Building Resilience

flower growing in the middle of the road

Bouncing Back When Things Get Tough

Everybody experiences setbacks from time to time, and the ability to bounce back from them is the major difference between successful people and unsuccessful people. Resilience gives you a more positive outlook, reduces depression, increases work satisfaction, makes you able to work harder and more effectively, and improves your overall well-being. No matter who you are, no matter where you're at in your life, you can have all of these benefits. And that's because resilience isn't just something you're born with; it's something you can develop.

Building Resilience by Cultivating a "Growth Viewpoint"

Many people have what can be called a "fixed viewpoint" toward themselves. They see themselves as having certain innate traits and abilities that can't be changed, that are just a part of who they are. This viewpoint can let people feel confident that they know themselves, but it isn't something that builds resilience. On the contrary, it tends to lead to poor, unhelpful reactions to stress and hardship.

A "growth viewpoint" is much better. This is the viewpoint that lets you see yourself as a work in progress, a thing that is always changing, always able to improve, always in the process of learning. This viewpoint sees setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow and sees imperfections as things that can be changed. This attitude promotes resilience and the ability to adapt to even the most difficult circumstances.

To cultivate this attitude, take some time after any stressful event to debrief yourself. Explain to yourself how whatever failures or losses you experienced are opportunities to learn how to do better next time and that you have to lose to know how to win. Make sure to praise yourself for the effort you put in, not just the skills you have. Don't compare yourself to others; compare your present self to your past self. These self-debriefings will teach you better habits of thought that will lead to improved resilience.

Building Resilience with Treats

Stressful times require a lot from you, and it's easier to give a lot when you have more resources. And it's a lot easier to have a lot of resources when you treat yourself extra well. Give yourself more treats during this time, whether that means buying a book, eating cupcakes, going out dancing, or whatever else you enjoy. These special treats boost your mood and make it easier to keep on struggling.

Building Resilience through Social Engagement

Having friends makes it easier to be resilient. When times get tough, seek out supportive interactions with friends and family members. Share your burdens, ask for advice, and try to have fun. If you don't have nearby friends or family, try volunteering, taking a class, or doing something else to get yourself out around other people. The important thing is to not let yourself become isolated.

Building Resilience by Training Your Focus

Having a lot of focus is also an important key to resilience. It lets you do what you need to do without getting distracted by anxiety, stress, or depression. Practice meditation, deep breathing exercises, visualization techniques, and other techniques for improving your focus.

Resilience Is a Skill

Resilience is not an innate trait, it is a skill that can be learned. If you practice this skill, you'll find yourself much better off in so many ways.


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