength which is deeply connected to resilience. Sometimes a confidant can come in the form of a friend, relative, or even a licensed professional.

Unfortunately, there is still somewhat of a stigma surrounding the notion of seeking out professional help. Some people view this as indicative of weakness; unfortunately, they fail to realize that the strongest individuals are the ones who can ask for assistance when they need it. To be resilient and bounce back from difficulties, one must be able to get the proper help in situations where they need it.

Here at BetterHelp, our ultimate mission is to assist those in need, no matter who they are or what they may be going through in life. Our services are specifically tailored towards meeting the individual needs of each person who reaches out to us. The professionals who work with us are not only licensed and trained but also caring. Teaming up to collaborate with an expert to help you build resilience or overcome other obstacles in life is possible no matter where you are by contacting BetterHelp.


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