Resilience and general adaptation theories have been intensely studied for years by scientists like Dr. Hans Selye who stated,

“Anything that causes stress endangers life, unless it is met by adequate adaptive responses; conversely, anything that endangers life causes stress and adaptive responses. Adaptability and resistance to stress are fundamental prerequisites for life, and every vital organ and function participates in them.”

Dr. Hans was one of the first scientists who theorized the existence of biological stress and its effects on the human body. He essentially theorized that humans will adapt to ongoing stress, albeit with negative consequences such as emotional stress, lack of judgement, and a poor lifestyle. Stress that goes unchecked will cause even the strongest creatures to lose resiliency.

Often this time of year, in the middle of the competitive season, we plenty of individuals complain about “getting hurt”, “being sick” and other fabricated statements to excuse their poor performance. My challenge to you is to stop with the bullshit. Those who feel the desire to expose their lack of preparation through social media don’t have the mindset of an athlete. As cliche as it may sound, you need to want to win more than you want to breathe. Don’t be afraid of success, or failure. We have no sympathy for the individual who is afraid of adversity. Face your fears and learn from the experience.

Embrace that fear and do it anyway. Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from helplessness.

Ironically, those who never take risks live with a dread of something going wrong. These individuals seek security  and comfort, but the effect of their actions cause them to live with insecurities and constant dread. It is more fulfilling to learn and try new things. Start incorporating more challenges into your life that help you grow and become more resilient.

Henk Kraaijenhof Classifies Resilience and Reactions Toward Stress in THREE ARCHETYPES:

Are you a…….

Bloomer – Those who thrive in stressful situations and make consistent efforts to exceed expectations. These individuals shine in competitions.

Bender – Perform within range of expectations and seldom surpass them.

Breaker – Often break when competition stress comes about, in training you are a champion, but when you have to risk it all you crack under pressure.

If you are a breaker archetype you may fear competition because of failure or success. The first step is to recognize why. After you understand why you behave this way, you can make the appropriate perspective changes to correct your attitude.

How Do You Create Resilience?

  • Lifestyle components matter. Water, food, fuel and recovery will build and support resilience.
  • Adrenaline is GOOD stress. Use it to your advantage. However, be cautious if stress is too high and the fire is dampened through excessive production of cortisol.
  • Use experience to your advantage. If you have participated before, take a look back and revisit and how previous workouts felt.