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Face Your Challenges: Do You Have Grit, Resilience, Bounce-Back?

Updated on June 23, 2017
FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist with applied experience in corporate human resources and consulting.

Can You Find Strength in Adversity?

A person's character is built not so much in what happens to him but in what he makes happen.  Can you bounce back from your trauma and hardship and become even stronger?
A person's character is built not so much in what happens to him but in what he makes happen. Can you bounce back from your trauma and hardship and become even stronger? | Source

No One Ever Promised You That Life Would Be Fair

My mother is a soft soul who imparted some cold, hard truth.

Like many kids, my siblings and I whined about fairness and equal treatment while growing up. Always keeping score, we knew who got more. We each sought to get what we had coming to us.

But before we faced life's uncertain journey, Mom made sure her youngsters understood that the road ahead would not always be easy. That's because sometimes what you have coming to you is unfortunately what you least want or expect.

She warned: "Life is not fair. Whoever told you it would be? Get used to it." No truer words have been spoken.

Potholes in Life's Pathway: When It Sucks to Be You

How resilient are you?  On the road to "Happily Ever After," you may encounter potholes large or small.  Will you fall in and stay there?  Or will you climb out and keep going?
How resilient are you? On the road to "Happily Ever After," you may encounter potholes large or small. Will you fall in and stay there? Or will you climb out and keep going? | Source

What Inspired This Article

TEAL Ribbon You Picked Wrong BITCH Ovarian Cancer Car Decal / Sticker
TEAL Ribbon You Picked Wrong BITCH Ovarian Cancer Car Decal / Sticker

When I saw this bumper sticker in a Wal-mart parking lot, I thought, "Now THAT is someone I'd like to know!" I love this gal's feisty spirit. I don't have cancer, but I do struggle with MS. This hub is dedicated to the Wal-mart parking lot lady and everyone who battles a demon.

 

Suck It Up, Buttercup: Life Can Be Mean and Unpredictable

Nothing can prepare you for the potholes in life's pathway to "Happily Ever After." Will YOU face the horrors of

  • war
  • the trauma of accidents
  • stillborn babies
  • poverty or
  • incurable diseases?

I hope not, but more importantly ... if you do, how will you respond?

Some people are swallowed whole by life's potholes. They are ravaged and consumed by the experience of their trauma. (This doesn't make them lesser people, of course.)

In contrast, there are others who respond to life's potholes by clawing, scratching, and climbing their way out with remarkable perseverance. No matter the tragedy or adversity they encounter, somehow they manage to suck it up and keep moving on.

Which are you? Do you know yet?

Buttercup, You're Beautiful

Buttercups are simple in appearance, biting in taste, and have healing properties.
Buttercups are simple in appearance, biting in taste, and have healing properties. | Source

Reader Poll

When you fall in life's potholes, how do you handle the adversity?

See results

You Are More Than What Happens to You

A person's character is built not so much in what happens to him but in what he (or she) makes happen. Life's journey can be harrowing at times, and you cannot always control its events. However, you can choose your response.

What can you create from your circumstances? What can you do with a broken body or a wounded spirit? Can you adapt, conquer adversity, and bounce back? Can you become stronger, wiser, and ultimately an even better person from having struggled? Can you help others in their journeys?

Two qualities that help propel people forward in the face of difficulty are resilience and grit. They are qualities worth emulating.

Resilience: Determination in the Face of Difficulty

Resilience is the process of adapting well to traumatic life experiences. Studies have found that resilience is associated with life satisfaction and health consequences.
Resilience is the process of adapting well to traumatic life experiences. Studies have found that resilience is associated with life satisfaction and health consequences. | Source

Resilience is the process of adapting well to tragedy, threats, or extremely stressful life experiences.1 It refers to the thoughts, feelings, and actions involved in "bouncing back" from painful events.

