WELLNESS MATTERS: Emotional Resilience


By Angel Santiago


“What should I do?” a young lady asked her father.


“Keep driving,” he said as they approached an intense storm that was growing stronger. 


Cars began pulling over, and the young lady asked again, “What should I do?”


“Keep driving,” her father replied. 


As the storm continued, even the toughest eighteen-wheelers began to stop. 


“I must pull over; I can barely see ahead. It is horrible, and everyone is stopping!”


“Don’t give up, just keep driving,” her father repeated.


She forged ahead, and after a couple of miles, they were on dry land again and able to see clearly.


“Now you can pull over and get out,” her father said.


“But why now?” she asked.


“I want you to look back at all those people. They are still in the storm, but you never gave up, and now your storm is over.”


This is a testimony of resilience for anyone who is going through hard times. The toughest may give up, but that doesn’t mean that you must follow their lead. Developing this type of resilience is monumental to change and personal growth. If you continue moving forward through your struggles, your storm will soon be over, and the sun will shine upon your face again.


Did you know that the most successful people had their greatest success happen one step beyond the point at which they felt overwhelmed and defeated? Life’s biggest opportunities are often disguised as “storms”; therefore, you may fail to recognize them. They appear in different forms than what you’d expect, and they have a sneaky way of slipping in through the back door. Often, they come in the shape of misfortune or temporary defeat. But if you look beyond the storm, you will see sunshine; and the opportunity to take that one necessary step towards your greatest success.


The most common cause of failure is quitting when you are feeling overwhelmed and temporarily defeated. The young lady in this story was challenged to work through a difficult problem. This problem overwhelmed her so much that she was unable to see the opportunity ahead and wanted to quit. When you think about quitting, you are closing the door on the opportunity to develop emotional resiliency. 


Think about something you’ve experienced that was so difficult, you worried you would never make it through. Was the overwhelm of your experience temporary? Did the experience provide growth, or did it destroy you? To be fully grateful for your present, you must embrace all your past experiences. You would not be where you are today had you not overcome your life’s most challenging storms. 


Resilient people:

  • Roll with the punches. They get hit and get back up.
  • Adapt to adversity and have great stress management skills.
  • Are not defined by their failures; instead, they use them as fuel for growth.
  • Perceive their struggles as temporary and understand that hard times will not destroy them.
  • Know that challenges are necessary for success and seek sunshine in every storm.


According to Brigid Gillespie et al. (2007), “resilience arises out of a belief in one’s own self-efficacy, the ability to deal with change, and use of a repertoire of problem-solving skills.” Resilience is something you can develop, and it’s a trait that will help you bounce back quicker and help you to keep going no matter what comes at you.




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