Resilience is our ability to bounce back when things don't go as planned. Resilient people don’t wallow or dwell on failures; they acknowledge the situation, learn from their mistakes, and then move forward. Resilience has been rated as one of the most important personality traits for success and happiness.
So how do you know you have it? Well, here’s where the problem lies. If you are lucky enough to never experience any sort of adversity, we won’t know how resilient you are. You need it when you are faced with challenges, stressful situations or threats. When you are in the thick of it, it’s not something you can just stock up with at the supermarket.
The three elements that make someone resilient are perspective in moments of challenge, dedication & commitment, and personal accountability & control - all things we can find within ourselves if our minds were open enough!
Viewing difficulties as hurdles rather than walls, as barriers rather than paralyzing events. Being able to see stepping stones rather than obstacles. Seeing Challenges as opportunities to grow, seeing failures as lessons to learn from.
Dedication & Commitment
Being committed towards your life & goals gives you a purpose, so when those obstacles do become evident your reason for pushing through those barriers is much easier to find. When you do achieve those goals, knowing you have overcome the adversity makes the fruit all the more sweeter. Find that reason to get out of bed every morning.
Personal accountability & control
“Give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.”
- Reinhold Niebuhr
When we spend time worrying about things that are out of our control, it can drain the energy and confidence. Rather than wasting precious minutes fretting over what may happen in an unpredictable future, focus on situations you can change, and what you can do to make it better.
So what steps can you take now to improve your resilience, in preparation for when that curveball inevitably gets thrown at you?
- Ask for help. Many people mistakenly believe that soldiering on and figuring it out on your own is what resilience is all about, but in truth, having the strength and wisdom to reach out for support in difficult times is the most important step to getting through whatever life throws at you.
- Remind yourself that nothing is permanent. For every bad time there is a good one on the way.
- In hard times, focus on routine, and in particular ensure that routine includes at least one element of self care, whether that be exercise, alone time, meditation, eating or sleeping well.
- Explore community. That could mean hanging out with friends, joining a community project or a networking group, trying a new sport or hobby. It could just mean reaching out to a new facebook group. Not sure where to start? We highly recommend somewhere like MeetUp or Eventbrite.
- Give yourself time to adjust, but then make a plan and take action. Don’t dwell or stagnate for too long, as it take be harder to get out.
Becoming more resilient takes time and practice. If you don't feel you're making progress — or you don't know where to start — feach out for mental health support. We recommend our partners The Black Dog Institute.