New research has uncovered that resilience is a complex interaction among our

  • genetics
  • neurobiology (e.g., levels of stress-related neurotransmitters)
  • environment
  • individual development, and
  • patterns of thinking.2

Bounce back.  You've got what it takes.
Bounce back. You've got what it takes. | Source

Resilience has been found useful in both the short and long term, as evidenced by the following studies:

  • Resilience predicts life satisfaction.3
  • Higher levels of resilience in widows is related to lower levels of psychiatric distress.4
  • High-resilient people with chronic pain conditions reported more positive emotions and less "pain catastrophizing" (ruminating about pain).5
  • Higher levels of resilience among spousal caregivers of Alzheimer's patients predicted lower levels of depression a year later.6
  • Among older adults with Fibromyalgia, resilience predicted physical functioning.7

The Ball Is in Your Court

Go for the rebound.  The ball is in your court!
Go for the rebound. The ball is in your court! | Source

Factors that are related to higher levels of personal resilience include:

  • the ability to make and stick to realistic plans
  • self-confidence in your abilities and strengths
  • a strong social network (caring relationships that provide role models and encouragement throughout healing)
  • solid problem solving and communication skills
  • impulse control and
  • finding positive meaning in your life after trauma.

Dust Yourself Off and Rebound

Positive emotions help build the capacity to cope with negative life events by allowing you to look forward and put personal trauma into a broader perspective. Coping is culturally influenced, and fortunately, adaptive "bounce back" strategies can be learned.

Ultimately, resilience involves making sense of your suffering and even using your misfortune to your advantage. Even for those who have been exposed to extreme situations—such as combat, natural disasters, and acts of criminal violence—resilience makes it is possible to move on.

You Can't Always Avoid Life's Potholes

When you encounter a pothole in life's path, will you be resilient?
When you encounter a pothole in life's path, will you be resilient? | Source

Stress Can Make You Sick

Both positive and negative life events can produce stress. Experiencing more stressful life events has been found to be related to increased illness.

Take The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale to assess your risk of stress-related illness, then double down on your resilience!

Life Is Not Fair: The Cold Hard Facts

  • Literacy: More than 1 in 5 American adults is functionally illiterate. They cannot read beyond a fourth grade level.8 (The preceding two sentences were written at an eighth grade level.)
  • Stillbirth: In high income countries like the United States, the rate of stillbirth is two to five babies out of every 1,000.9 African countries, such as Ghana, face a rate that is ten times higher.
  • Disability: According to studies, 1 in 4 of today's 20 year-olds will become disabled before they reach age 67.10
  • Violent Crime: Each year, out of every 1,000 Americans, approximately 25 become the victim of a violent crime.11
  • Hunger: One in 6 Americans struggles with hunger. Many of them are children, seniors, and working adults.12
  • Death of A Spouse: Widows made up 34% of the American population that was 65 and older in 2016, and widowers comprised 12%.13 Death of a spouse is a substantial life stressor and can happen at any age.

Flourish or Flounder? Victim or Victor?

How you define yourself is an important part of resilience.
How you define yourself is an important part of resilience. | Source

Get Your Life Back: 9 Tips For Bouncing Back

Faced with trauma, the human spirit often responds with the drive to self-heal. If you have faced a physical or emotional pothole on your life's journey, here are nine tips for bouncing back:

  1. Connect: Lean on your social network for role models and support. Learn how to ask for the help you need. Reach out to others as a survivor or a mentor. For example, if you struggle with an illness, provide support and informational assistance to those who are newly diagnosed.
  2. Constructive distraction: Stay active, purposeful, and busy. Delve into a hobby, pursue self-development, or further your education.
  3. Fake it until you make it.
  4. Develop routines. The autopilot of routines can carry you through dark times.
  5. Take a walk on the lighter side of life. Pursue with reckless abandon goofy movies, funny cat videos, or whatever makes you laugh. (Even your own hardship can be laughable in the right situation.)
  6. Practice self-care by following a healthy diet and getting sufficient exercise and sleep.
  7. Develop perspective. In the grand scheme nothing is perfect, and none of us gets out of this world alive. Enjoy the world while you're here.
  8. Find something to look forward to every day, no matter how small.
  9. Watch your self-talk, that inner loop that constantly plays in your head. Label yourself as a victor, not a victim, one who flourishes, rather than flounders.

Suggested Reading

Strong at the Broken Places: Voices of Illness, a Chorus of Hope
Strong at the Broken Places: Voices of Illness, a Chorus of Hope

This book is non-sentimental, sobering, and ultimately empowering. It gave me strength when I needed it. Welcome to the real lives of five people who struggle with chronic diseases: ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn's Disease, and Bipolar Disorder.

