Cam Taylor

Be inspired. Be focused. Be tenacious.

Resilience – GIYC part 6

Resilience comes from an old Latin word meaning “to spring back” or “rebound.” Resilience is also the “ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.”


Birds need resilience in the form of grit in their craw if they hope to digest the food they eat. You need GIYC* (grit in your craw) to digest the challenges and setbacks that come in life. This post will focus on resilience, the sixth quality of the eight necessary to thrive under pressure. The other seven are: diligence, tenacity, optimism, flexibility, discipline, confidence, and purpose.

Learning to fly

Learning to fly an airplane requires a great deal of resilience to accomplish. Robert* tells the story of the day he took his first solo flight in the Cessna 152 he learned on. He had practiced the take-off and landing hundreds of times with his instructor present. Now it was time to go it alone.

The first time you fly solo is brief but critical in the journey of becoming a pilot. Robert knew he needed to get his plan up in the air, go for a short flight and land the plane on the first third of the runway. As he approached the landing, he repeated to himself, “You can do this! I know you can.” With fear and trembling, he brought the Cessna in for the landing and nailed it! Robert* reflects on his first solo flight:

“Learning to fly was something I’d always wanted to do. It was so important to me, that I was willing to go through all the necessary trials and tribulations to make it a reality. Going to the airport week in and week out and endlessly practicing takeoffs and landings took a tremendous amount of resilience. Until the day I was ready to solo, it was all about making mistakes and bouncing back from them. Making mistakes over and over and bouncing back over and over. And finally it all paid off. My first solo flight was in the books.”

Learning to Bounce Back

Resilience is critical in order to digest life’s challenges and grow as a result of them. During my recovery process, I worked for days and weeks to build up strength in my legs, flexibility in my knee and ankle, and push through the pain and discomfort required to get moving again. Then I’d be faced with the setback of another surgery and feel like I would have to start all over again. I sometimes wondered, “Why bother doing all this work if I have to start over again?”

Looking back on the resilience and need to bounce back after every setback, I realize how important each series of steps actually were to my ultimate current condition. Bouncing back after each set back prevented me from overwhelming discouragement and prepared me for the next battle I would face in my recovery. It’s like each recovery was like a practice flight that prepared me for the solo flight I’m flying now.

The Fruit of Resilience

Resilience has a reward. For me, the reward of navigating the step forward found in hard work followed by a setback (repeated several times), was building a base of strength and stamina I enjoy now. For example, last weekend we (my wife and I) went for a 47 km bike ride on our tandem and loved every minute of it.

Looking back at all the hours and hours of physio, recumbent bike riding, stretching, surgeries, buoyancy — I was developing grit and character and getting a little bit stronger and a little more able to recover faster which enabled me to be where I am today.

What’s true in my physical recovery, has also been true in mentally, spiritually, and emotional. Getting up after each time I fall, has made me stronger and more determined to keep pushing forward with hope.

Where in your life have you had to exercise resilience?
What has been the fruit of resilience in your life?

*Grit in Your Craw: the 8 Strengths You Need to Succeed in Business and Life, by Robert Luckadoo

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About Cam Taylor

Life and leadership coach, transition & change specialist, husband, dad, leader, writer, life long learner.

2 Replies

  1. Shirlene Henning

    Another good one, Cam. Sometimes bouncing back, takes awhile, as you know. Over time, seeing where I came “from”, to where I am now, spiritually, mentally, etc. is something to celebrate.

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