Sitting in a dark room because the electricity had been cut off due to unpaid bills, Jeremy Renner gets a script to a film where he plays a bomb disposal expert in Afghanistan. He decides to go for it and it was a wise decision because it was one that earned him an Oscar nomination. But this is the part of the acting game that I admire the most. Acting isn't just about getting the part, its about having the resilience to go through the mountain of rejections knowing there is a possibility the award winning role may never come.
If there is one thing an actor needs aside from talent, it's resilience. However it is not just actors that can benefit from recognising this trait within them, we all can!. Resilience can be defined as your ability to handle stress and adversity that comes your way and continue to move on in life in spite of it.
"No matter what life has thrown at him, he brushes it off and carries on"
"She's been through so much and yet it always seems she comes back stronger"
demonstrate what resilience looks like when you see someone who faces an intense amount of adversity and yet they don't back down. Sure they may have a moment of disappointment and frustration, but ultimately it doesn't stop them.
However this thing called resilience isn't lacking within you. It is part of all of us as a result of the evolution of mankind. Throughout the development of humans, we have experienced extreme adversity. Famine, weather, disease are just a few we have faced and not been wiped out. Yet modern day living doesn't call for us to fight for our lives every day which ,whilst beneficial on a whole, has compromised our ability to be resilient.
This does not have to be an achilles heel for you and there are ways to become more resilient so external factors do not prevent you from achieving success or becoming one of life's victims. The following 3 suggestions of how to build up your resilience will serve you well and ensure your ability to cope in the face of adversity skyrockets.
- Cold Showers– Yes I know. I hate cold showers more than the next person. Yet, emerging research is showing a strong correlation towards the introduction of temperature control houses and an increase in the stress hormone cortisol in the body. Back when radiators weren't common place and outside toilets were the norm, the lack of comforts meant we had to 'grin and bear it' when it was cold. With cold showers you are placing your body in an uncomfortable situation without being overly dangerous. By doing this on a regular basis your body as well as your mind gets used to being in an adverse situation but not freak out.
- Mental Role Play – I love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. A form of ground grappling, where the objective is to assert dominance on your opponent and then submit them. It is not long as a beginner before you realise that you can find yourself in some very uncomfortable positions where the worst thing you can do is to use all your strength and expend energy. It is about sensing a opening for you to make an advantageous move. This can only occur when you are relaxed. This can be trained via visualisation. Whatever you want to achieve in life, visualise the process of getting there but visualise how you would handle setbacks and adversity. Ask yourself 'what challenges could I face when achieving this'? There is even research to suggest that those who visualise setback as well as success perform better than those who only visualise success.
- Feedback- You are more likely to persevere through adversity if you have a clear sense you have faced similar situations in the past. A self-confident individual is self-confident because they have an awareness of those times when they have had success or improved in life, no matter how small. It is the same with adversity. Military forces train constantly so that when it comes to the real thing, they don't freeze because they have had enough feedback to know that they have handled similar situations in the past. In your life, be aware of when you have handled set back and what you did about it. As this mental catalogue of examples expand you will become more confident of your resilience in the face of adversity.
With that in mind, I would love to hear your examples in the comments box of how you have displayed resilience and what you learnt about yourself.