 

Dig Down Deep and Make It Happen

There are many strategies available to help you get through challenging time.  Lean on others.  Dig down deep.  Persevere.  You can do this.
There are many strategies available to help you get through challenging time. Lean on others. Dig down deep. Persevere. You can do this. | Source

Need Inspiration? Quiet Heroes Abound

If you are facing a pothole on life's pathway and need inspiration for resilience, just look around you. Quiet heroes abound. Rather than being rare, resilience is actually common.

Approximately 7-8% of the population experiences Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives. If this is you, seek professional help and know that you are not alone.

This Is How Winners Are Made

Grit Happens

Another psychological quality worth honing is grit. "Psychological grit" refers to long-term goal-focused effort.

Gritty individuals are able to maintain high levels of motivation and determination over long periods of time—months to years. Leading grit researcher Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., believes that grit can be learned.

You Got This!

Grit is goal-focused effort for an extended period of time.  This "stick-to-it-iveness" helps people complete basic training, medical school, marathons, and other intense challenges.
Grit is goal-focused effort for an extended period of time. This "stick-to-it-iveness" helps people complete basic training, medical school, marathons, and other intense challenges. | Source

True Grit Required

Call it grit or a crazy level of determination over time. Here are several examples of common folks who must display uncommon levels of stick-to-itiveness to achieve their dreams.

Olympians

Olympian gymnast Aly Raisman started gymnastics at age 2 in a Mommy and Me class.14 She became serious about the sport at age 8 or 9, training more than 30 hours each week in preparation for the Olympics.

Her family did not go on vacation for almost 6 years because Aly couldn't be away from the gym more than two days. Other Olympians, such as Gabby Douglas, have had to move from their homes and families to attend training facilities.

Ph.D.s

On average, students take 8.2 years to complete a Ph.D. program (twice as long as a bachelors), and are 33 years old when they finish. Only 57% of students who start Ph.D. programs finish within 10 years, and 40% go into debt to complete their degrees.15

In addition to classes, a doctoral student must pass comprehensive examinations, assist professors with teaching and research, and propose, write, and defend a dissertation. A dissertation is an original, book-length contribution to the academic literature.

Special Forces Training

Special Forces candidates endure training that is mental and physical hell as they prepare for a career as commandos who infiltrate hot spots around the globe.

Training lasts more than a year from basic training to becoming an expert in unconventional warfare, and the soldiers develop expertise in combat survival, parachuting from airplanes, and another country's language, customs, traditions. Only a small percentage pass selection and complete Special Forces Training.

Squirrels Are Some of the Most Determined Creatures

This gymnastic squirrel ran up a brick wall, crossed balcony railings, pulled himself up to bite some seed block, and dropped to a dramatic hanging position to enjoy his dinner.  Now that's determination in the face of challenge!
This gymnastic squirrel ran up a brick wall, crossed balcony railings, pulled himself up to bite some seed block, and dropped to a dramatic hanging position to enjoy his dinner. Now that's determination in the face of challenge! | Source

Readers: Share Your Experience

Tell us about your experience with grit and resilience in the Comments Section below.

What personal difficulty have you faced?

What strategies have you used to remain resilient?

Who inspires you in your struggle?

Finishing the Marathon

Rather than focusing on the sprint, gritty people are committed to goal achievement: completing that marathon, finishing their novel, becoming fluent in a new language, or quitting smoking. They push beyond the "good enough," enduring long and often boring periods of practice time spent alone.

On their road to expertise, gritty people develop "stretch goals" for themselves and are not afraid to operate outside of their comfort zone. To bolster their performance, they seek out those who have higher levels of skill competence than they do. They also relentlessly pursue feedback, concentrating on the negative aspects of their performance in order to excel.

Hey, I've Got Grit -- Do You?

Grit is related to a variety of successful outcomes.  How gritty are you?
Grit is related to a variety of successful outcomes. How gritty are you? | Source

My Brief Grit Story

I pride myself on my grit, and according to the test results, I scored in the top 90-99% of grittiness. It took me more than seven years, but I finished a Ph.D. program that I thought would bury me at some points. It didn't help that during the process, I also had a baby, encountered medical problems, moved twice, and parented my child alone for several months while my husband worked at his new job. (Hey, life happens!)

Grit, however, was one thing that got me through. I found that later in life when I needed a reserve of strength, I relied on my graduate school experience. If I could make it through that, I could complete anything I set out to do.

