According to the American Psychological Association, trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event. To process trauma, developing resilience is an important tool in recovery. Resilience isn’t just about surviving an experience but also to be healthfully intact after. If you are looking to building your own resilience following a traumatic experience of some kind, here are five steps to help.
1. Survive….it’s only the first step.
The quarter-life crisis is real. I experienced mine in 2007, and at 25 years old, I said no to a marriage proposal, quit my job of eight years, and opened Salon Evanella, all in eight months’ time. Life was about to teach me a brand-new curriculum. I was behind the salon desk making last-minute preparations before servicing my very first client as a proud business owner when a heavyset man walked through the door.
“Hi, are you Krista Aventuna?”
“Hi. Yes, I am.”
“You’ve been served.” He handed me a white envelope and walked out the door.
My ex-employer was suing me for violating my non-compete contract. It felt as though my future as a successful entrepreneur had been obliterated in that moment. Defeated and at the point of giving up, I contemplated shutting it all down.
2. Accept reality with a dose of optimism.
I’m a serial optimist, because optimism leads to courage—the ability to act.
My hands slipped from cupping my tears that gushed from my eyes and fell on my lap. I thought, “I’m so tired. I am done. I can’t keep fighting anymore.”
Once these thoughts filled my head, a wave of tragic memories sobered me up. The traumas of abandonment, child abuse, being orphaned, death, kidnapping, immigration, bigotry, and more crashed into the forefront of my mind.
It reminded me of how I had overcome and triumphed over so many obstacles throughout my life that giving up was never an option. To quote Shawn Mendes, “It isn’t in my blood.”
3. Have faith.
Faith is to have complete trust and belief in someone or something. That someone begins with you. I decided to fight the lawsuit. I called my aunt for help and an acquaintance who recommended a great attorney. The judge ruled to keep my salon open through the litigation though they argued to shut me down throughout the case. It was a win for me.
4. Embrace open mindedness towards solutions.
Channel your inner creative, which flows and adapts to the circumstance, yet be firm, secure, and clear of the ultimate goal. It is neither rigid nor controlled.
I am an entrepreneur, not a lawyer. I watched as the lawyers involved with my case jabbed at each other in conference rooms, and by the fourth round of identifying each other’s strengths and weaknesses, my lawyer came to me and said, “We can go to court, fight, and we may win, but you will spend double the amount of money paying legal and court fees.” I trusted my lawyer and settled out of court suffering minimal financial loss.
5. Learn to Thrive
Your perception becomes your reality, so how do you move on productively and resourcefully?