Are You Fragile or Antifragile?

October 5, 2017 Robin Geddes No comments exist

Are You Fragile or Antifragile?

Have you ever wondered why some people can go from strength to strength in life, and others just seem to have one failure after another.

I don’t know about you but I’m more curious to know how successful people do what they do, than how people fail.

We often look at successful people and think their life looks so perfect on the outside but what we don’t see is all the work they have put in to get them where they are, and all the failure and often tragedy they have overcome, and still get them to where they are today – which brings me to – fragile vs antifragile.

  • Fragile – Fragile is something that can be broken easily by external force or stress. Just like some people can be more fragile – both physically and emotionally.
  • Robust – You may think that the opposite of fragile is robustness or strength, but just because something is more robust doesn’t mean it won’t break. Just like some people are stronger than others – both physically and mentally.
  • Antifragile – Antifragile on the other hand means the more stress you put onto something, the stronger it becomes. The more stress, turmoil and chaos you experience in life the stronger you become – both physically and mentally.

For example when I was sixteen years old I lost my left arm in an accident in my first week of work – 30 years later it is now one of my greatest strengths. It has forced me to be more resilient and allowed me to understand what many of the people I work with are going through. I know what it’s like to suffer trauma, I know what it’s like to experience a life changing event, I know what it’s like for my self-image to change overnight. All these experiences have made me who I am today – and help me relate so often to everyone I work with.

Human beings are antifragile by nature. When you get sick your immune system fights back and your immune system learns and produces antibodies so you are better prepared if you have to fight of the same infection next time.

When your body is put through intense physical exercise, you feel pain in your muscles as your body builds and repairs itself and you grow physically stronger.

The same goes for your mind. When you suffer mental pain through loss, illness or mental health, this pain can lead to personal growth. It was after losing a very close friend of mine that I eventually decided to become a life coach – after I suffered grief and loss I finally realised there was never going to be a perfect time to take action on my dream of becoming a life coach.

“A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement.” – Bo Bennett

The good news is you can learn to be more antifragile, by taking full responsibility for where you are in your life now. That’s not to say you blame yourself for any misfortune or suffering you have experienced, but by simply accepting where you are today, and if there are things you want to change then take action and change, because if you don’t, this time next year you will still be exactly where you are right now.

I know from my own life experiences and the experiences of others that the turmoil and chaos we all suffer from, fuels one of your greatest strengths; your innate antifragile nature.

I hope you have found this post helpful, if you would like to find out more on this subject, please check out the book Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Amazon Kindle edition below:

If you would like to work or connect with me please do so from any of the links below.

Take care Robin.


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