What is resiliency and what does it mean to you?

Let’s say you have a goal of making it to the top of a hill. It can be large, it can be small. Regardless of the size or what it is, you start running towards it.

Then, almost out of nowhere, you run full speed into a wall that prevents you from reaching your goal. You are knocked down, sore, dazed, and shocked. You feel tired, angry, and lost.

It’s at this point where the real resiliency begins.

You could…

  1. Not get back up because if you were supposed to get to that hill you would have.
  2. Feel even worse because the wall must not like you and you don’t have it’s approval.
  3. Not get back up because others have told you that you could never do it and they must be right.
  4. Define your life by this one experience of getting knocked down by the wall.
  5. Not get back up because life is supposed to be fair and that wall was not being fair.
  6. Fill in the blank.

Or, you could…

  1. Set back and reevaluate. Is it worth it? Is still a goal you want? If not, find another one.
  2. Seek out wise counsel from others who have overcome that wall.
  3. Study the wall and take different approaches, maybe climb it or go around it. You adapt and overcome.
  4. Look to the top of that wall and realize someone is already there reaching down a hand to help.
  5. You decide that no matter how many hits it takes, you are going to learn how to be stronger and smarter than you were the last time.
  6. You make the simple choice that you are just not going to quit. You become comfortable with being unconfutable.
  7. You turn the anger and frustration into motivation and determination.  

The majority of my walls have been related to the fact that, at a young age, I was diagnosed with a severe learning disability. As a matter of fact, it was so severe, I wasn’t expected to graduate from high school.

As I look back, I see many walls conquered and hills summitted. I wanted to overcome it to a point where no one would ever know I ever even had a learning disability.  

So, what’s your hill—and your wall—today?

Michael Hawkins

Michael Hawkins, MA, LPC is a licensed professional counselor at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH). With almost 25 years of experience as a counselor, he works with clinicians, students, staff, and clients—compassionately attending to the human needs that arise in the practice of veterinary medicine. Counselor’s Corner is a blog devoted to that purpose. BACK TO BLOG