Resilience: A Superpower You May Have Overlooked
By: Dr. Kathleen Costello, MS, DC
If you look up the definition of a superpower, the overarching result is excessive or superior power, especially describing a country. When I think of superpowers, I think of superheroes. Regardless, the idea of a superpower indicates strength and ability. Resilience may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of superpowers like flying, time travel, and freezing time, but it is an important source of power that all of us have. If you think of your favorite hero, heroine or superhero, they have usually been through some tough stuff. You likely have too. It is the difficulties we face that shape us and define who we are.
Think back over your life, can you recall challenges that you faced in the past that at the time seemed insurmountable? How did you get through them? What did you take away from the experience? Has it informed any actions or decisions since? If you were able to face it, learn from it, and use it to inform you, you allowed that challenge to shift into a superpower. You took hardship and shaped it into something useful.
Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. It is a type of mental toughness that can help us keep going in the face of challenges. (Sounds like a superhero to me.) Research shows that highly resilient people tend to possess three common traits: acceptance, purpose, and flexibility. These traits are also reinforced by our willingness to face difficulties. So, the next time you are feeling down, reflect back on the ways you have been resilient, big or small. We all face challenges day to day and rarely reflect on our resilience. By taking a moment to reflect and celebrate your overlooked superpower, you help bolster it and your sense of pride too.