Recently I have embarked on a new career (the primary reason why my blogs have become more sporadic), and it has proved extremely challenging. In addition to this I have spoken to a couple of friends recently who have been experiencing challenging times and we discussed resilience and whether it is easier to continue and battle through or give up.
Now you would be forgiven for thinking there lies a very obvious answer to this question, however I feel if you look a little deeper this perhaps is not the case. One certainty in life is that there will be turbulent times and at some stage your resolve will be tested. I have heard people before say giving up is the easy option and highlights weakness and frailty in your character, but I have a very different view on this.
If there is something you have been passionate about for a while and you have actively pursued this for any period of time, then how easy is it to effectively let go of your dreams? As a therapist I work very closely with couples and individuals who have built a life together and are experiencing troubled times. I see first-hand the emotion involved in this and it is intelligible that giving up on that relationship would be an extremely difficult and emotionally challenging thing to do for those people. That certainly is not the easy way out.
There still exists a school of thought which says suicide is the easy way out, to avoid fighting a difficult battle. Suicide is effectively giving up on life, but the emotions involved in taking that decision can surely be seen as anything but easy?
Resilience is an interesting concept, nay a trait. The argument is that we all have the ability to show this, but were it the case we could all do this naturally and readily there perhaps would not be a need for therapists! Resilience is most often tested when we are faced with the very real prospect of a change. Whether this is something forced upon us or something we may need to make the difficult decision in pursuing ourselves, this is ultimately when we will see resilience surface.
One of the key components to this is balancing out the potential short term unrest with the long term gain. It is vitally important to always have something to look forward to and this can often help us in these times, in that it can make that short term pain a little more bearable. Having a plan and a strategy helps as does giving yourself a time period before you review. Decisions do not need to be long term or permanent.
Ultimately this is about you as a person and your character. As Martin Luther King said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”.
Surround yourself with people who can support. This is not a sign of dependency or weakness, but actually of an individual who is proactive and strong enough to ask for help.
Keep talking, thanks for reading and stay safe friends