Grow Resilient by Building Your Inner Voices of Self-WorthNone By Homaira Kabir
There is something delightful in watching a child learn how to walk. They fall countless times, they get bumps and bruises, and they cry and howl.
And yet, they rise up one tumble after another with that gleeful toothless smile, and keep going until they’ve perfected the art of walking. Now, isn’t that a fine example of resilience! And yet, as we get older, we seem to forget this. We let frustrations get to us and allow failures to stop us in our tracks. We become overwhelmed by negative emotions and lose the motivation to keep going. What did we have when we were little that we seem to have lost along the way? And how can we get it back so we become, in the words of Nassim Taleb, antifragile?
When we were little, we made sense of our world through the words and actions of our primary caregivers. Getting hurt was okay because they soothed the pain. Trying new things was fun because they encouraged us. And succeeding felt great because they celebrated the wins with us. Armed with this wholeness, our little selves were able to face life’s little challenges.
Somewhere on the road to maturity, we lose this. In a society that worships competition and perfection, we reject the parts of ourselves we don’t like and shy away from experiences that may reveal our apparent incompetence. We allow external evaluations to faze us because our own evaluations of our lovability and competence are weak and ill-formed. Hardly the recipe for resilience.
Resilience comes from an internal working model in our minds that is grounded in an inherent belief in our abilities and qualities. It is then that we can accept our dark sides, learn from our failures, and take on the challenges that lead to growth and success.
To do so, we have to nurture many inner voices. These are the voices that believe in us despite disasters and setbacks, and that value our worth despite disappointments, just like our caregivers did.
Cultivate an Inner Voice of Support
When we step out of our comfort zones, we need lots of support and encouragement to sustain us. How far would we have gotten in our efforts to walk had our caregivers blasted out impatiently, “C’mon now! It’s been 2 months already!”? To develop the inner voice of support, think of what you would say to someone you really care about the next time you’re judging yourself or doubting your abilities.
Develop an Inner Voice of Compassion
Failures are part of life—but they rarely make us feel good. It’s easier to le