I hope you're gritty, too.

Derek Redmond: An Example Of Olympic Grit

Look To Famous Examples for Inspiration of Grit and Resilience

Examples of people who have flourished under difficult circumstances abound. If you need inspiration, consider the following famous people. Each of them have either faced adversity as they achieved their goal or coped with personal trauma:

Grit Is Gorgeous

Are you gritty?  Take the Grit Test to find out, then share your story in the Comments Section below.  (The link is in the text above.)
Are you gritty? Take the Grit Test to find out, then share your story in the Comments Section below. (The link is in the text above.) | Source

Famous People Who Demonstrated Grit and Resilience

(click column header to sort results)
Famous Person  
Challenge(s)  
Triumph  
Ludwig van Beethoven (German composer and pianist)
Profound hearing loss; possible Bipolar Disorder
Composed some of his most important works while deaf
Claude Monet (French Impressionist painter)
Suicidal depression; cataract-induced blindness
During his later years, painted almost purely from memory
Michael Jordan (Greatest basketball player of all time)
Cut from his high school basketball team; missed more than 9,000 shots in his career; lost more than 300 games
Led the NBA record in scoring for 10 seasons; tied Wilt Chamberlain's record of 7 consecutive scoring titles
John Cougar Mellencamp (Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter)
Spina Bifada (neural tube defect)
Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (32nd U.S. President)
Paralysis from the waist down due to either Polio or Guillain-Barre syndrome
Taught himself to walk short distances with a cane and by swiveling his torso; served 4 Presidential terms
Temple Grandin (Activist for animal rights and autism)
Autism; did not talk until she was 3 1/2 years old
Earned a Ph.D. in animal science; wrote best selling books
Helen Keller (American author and political activist)
Deafness and blindness as a result of a "brain fever"
Wrote 12 published books and articles; graduated from college; helped found American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords (American Congresswoman)
Survived an assassination attempt involving a gunshot to her head
Recovered some of her ability to walk, speak, read and write
Stephen Hawking (British theoretical physicist)
Motor neuron disease similar to ALS (Lou Gerhig's disease); poor grades in school as a child
Author of bestseller; professor at Cambridge University for 30 years
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French Impressionist painter)
Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis
Continued to paint using a brush that was wedged into his contorted hand
Michael J. Fox (Canadian/American tv actor)
Parkinson's Disease
Author of bestsellers; compelling testimony before Congress in support of Parkinson's research
John McCain (American Senator)
Prisoner of War for 5 1/2 years during Vietnam; endured torture
Became known as a "maverick" in U.S. politics; Republican nominee for President in 2008
Al Gore (American Vice President)
Lost controversial election dispute for President in 2000
Awarded Nobel Peace Prize for his work in climate change

Gritty Girl's (and Guy's) Anthem #1: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

Summary

  • Resilience and grit help move people forward in the face of personal difficulty.
  • Resilience is the process of "bouncing back" or adapting well to tragedy, threats, or extremely stressful life experiences.
  • Studies have found that resilience is related to useful short and long-term consequences, from life satisfaction to lower levels of depression.
  • Psychological grit refers to long-term goal-focused effort. This "stick-to-it-iveness" quality is unrelated to IQ and is sometimes even negatively related to talent.
  • Grit predicts a variety of success outcomes.
  • Both resilience and grit are learnable.

Resilience Required

Poverty rates in America are at an all time high; 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty.
Poverty rates in America are at an all time high; 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty. | Source

Notes

1American Psychological Association. "What is Resilience?" Psych Central.com. Last modified 2007. http://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-resilience/0001145#.Ur0BA_RDuSo.

2Southwick, Steven M. "The Science of Resilience." The Huffington Post. Last modified September 13, 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-m-southwick/trauma-resilience_b_1881666.html.

3Cohn, Michael A., Barbara L. Fredrickson, Stephanie L. Brown, Joseph A. Mikels, and Anne M. Conway. "Happiness unpacked: Positive emotions increase life satisfaction by building resilience." Emotion 9, no. 3 (2009): 361-368. Accessed January 2, 2013. http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/emo/9/3/361/.

4O'Rourke, Norm. "Psychological resilience and the well-being of widowed women." Ageing International 29, no. 3 (2004): 267-280. Accessed January 2, 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3485066/.

