The Antifragile Mindset – why resilience isn’t enough in the face of a global pandemic

Dana Klisanin, writing in her Digital Altruism blog as hosted by Psychology Today:

“If COVID-19 hadn’t canceled travel around the world, I’d be headed to London to speak about a topic that has become increasingly timely—antifragility—a powerful concept introduced by author Nassim Nicolas Taleb in his book, Antifragile: Things that Gain From Disorder1. In a nutshell, antifragility means to get stronger in the face of stressors. Taleb explains: 

‘Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.’

Right now, the pandemic is wreaking havoc on our systems—collective systems and personal routines are undergoing major shocks. Many of us are experiencing personal and collective anxiety, as well as an increase in stress, depression, feelings of hopelessness, panic, and grief. These feelings are normal responses to trauma of this magnitude. But it is important to recognize that we don’t have to give in to such feelings. We have a choice. At this crucial moment of systemic stress, we can choose to develop an antifragile mindset and grow stronger …”

You can read more from here.

1 Taleb, N.N. (2012). Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder. New York: Random House.

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1 Comment

  1. Jay A. J. Shuck

    Good thoughts. That which does not kill you makes you stronger, as the old saying goes.


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