Navy defines resilience as “the capacity to withstand, recover and/or grow in the face of challenging circumstances.” At times when we’re the most stressed it may seem like it takes all of our strength just “withstand” the storm, and recovery just returns us to where we were before. But when do we achieve growth, the third phase of resilience? How do we gain from our trials for a full triumph? We have to take personal action so that we can thrive.
The ability to thrive is the next step in building resilience, solidifying the relationship between personal responsibility and supportive communities. To thrive means “to grow vigorously: FLOURISH,” “to gain in wealth or possessions: PROSPER” or “to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.” (Source: Merriam-Webster). When we add this to our toolkit, every challenge, every stressful mission, and everything in between gives us the opportunity to reach a new height of achievement and strength—improving individual and mission readiness. That is the goal of the new OPNAV N17 21st Century Sailor communications campaign, “NavyTHRIVE;” to encourage Sailors, commands, families and civilians to empower themselves by taking personal responsibility for their health, wellness and growth—the next step in building resilience.
Over the next several months, we’ll be discussing steps you can take to climb the ladder from awareness to positive action when it comes to life’s stressors. Social connectedness, unit cohesion, and purpose strengthen resilience and serve as protective factors during stressful situations. The first two factors are based on a sense of community, but the last is heavily influenced on our own views of our abilities and our perceived value. “NavyTHRIVE” aims to empower individuals to not only take advantage of support networks, but promote personal growth through self-sustainment and capability. We don’t want you to just “bounce back” from adversity—we want you to be able to emerge stronger and healthier than ever before so that life’s next hurdles don’t seem insurmountable. We want our Sailors to thrive, not just survive.