Resiliency is a skill that resides within each of us, though it often requires hardship in order to fully activate. It’s the ability to withstand adversity — to recover emotionally when life deals its blows. The old adage “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” comes to mind; resilience largely depends on our attitude and mental stamina when confronted with challenging times.
The good news is that resilience is a skill that can be developed over time — in fact, that has been scientifically proven to be the case. Studies at the Yale School of Medicine found that the brain is a muscle that can be trained to be more resilient over time. The difference between tending to buckle under pressure and being able to bounce back is related to community, mindfulness, and exercise, among other factors. According to the research, people who are resilient tend to have vast social networks to fall back on, engage in regular physical activity (exercise has been known to decrease stress), and practice keeping their minds trained on the present moment.
It can be strengthening to remember that when we experience setbacks and challenges, our ability to bounce back can act as an inspiration to other folks who might be going through tough times. Below, we’ve rounded up 14 quotes that speak to the benefits of resilience, and the importance of finding our way back up after getting knocked down.
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.Confucius
Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.Nelson Mandela
I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.Maya Angelou
Someone said adversity builds character, but someone else said adversity reveals character. I'm pleasantly surprised with my resilience. I persevere, and not just blindly. I take the best, get rid of the rest, and move on, realizing that you can make a choice to take the good.Brooke Shields
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.Samuel Beckett
Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.Elizabeth Edwards, attorney and activist
Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.Angela Lee Duckworth, author
Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.Helen Keller
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.Winston Churchill
If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces.Shane Koyczan, poet
The human capacity for burden is like bamboo — far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.Jodi Picoult
Turn your wounds into wisdom.Oprah Winfrey
When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up. Let your reason get you back up.Les Brown, politician and motivational speaker
Grief and resilience live together.Michelle Obama
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