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How to Increase Your Resilience while Autistic

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This article was originally published on Geek Club Books. Flowers are amazing teachers. Most of them bloom every Spring, only to wilt away come Fall. Think about that. Without fail, no matter how traumatic the past Fall was, come the following Spring, out pop the flowers to once again to fulfill their purpose. And every Spring, without fail, I stand in awe of their simple beauty, watching as the bees fulfill their purpose. Now, that’s resilience.

As autistic folks, we know all about resilience, and we are well familiar with the cycle of trauma that begets said resilience. For us, resilience is a double-edged sword. We are certainly resilient people (thumbs up), but most of us had to experience a good amount of trauma to get that way (thumbs down). In other words, we have gotten really good at getting back up from a fall, but we had to fall a gazillion times to get that way.

When thinking about resilience, it would behoove us to remember that it is a learned skill set, and that not everyone is resilient. Afterall, it takes many falls, mistakes, and failures to get good at it. Along the way, it would be easy to forget that you are getting stronger with each misstep. Instead of just reliving the emotions of our traumas over and over again, it best that we learn to take the lessons from every challenge, every fall, and use them to move us forward toward our goals, no matter how many setbacks the world throws at us.

Ready to increase your resilience? Here are some great ways to power up your skill set:

• Eliminate Negativity
It’s simple, like begets like. Meaning, you don’t cultivate positivity by being negative all the time. If you want to be resilient, you need to become your own best cheerleader and that means eliminating negative self talk, too. Find the silver linings in everything. They are there.

• Learn to Enjoy Failure
Yup, you read correctly, resilience is more about accumulating failures than it is about achieving success. Learning that every failure is not a catastrophe but instead a lesson, makes getting up and trying again enjoyable. Will you get better next time? Gotta fail to find out.

• Find Your Wins
No matter the failure, find your wins. In every failure there will always be parts that weren’t really a loss. If fact, the bigger the failure, the more hidden wins you can find. No matter how big you flopped, take the time to find the small things that did work and celebrate them. Then ditch the errors and try again. That’s resilience.

• The Only Way Out is Through
The best part of any given crappy situation is that eventually it will pass. No failure, or success, lasts forever. So, when failure is eminent, try to remember the storm will pass and the fastest way out is through. Success may lay on just the other side.

As you walk through Spring, notice the blooms, and remember, just a few weeks ago those flowers were still recovering from a harsh Winter and a fatal Fall. Take the time to appreciate their resilience. What can your resilient nature do for you? Where can it take you? What can you change by simply getting back up after every single fall, knocking again on every door that gets slammed, and asking again after every ‘No’ uttered? You are going to have to get out there and fail to find out. Remember, getting up well is the very first step to achieving any of your dreams, and the one trait that all successful people have in common.

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