Resilient: Overcoming Adversity with Emotional Strength

Story: Crumbled $100 Note  (Source: Google Baba)

A popular speaker started off a seminar by holding up a $100 note. A crowd of 200 had gathered to hear him speak. He asked, “Who would like this $100 note?” 200 hands went up.

He said, “I am going to give this $100 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He crumpled the note up. He then asked, “Who still wants it?”  All 200 hands were still raised.

“Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” Then he dropped the note on the ground and stomped on it with his shoes. He picked it up and showed it to the crowd. The $100 note was all crumpled and dirty. “Now who still wants it?” All the hands still went up.

“My friends, I have just shown you a very important lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $100.  Many times, in our lives, life crumples us and grinds us into the dirt. We make bad decisions or deal with poor circumstances but no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.

Remember – dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still very valuable!

What is Emotionally Strength?

When we talk about strength, the first point that comes to our mind is physical strength. Even though physical strength is important but in the 21st century, the focus is on emotional strength. Example: When we are preparing to run a half marathon, often the focus is on physical training but soon we realize that without mental toughness and related training, it is not possible to achieve the milestone.   

Emotional strength is defined as an individual’s ability to feel and be open to intense emotional experiences. It is about how a person deals with obstacles and recovers from them, rather than how they react in any given situation.

Being emotionally strong doesn’t mean you don’t experience pain or suffering. Resilience is often learned when one is faced with a painful situation. What it does mean is that you learn to rebuild or “bounce back” from these experiences.

When it comes to dealing with the challenges life throws at us, we all react in various ways. Some may crumble under pressure, while some can recover and pick themselves up quickly. When we’re not able to handle the curveballs life throws at us, we can feel pretty chaotic and out of our control.

There are times when we feel like we can handle anything life throws at us. And then there are days where even the smallest setback feels overwhelming. What makes the difference? The difference isn’t what’s happening outside: it’s our mental strength.

One of the key examples of emotional weakness is related to addiction. In present times, it is not only limited to smoking, drinking and drugs but it also includes seeking people’s approval, trying to get the attention of people, trying to become a celebrity on social media, posting pictures and expecting people to like them and much more.

Why Emotional Strength is Important?

Our mental strength helps us to resist being derailed by negative thoughts. It helps us get back into the ups and downs of life day after day. And just like physical strength, it’s a kind of mental muscle that we can develop to improve our overall well-being. In leadership, there are times when you need to be mentally tough to navigate through complex information. 

In our social, personal and official life, whatever we are doing is to seek attention from others, to get appreciation from others, to make ourselves feel important, to get a pat from someone important and something similar. When we get acknowledgment, appreciation and approval; we feel empowered. But after that, we again go to the shell. Then again, we do something to seek attention and feel important. This cycle continues forever.

On the other hand, in our social, personal and official life, if we do something to challenge ourselves, to do something better from the last time, to become a better version of ourselves; we will not seek approval and attention from others. When we dress in what we feel is comfortable, when we work in an office with our full potential, and when we talk to someone with our utmost sincerity, we will always remain high, motivated and strong.

How to Attain Emotional Strength?

In life, we always go through different cycles. Sometimes we are successful and at times not. When we accept both success and failure as part of life and do not go high or low, we will always remain stable.

Stress = Pressure/Resilience

As an individual, we all have different resilience. In the same situation (pressure), people will behave differently (as per their resilience). Example: During the Covid period, although the situation was the same for everyone (pressure), we all behaved differently (due to our resilience). The more we will improve our resilience, the less will be the stress. It is important to understand that feeling stress is NOT normal. When we say that stress is normal, we are allowing stress into our life.

There are two key belief systems that reduce our emotional strength. The first is that our emotions are dependent on other people or situations. The second belief system is that stress is normal. When we label negative emotions as normal, we allow our minds to create them.

When I understand that I am responsible for all my emotions and I need to take ownership of the way I think and react/respond, my emotional strength will enhance. Similarly, by giving instructions to my mind that stress is not normal, I do not allow myself to feel stressed. Even if one person starts radiating powerful thoughts the relations start getting better (As per 2nd law of thermodynamics, energy always flows from a higher to a lower state)

To do that gratitude, mindfulness and positive self-talk can play a very important role in our lives.

Practice Gratitude: A key element of giving blessings is being grateful for what you have. Practice gratitude in your daily life and learn to appreciate all of the good things in your life.

Meditate: Meditation can help you to focus your mind and clear your thoughts. This can help you to give/receive blessings that are more powerful and meaningful.

Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness can help you to be more present and aware of the blessings in your life. Practice mindfulness regularly to help you to receive/give blessings more easily.


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