5Ong, A D., A. J. Zautra, and M. C. Reid. "Psychological resilience predicts decreases in pain catastrophizing through positive emotions." Psychological Aging 25, no. 3 (2010): 516-523. Accessed January 2, 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20853962.

6O'Rourke, N et al. "Psychological resilience predicts depressive symptoms among spouses of persons with Alzheimer disease over time." Aging & Mental Health 14, no. 8 (2010): 984-93. Accessed January 3, 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21069604.

7Torma, Linda M et al. "Growing Old with Fibromyalgia: Resilience Predicts Physical Function." ProHealth.com. Last modified November 12, 2012. http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?LIBID=17698.

8Washington County Literacy Council. "The Impact of Illiteracy." Accessed January 3, 2014. http://washingtoncountyliteracycouncil.org/.

9ScienceDaily. "Ghanaian Pregnant Women Who Sleep On Back at Increased Risk of Stillbirth." Last modified March 25, 2013. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325160627.htm.

10Council for Disability Awareness. "Disability Statistics; Chance of Becoming Disabled - DisabilityCanHappen.org." Prevention, Financial Planning, Resources and Information. Last modified July 3, 2013. http://www.disabilitycanhappen.org/chances_disability/disability_stats.asp.

11Crime in America.Net. "Violent and Property Crime in the US." Last modified 2014. http://www.crimeinamerica.net/crime-rates-united-states/.

12Feeding America. "Hunger Facts." Last modified 2014. http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts.aspx.

13Administration on Aging. "Profile of Older Americans." Last modified December 31, 2016. https://www.acl.gov/aging-and-disability-in-america/data-and-research/profile-older-americans.

14Benjamin, Ronna. "Raising U.S. Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman." The Huffington Post. Last modified August 1, 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ronna-benjamin/aly-raisman_b_1725756.html.

15O'Shaughnessy, Lynn. "12 reasons not to get a PhD." CBS News. Last modified July 10, 2012. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/12-reasons-not-to-get-a-phd/.

Fight On, My Gritty Friend! You Know You Have It in You!

That fighting spirit -- you know you have it!  Get gritty!  Bounce back!  I'm rooting for you.
That fighting spirit -- you know you have it! Get gritty! Bounce back! I'm rooting for you. | Source

© 2014 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      David - I can't tell you what your words mean. Although I don't have the same disability, I do have a disability and I understand that there are dark times. My encouragement and support go out to you. Take it one day at a time and treat yourself kindly. All the best...

    • David Warren profile image

      David Warren 20 months ago from Nevada

      I was in a very dark place this morning prior to finding this hub. I have a major disability issue from multiple cervical surgeries and just ended up back at home in a neck brace shortly after getting a federal job in a pathology department. I have no words strong enough to convey my appreciation of your hub. Obviously your article didn't solve my issue but the timing of seeing it when I did is priceless.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Thanks so much! I hope it helps, and I hope you are well.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      This is a great article, which I already commented on a lot time ago. Pinterest isn't working well at the moment, so I'll put it on Twitter. Hopefully, it will encourage someone who's going through a difficult stretch.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Thanks so much for visiting and pinning. This is one of my favorite hubs that I've written.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      I really do believe that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Also, maybe it's a good thing to lower our expectations and just enjoy what we have. Otherwise, we'll be greatly disappointed, a lot.

      Great article that I'll be pinning to one of my group boards.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks, Rajan! Glad you enjoyed this!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      It is difficult not to get motivated reading such a brilliant hub. With a strong will one can make anything happen.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Cherylann - I'm glad this was motivating and inspiring to you. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Cherylann Mollan profile image

      Cherylann Mollan 3 years ago from India

      Hi Flourish! Very beautiful, actually motivating hub. Sometimes, when you look at life, the inconstancy of things, the unpredictability of relationships and uncertainty of our futures can really scare you. I've realized that, at some point, you need to stop avoiding challenges out of the fear of failure and the thought of never being able to recover. As you've rightly pointed out, we are capable of recovery. It just takes a bit of effort. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Victoria - So glad you like it!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Victoria - So glad you like it!

