Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.

Get Hardy

Keep the Faith: A Response to Eight Keys to Life Hardiness and Resilience

Be extraordinary; exercise Good Faith in solving your problems.

Posted Mar 05, 2012

I loved Professor Ni's PT article, Eight Keys to Life Hardiness and Resilience. In Key Seven, Ni rightfully addresses faith as an aspect of life hardiness and resilience. He says, "There are many ways to keep your faith alive, like faith in yourself." Today, I want to show you how faith comes from personality hardiness.

Good Versus Bad Faith

We have a choice in life to exercise good or bad faith over the things that happen to us. Hardy people exercise good faith over stressful situations. Good faith says,

"I have the power to find meaning in what has happened to me that helps me to grow, deepens my self-knowledge, helps me to live more authentically, and opens up new possibilities in living."

Good faith makes the glass half full rather than empty because of this specific understanding, rather than from false hope or by denying the stressfulness of the circumstance. Hence, the faith of hardiness is an action rather than inspiration alone.

Let me give you an example of Good versus Bad Faith, to show you what I mean. Cesar and his family had recently moved into a neighborhood that was being regentrified. Unfortunately, the neighborhood was still home to a teenage gang that hung out on the corner of Cesar's new residence. Cesar saw the teenage boys each morning as he left for work. He felt very uncomfortable leaving his wife and two young children home alone.

He was stressed and angry. He thought he was moving his family upward to a better life. But, now, he had to deal with this problem. The boys hung out together, smoking cigarettes and talking for hours.They were on the corner where Cesar lived when he left for work and when he came home. The teenagers had not done anything criminal, as of yet. But, Cesar was sure nothing good would come from this situation. He was so taken up with all of the bad things that could happen to his family that he could not concentrate at work and began to sleep poorly. He knew he had to do something soon.

Cesar grew up in a poor latino neighborhood. He had loving parents, but they did not know how to help Cesar to mainstream into the American culture. Cesar learned early that if he was going to succeed in life, he himself had to make it happen.This helped to strengthen his hardiness by learning early on that faith in himself involved taking constructive actions to turn adversity into possibility.

To make a long story short, Cesar enlisted his neighbors to start up a non-profit community center to get these teenage boys off the street. But, moreover, to provide the boys with resources to develop themselves. If Cesar had acted out of bad faith with regard to this problem, he may have angrily confronted the teenagers, telling them to get out of the neighborhood. Cesar would have worsened the tensions between the boys and the neighborhood residents, doing little to solve the problem.

When you act from good faith you solve problems in an extraordinary way. You see the full scope of the problem. Cesar understood that the teenage boys had a right to live in the neighborhood just as much as he did. Afterall, they were there first. His solution was extraordinary not because he helped to create a community center, but rather because he acted out of the faith that he had a solution that worked for everyone involved.

Thank you Professor Ni for your article. I hope I added to what you were suggesting here. Warm regards, Deborah.