The Power of Resilience: Discovering Strength in Adversity

The Power of Resilience: Discovering Strength in Adversity

A few days ago I was driving down the road with my eldest son next to me, and I saw a young lady sitting next to the road with her hands in her hair. She was very neatly dressed, and it looked like she was halfway through a run. Luckily there was a stop sign and I had the opportunity to stop with no cars behind me. I asked her if everything was OK and she looked up with red eyes full of tears and said she is OK. As I drove off my son asked me what was wrong with her, and I wasn’t sure what to answer. I just said that there are many people who are struggling with issues in their lives, and it is our responsibility to reach out and help if we can. Is it just me or are you also seeing more and more people in distress?


Sorry, that was a long intro to a very important issue called resilience. Are we as parents raising kids to be resilient or are we raising kids that capitulate when the pressure of life is on? Are teachers in school teaching our kids to be resilient or not? Does resilience come naturally to some people and not to others? These are the questions that have mulled through my head over the last few weeks, and I will share my view on this. 

I believe that resilience comes naturally to certain people and there are also different levels of resilience. What is tough for me might not be tough for you and vice versa. I do however feel that our generation of parents are “softer” on our kids than the previous generation. There was absolutely no way I would question anything my father said. As we get older, I can feel that it is more difficult to be hard on my kids. They have different pressures to us and therefore I feel that it is important to have good communication with our kids and at times to have sympathy with them. 


The dictionary describes resilience as the “Capacity to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties”. I think cycling is one of the sports where you can measure resilience. Once you have bombed out in a race there are two options. You can quit, or you can rest up a bit and carry on going. If you have ever bombed on a bike, then you will understand what I am about to say. You think you are done and dusted and that the race is over. However, if you sit down for a while, rehydrate and have something to eat you will soon feel a lot better. You will then be able to get back on the bike and finish the race despite what your brain has told you. I have experienced this firsthand. If you don’t try you will never know. We all have some measure of resilience in us, and we have to push the boundaries to test our resilience. 

Sport is the easiest way to test your resilience but if life knocks you down it is a different story. How many of us are reaching out to our friends to check in and see if they are, OK? How many of us care about our fellow humans and are prepared to help someone in need? Reach out to someone today as you never know what is going on in their minds. Maybe a word of encouragement will help them push on and be more resilient.


If you would like to get in touch with me about my key note presentation, Debunking Motivation, please send an email to Visit my website to review my speaker sheet for more info. I also share my story on my social media pages on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Leave a comment

I accept the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy