Five Great Ways I Brought Resilience Into My Life

Change. Decisions, priorities, conflicts of interest. The pressure of time. Dwindling resources. That feeling of responsibility and having to make the right choice.

What are the key behaviours we need to get right, to remain resilient?

It’s important to define these, because we have limited mental, physical and emotional energy in adjusting to changing circumstances. We need to be on top of our game and have a broad range of responses in times of trouble.

Here’s how I’ve tried to do that.

I try to stay positive

Yes, resilience is definitely a positive habit. It’s genuinely self-sustaining. So, in all my situations, I try and look for possibilities. I’ve convinced myself that as a grown-up, and after all I’ve been through, I can deal with anything, and the game is never over until the final whistle blows. There’s always hope, and I never retreat, worry unduly or waste time feeling angry or cheated.

I tell myself to stay focused

As a resilient person, as a quadruple amputee with few resources, I decide what’s important to me. I have my own priorities, and I limit those to the vital things that really benefit my family. I’ve developed the courage to say ‘no’ when I have to, so I can focus on my critical issues.

I’m more flexible

When the going gets tough, resilience helps me to keep an open mind. I’m not brilliant at this, but I try to work as intelligently as I can to come up with creative solutions to problems, instead of falling back on previously held and failed behaviours. I network if I can, and I’m open to asking for help. I’m surrounded by fantastic people who can offer practical and emotional support when I need it.

I’m pretty well organised

I look ahead. Because I’ve learned by now that life is complicated, I plan, prepare and triple-check. If I have something particularly challenging to accomplish, I rehearse, I collaborate, and I apply some discipline. I don’t have a lot of energy, so I try and do all this as efficiently as I can when times are turbulent. I don’t make wasted journeys.

I take responsibility 

This is important. Crucial, actually, and liberating, if you can take it on board. As soon as I realised that it was solely down to me, the way that I thought about things, I felt free. No-one else tells me how to feel, so I choose to fill my head with great, warm, powerful, loving thoughts. I love my amputated face, I cherish my arm and leg stumps. I love myself and all my imperfections. Similarly, as much as I can, I try and take control of things in my life and I try to get things moving along. Sometimes I take risks, and occasionally this means that I fail.

I’ve found balance

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as shaky and as fallible as the next man, and I rarely get things right first time. My disabilities often crush me. But resilience is all about adjusting my behaviour in subtle intelligent ways when I can, to improve outcomes for myself and for the wonderful people around me. Every situation requires delicate balance, and even on prosthetic legs, I’ve learned to achieve that. Most of the time.

Have a great week everyone. I wish you only good things in all that you do.