Resistance To Resilience: Learning To Live Without Limits

More than half of us will have given up on our New Year’s resolutions by December (and some of us already have). According to a 2020 Ipsos survey, 55% of respondents quit their resolutions before year’s end. Of those, one in 10 gave up in less than a month.

Our resolutions are often things we care deeply about – health, finances and relationships – so, why is it so hard to keep them? Speaker, author and self-proclaimed “most noticeable student” in school Nick Vujicic says it’s about aligning our hearts, minds and actions to stay resilient in the face of inevitable resistance.

Growing Through Resistance

Born without arms or legs due to a condition called phocomelia syndrome, Vujicic faced a lot of resistance early in his life. When he was born in 1982, Australian law prohibited disabled students from attending mainstream schools – until his mother had the law changed. Once in school, Vujicic faced relentless bullying. It got so bad that, at age 10, he tried to end his life. He survived and decided never to let himself or others impose limits on him again.

Today, Vujicic speaks to audiences worldwide, reminding us that when we hit walls of resistance, “You don’t go through it; you grow through it.” Because without resistance, he adds, there’s no resilience.

Heart-Mind-Action Alignment

Trouble usually arises when we get stuck in what Vujicic calls “the battle of the mind” – when we’re handcuffed between our emotions and minds, ruminating over what people say or think about us, true or otherwise. You allow yourself or others to limit your beliefs about what you can or cannot achieve.

But when crap hits the fan, positivity isn’t enough, Vujicic says. When faced with resistance, heart-mind-action alignment is critical to unlocking your resilience. To realign your heart and mind to produce meaningful action, Vujicic suggests writing down the words Faith, Family, Friends, Fitness, Finance and Fun to create a “Grid of Happiness.” Next, write down 10 short-term goals to achieve over the next 45 days that align with your happiness grid. Why? Vujicic says that achieving your dreams without short-term goals is like paddling a life raft with one paddle in the open ocean. “You see no islands, and you get tired quickly because you don’t see progress.”

Once you reframe your mindset, the next step in achieving your goals is investing in the skills and knowledge to reach them. Then, set aside the time, like three hours every Saturday, to work toward it. This will get you to your goals much faster, and you will have more resilience in the face of resistance.

For example, if you want to write a book, set a goal to invest in a coach or read a how-to book. Then, spend three hours every week working toward small goals, like writing the outline, and then the first chapter.

Even if you’ve failed once, twice or many times before, learn from it and move on because Vujicic reminds us, “As long as you’re breathing, your story isn’t over.”