I recently had the opportunity to participate in a MasterMind group comprised of fellow ISU alumni. The focus of this study group was the concept of resilience. During this 4-week MasterMind we covered a variety of insightful topics, but there was one topic that really stuck out to me: Antifragility.
“Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors…Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.” – Nassim Taleb
Things that are fragile break under pressure, such as glass. Things that are robust can stand unchanged under pressure, such as steel. But things that are antifragile get better under pressure, such as a pearl or a diamond.
This concept of antifragility is one that I have (unknowingly) spent a lot of time contemplating over the last few months. How can I get stronger, even in the face of adversity? How can I get better, especially when things aren’t going my way? How can I pivot and continue to evaluate where I am now and where I am going?
Think about the challenges you have been through. How did you respond? Were you fragile, breaking under the pressure of difficulty? Were you robust, moving through hardship trying to remain unchanged? Or were you antifragile, taking the adversity and using it to learn and grow?
We all want life to be easy and free of difficulty. Relationships without the conflict, careers without stress, healthy bodies without needing to eat well and workout. But there is no growth in the ease of life. Growth is only found on the other side of struggle.
When we face hard seasons, we can sit back and hope they pass quickly, or we can lean in. We have no control over the twists and turns of life. But we can choose how we show up. We can choose to grow. We can choose to keep getting better.
What’s The Risk?
The risk is in wishing away any sort of adversity without pausing to consider how that struggle might make you stronger. Stop, pause, reflect. Look for the lessons that life is currently teaching you. Some of life’s greatest lessons and turning points come from the hardest seasons, if only we keep our eyes open to see them.