The example shows how the process does not stop after the consequences of the beliefs you create due to the activating events. Reflecting on this process shows me the strength that things can change whenever you put them into a new perspective. Yet, I still felt fragile in my newfound perspectives and I did not know why. For that reason, I decided to continue my search and objectify the current activating events.
Nassim Taleb (2014) advocates the concept of antifragility – things that gain from disorder. Taleb (2014) claims that some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder and other stressors. This makes antifragility go beyond resilience. Resilience resists shocks and grows back to its original form; the antifragile gets better (Street, 2021). A well-known example is a fight between Hercules and the Hydra. Every time he slices off one of her heads, two grow back. Every time the beast is hurt, it gets stronger.
Antifragility allows us to deal with unknown situations and execute them well. This shows that we are better at doing than we are at thinking, thanks to antifragility. In essence, the concept explains that you learn from mistakes that you and others make to outgrow your capacities by taking risks and expose yourself to stressors.
The discussion of values
Taleb (2014) opens the discussion of how we can respond to stressors that we cannot affect. I can find myself in his theories, yet I struggle with my values in this. I understand that for a big and complex system, the benefit of stock and thrive in volatile environments since the pressure can open new opportunities. Transformation cannot happen when everyone follows the same pattern. For example, evolution itself is incredibly antifragile. We have evolved from our ancestors based on the genetic features and traits which helped us survive the most and succeed. However, that also meant many humans before had to die.
In this example, I touch upon a very important value. It shows that people have to fail for others to flourish. For that reason, I have a value conflict since I do not want others to not succeed for something else to grow. Yet, this is the way how the system works. We need a new approach to leading ourselves and other people through times of change that is different from how we used to lead ourselves. And still, I believe resilience is crucial for this. Resilience, on a personal level, can help you to feel whole – you are stronger than you think. Resilience on a group level is the foundation that wants to expand by the power of people – co-creation.
How did this help me?
The concept of antifragility helped me dispute unhealthy beliefs and replace them with rational and more effective ways of thinking. I gained new perspectives on the topic of what resilience means for me. This made me realise that I was stuck in a pattern of believing that resilience was the perfect outcome to feel better. Yet, it is a tool of becoming. I mean that in essence, you are already strong enough, only sometimes you have to work a little bit harder to get through your perceptions and patterns.
I learned that by accepting that some things do not work, you eventually become stronger. You learn to value new things in life such as the mundane moments. But you also learn to appreciate yourself. With that said, I leave my old pattern of always saying that everything is fine. I want to learn from the things that do not work out the first time. And of course, learning is not something you do on your own and in which you reach your goals in the upcoming hours or days.
Ellis, A. (1991). The revised ABC’s of rational-emotive therapy (RET). Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 9(3), 139–172. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf01061227
Selva, J. B. (2021, February 17). Albert Ellis’ ABC Model in the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Spotlight. Retrieved 16 April 2021, from https://positivepsychology.com/albert-ellis-abc-model-rebt-cbt/
Street, F. (2021, March 4). A Definition of Antifragile and its Implications. Retrieved 16 April 2021, from https://fs.blog/2014/04/antifragile-a-definition/
Taleb, N. N. (2014). Antifragile. New York, United States: Penguin Random House.