Letter From the Editor: Reliciency is a Superpower

By Cindy Fertsch

“What’s your bounce back factor?” the fitness trainer asked me. She explained that a “bounce back factor” indicates how quickly you get back on track after messing up. She dubbed it the single most important indicator of success. “No matter how much you train or exercise, or how perfectly you eat, at some point, you will slip up. What will make or break you is how quickly you can get back on track.”

     This simple truth applies to everything in life.  How many times have I tried something new and fallen short of my goal?  I could easily tell myself the story of, “I can’t. I’m not good enough,” or “I had a bad day. I’m going to try harder or differently tomorrow.” The latter option provides an opportunity for a solid bounce back.
     Resilience is the quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, resilient people find a way to rise above their circumstances. Your resilience matters more and is more indicative of success than any other quality.
     I’ve learned that life is messy and rarely goes as planned. If we graphed our progress towards any achievement, it would be rare to see a straight line of improvement. Most often, success is measured in steps: one forward, two back, four forward, one back, and on and on… The setbacks are opportunities for us to up our game and try again.
     I recently had the honor of meeting the newly crowned Miss New Jersey, Kaitlyn Shoeffel. I am so proud to have Schoeffel represent not only my state, but my hometown of Egg Harbor Township, as she goes on to compete in the Miss America Pageant. Schoeffel has proven herself to have supreme resilience. She competed for Miss New Jersey and lost, not once, not twice, but five times before winning the competition on her sixth try. Without her bounce back factor, she would have never realized her full potential. You can read more about Schoeffel’s journey to the crown in this issue of Shore Local Newsmagazine on page ____.
     Resilience is a superpower known to many of the most accomplished in all fields. Babe Ruth wrote, “It’s hard to beat a person who never quits.” As parents, we spend a lot of time and energy making sure our kids get good marks: that they do well in school; that they’re honest, polite, and confident; that they’re actively involved in clubs and sports. I never thought about whether my children were resilient. If I received a do-over on certain aspects of my parenting, I would cringe less at the failures my kids faced and see them more as opportunities to foster resilience. “Be a tryer,” I would emphasize. Tryers make great employees and leaders because their defeats are never really defeats, only setbacks on their road to even greater accomplishments.
     As we celebrate the 4th of July this week, it’s important to remember that America was built on the backs of our very resilient ancestors.  The Revolutionary War posed many setbacks and disappointments to the Patriots, especially early on. How different our lives would be if our forefathers had given up when the going got tough.  Instead, they were resilient. They persevered until they defeated the Red Coats and gained independence from British rule. May God Bless those brave soldiers that fought for our freedom, as well as for the brave soldiers that are still fighting for it today. May God Bless America, today and always.

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