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      What a great article! You make some very important points and definitely picture reality in a different light. Very nice. And great pictures!!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Sunshine625 - Way to go! That's the spirit! Captain America in the photo is my awesome little nephew.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Your photo of Captain America was a perfect finale to a brilliant article! When you get knocked down you have NO other choice but to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again. It's always worked for me. I am too stubborn to just give up.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Rebecca - Thank you. Always believe in yourself.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is an excellent article, and is a must read for anyone going through any sort of tough time. Shared!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Sharkye11 - I love your attitude! Keep getting up! You've encouraged me with your kind comments; thank you. Have a great weekend.

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Love, love, love this hub! I'm one of those'' lucky'' people who have always had cycles of bad luck. Just when I am almost getting ahead, something knocks me back ten yards. I'll usually lay there for a minute being furious at how unfair it is, then I'm up going "Okay, here is what we need to do..."

      Drives my husband nuts. :) He likes to mope on an issue for awhile.

      I think I will print this hub out and have it laminated for our wall. It would be a great daily reminder that no matter how big the pothole is, there is always a way to climb out of it and keep moving on. Thanks for sharing your great wisdom and insight!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Brian - I don't know your story yet, but I like your awesome kick-ass attitude! I hope you are both lucky and optimistic. Woo-hoo! Go get 'em, Brian.

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Baby, I eat potholes for breakfast! Seriously though, I like how you say a person's character is built on what he or she makes happen. I'm not sure if I'm just a lucky son-of-a-bitch or if I've actually got that much optimistic spirit in me. Most likely a little of both. I could have crumbled years ago. I've got plenty of "pity" ammunition. But surviving it all has taught me to just not quit. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Vicki - Pooh bear was right in that you are stronger than you think. Until you have to face certain situations -- situations that you'd never choose -- you won't know how strong and awesome you truly are. (Grit does increase with age!) But if you cannot be your own cheerleader, make sure you surround yourself with others who rally you on. Thanks for reading and sharing. Go kick it, girl!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I love some of the things you said: Suck it up, Buttercup! Fake it till you make it! And I like the song, too, What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger. I have had grit in certain situations, but sometimes I think I would fall apart if I came across certain things. Maybe I would surprise myself.

      This hub is very inspirational and encouraging. Sharing for all to see!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Suzanne - Sounds like you're the type of person to make things happen. I like that!

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Another great hub that I enjoyed reading immensely. It took me a long time to learn that life isn't fair - for some reason I had a princess view that life would somehow change or that the people around me were to blame. Now that I own my actions and behaviour, I am much more able to cope with whatever life throws at me without wallowing and sulking. Voted useful and a big thumbs up!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      dragonflycolor - Whatever challenge you are facing -- large or small -- get up and fight. You got this, girl!

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      dragonflycolor 3 years ago

      I love this. Just the motivation I needed!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      tirelesstraveler - I'm so glad you're gritty and that you know it. It can make a great deal of difference. Feel free to link it and best of luck to you in being happy, healthy and continually gritty.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      It took me awhile to develop grit, until I was about 10. I didn't know I had it until I was an adult. Grit gives you freedom to be victorious. If there is anything brothers taught me it was to be fast on my feet and hang in for the long hall.

      May I link this to my hub on being victorious?

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Joelle - Sounds like you are very busy! Thanks for stopping back by. Gabby Giffords is so strong to me; she was left by that gunman for dead and yet the lady has managed to relearn some of the skills that were taken from her and give a passionate voice to the cause she believes in. I'm glad this hub provided a positive message for you as the new year begins. I do hope 2014 is a productive, prosperous, healthy and happy one for you.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Deborah - I'm glad they could provide a little bounce to your day! Thanks for stopping by!

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      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      What a fabulous hub! The quotes and examples are very inspiring.

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      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      What a great hub, Flourish! I started to read it a few days ago but I was quite busy with a special project with kids in a local museum and I just starting to have my head out of the water ;-) So finally, I am coming back to it :-)

      Good for you to have stayed on top of things during difficult times. I suppose most of us will encounter some of those times to different degrees but not all of us can come out of it with flying colours!

      As I was reading your list of well known people I stopped at Helen Keller thinking she must be on the top of the list... and you continue with

      Gabrielle Giffords ... what a great and courageous lady and the other people in your list as well. Great examples!

      Thank you for sharing this beautiful hub!

      Voted up, interesting, beautiful and simply awesome! It makes us think!

      If I didn't tell you yet.... Happy New Year to your and your family!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Crafty - You are incredible. What you have endured and bounced back from is remarkable and proves what a strong, resilient lady you are. You would have been forgotten and discarded in that nursing home. It's an environment that is so out of place for a young woman like yourself with young children to raise. Thank goodness you had the fortitude to resist.

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      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      This is an amazing article that touches on so many excellent points. Flourish, I commend you for earning a PhD while taking care of a child practically alone. That takes amazing strength and effort.

      My defining moment in life was December 2012. When I went paralyzed. The hospital wanted to transfer me to a nursing home. I begged them to let me return home to where my children are. My children needed me. They said I would be a liability if I hurt myself. I showed them if I can scoot on my backside, I can get around. I was able to make a recovery in a period of several months, right before joining HubPages. It took endurance and perseverance to overcome that hurdle. But I'm so thankful to have encountered that trial.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Anna - Thanks for the warm compliments. I am glad that this encouraged you. I also found the words of wisdom from those who came before me energizing. Winston Churchill's sheer attitude of persistence in the face of obstacles is an example for us all -- in whatever battles we face in life.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      DDE - I'm so glad you got something out of this. I'd say you have a fair amount of grit yourself, moving to a foreign country and culture where you didn't know anyone and making a go of it. You're a tough lady! Very admirable!

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      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      I loved this very much. It's true life is really hard but you can't ever let it beat you.

      Your quotes were brilliant as well. Winston Churchill is my hero and I think he was an outstanding example of grit and inner strength.

      Excellent hub.

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      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Wow! An excellent hub indeed. You have laid it all out with such perfection and so thorough. Presentation is awesome.Voted up, useful, interesting, and beautiful.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Nell - Thanks for stopping by. We're often surprised by the strong stuff we're made of. I wish you the very best in any challenges you face. Thanks for reading, voting and sharing.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Writer Fox - The more I learn about Helen Keller the more inspired I am by her. Just as impressive is the dedication that Anne Sullivan displayed that spanned nearly 50 years. Thanks for taking the time to comment. So glad you enjoyed this.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Jo - Glad you enjoyed this. You sound like a tough, gutsy, bounce-back kinda lady.

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Flourish, this is an excellent and very inspirational hub.

      Resilience is what keeps us going when all we want to do is crawl right back into bed, grit creates the perfect pearl and pressure is responsible for the diamonds among us. Those potholes can make us or they can break us. This article contains a wealth of truths. I learned about resilience and grit from three generations of tenacious women in my family, bless 'em all and thank you for sharing this.

      My best to you.

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      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      What a great hub! and yes very inspirational! I tend to grit it and get on with it, but somethings do get me down like most of us. some things scare us so we can't pick ourselves up, other things surprise us to such an extent when we do manage to soldier on. Great hub! voted up and shared! nell

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      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      You've presenting so many inspiring examples of people who have overcome the most severe situations. I always admire Helen Keller and cannot imagine what inner strength she had as a child! This article is certainly food for a lot of thought as 2014 begins. Enjoyed very much and voted up!

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      vespawoolf - Thanks for stopping by and for sharing. I am a changed person for the hardships I have endured, and I although I sure would never have chosen them, I have gained immeasurably by them. I hope you and others have as well. Have a great day.

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      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      What a beautiful, inspiring article! It´s so true that the way we react to trauma is what makes us who we are today. I really enjoyed the quotes at the end. This gives us a lot to think about. Thank you! Voted up and shared.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Carolyn - Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you found this inspirational. We all have the capacity to rise above if we dig deep.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Bill - Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing. Grit and determination made this country great, and allows us to rise above any challenge.

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      Carolyn Emerick 3 years ago

      Wonderful hub! Uplifting and inspiring! Upvoted and will share in an inspirational group elsewhere :-)

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      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great hub FA. That gritty, fighting spirit is what made this country great. Great job. Voted up, shared, etc..

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      anjaycrossroad - Hope you bounce back and show life what's what. Thanks for stopping by!

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      Anjay Crossroad 3 years ago from Europe

      Great article! Life sure as hell aint fair :/

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Jo Miller - I'm glad the hardship you experienced earlier in your life has benefited you since. You sound quite resilient.

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      jo miller 3 years ago from Tennessee

      Thanks for this beautiful piece. When I was very young I went through the worst time of my life. Since then, any time I've encountered adversity I always look back to that time and remind myself that I made it through. That gives me strength each time.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      MisDora - Thank you for reading and voting. I think about that lady and hope she is flourishing as we speak.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Thanks for pinning and taking the time to comment. Pain is definitely individual. I feel it intensely and even require extra anesthesia during surgery so I don't feel it. Focusing on other things can really pull you through terrible things. I recall in my darkest moment when I was painfully blind in one eye, I simply concentrated on the soft purring of the cat beside me who incidentally had lost sight in one of her eyes (which is why we rescued her). She took my suffering outside of myself so that I could get through those hours.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Dean - Thanks for the kudos. I sure hope this motivates anyone who needs it.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Jackie - Thanks for reading. I like that video , too. She nailed the inspiration, didn't she?

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Faith - Your story gives me goosebumps, you have so much grit and resilience. You are an AWESOME SURVIVOR, lady! What a story! I feel proud to know you.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      billybuc - I love your spirit! Death gets us all in the end, but it's how we live that makes the difference.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      bravewarrior - Thank you! Have a terrific 2014. Go after all those dreams!

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Awesome hub, Flourish!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The only thing that can defeat me is death, and I'm going to leave this world kicking and screaming. LOL Bring it on; that's my motto. I'm ready for anything.

      Great message here, one that should be read by, oh, say several hundred million people. :)

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      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Great hub here full of truth and your mother was so very wise to tell you of such truth. God tells us this very thing in His Word that we will face many trials of many kinds but He is there to walk through them with us. I am a breast cancer survivor. I looked at that cancer dead in the face and said no, not me this time. Well...I saw that large cluster of calcifications up on that screen and I just knew it was cancer before anyone told me. Right then a peace just rained down on me like I had never experienced before, His peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding. If I had gotten cancer maybe 10 or 15 years prior, I would have freaked out a bit, but it is my personal and intimate relationship with the Lord that gave me so much peace, as I had prayed when me eyes saw that calcification and asked Him to heal me and that I would glorify Him throufh the whole ordeal whether or not my body was ravished with cancer and I was not going to live long. The next week during the biopsy, the doctor said it looked like it shrunk a lot. The next week when having the BSGI intense 8 minutes photos times three, the photos showed not a thing which baffled the doctors. I knew the Lord healed me. The surgeon still wanted to do a lumpectomy even when the screen was completely blank. He did it and saw nothing with his eyes. A few days later, Pathology said there was no trace of cancer. Still...the surgeon wanted me to have seven weeks and one day of radiation and I did, and I met the most wonderful people and they said they had never met anyone like me. The cancer was there and then it was gone. Plus when I was a small child, I listened to my dad suffering from PTSD after returning from wars. After hearing of the true horrors of war, I'd say I had a little bit of grit! Up and more and sharing. Blessings, Faith Reaper

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      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      You got it, we have to be strong no matter what hits us if we want to survive. Love the videos too, esp the Perry one. ^

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Instructional and inspirational. A great article for the beginning of the New Year. Thank you very much. Also thank to the woman in the Walmart parking lot. Voted Up!

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      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      This is a great article in which to begin the New Year. Those studies you cited make perfect sense. If you are focused on something other than your suffering, you'll probably feel less physical pain. Pain is a very subjective thing anyway, and it varies from person to person. I'm pinning this to my MS Recovery board.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Goodpal - Thanks for reading. I'm glad you found motivation in the hub. Have a great new year.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Frank - I bet you have a fair amount of grit. You are the fabulous author of several books! Keep kicking it and maybe don't even stop to take names.

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      Dean Walsh 3 years ago from Birmingham, England

      I love the inspirational examples Flourish, and as always you have lots of in-depth advice. Voted up and shared.

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      Goodpal 3 years ago

      Very motivating Hub!

      Grit lies in the mind, not in the six packs! Six packs are useless when a man falls for another woman ignoring his own wife. When this happens we have before us a grit-less and gutless man. Addictions also take away internal strength, making people spineless.

      The most resilient person is one with a mind filled with goodwill for others; then there are NO adversaries! But only a powerful soul can do that.

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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Flourish I like this guide.. to make you realize that Grit does happen... kick ass take names later type of hub.. good start for the New Year thank you :) Frank

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