Resilience (or resiliency) is our ability to “bounce back” and adapt when situations don’t go as planned.
Resilient people don’t let failures or setbacks get them down; they acknowledge the situation, find opportunities for learning and growth, and move forward with a positive outlook.
The Three Elements of Resilience
There are three elements that are help determine a person’s resilience:
Resilient people view difficulty as challenges instead of paralyzing events. They see failures and mistakes as opportunities to grow, and to learn valuable life lessons. They don’t see challenges and stress as negative reflections of their abilities or self-worth.
Resilient people are committed to their life and their goals. They may not jump out of bed with excitement every single day, but overall they feel motivated, excited, and invigorated by their work, relationships, friends, the causes they care about, and more.
3. Personal control
Resilient people focus their energy and attention on aspects of their lives that they can control and change. Because they focus their energies where they have the greatest positive effect, they feel empowered and in control of their own lives.
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Four Steps to Finding Resilience From Within
One of the fastest ways to build resilience is to accept that change is the only constant in life, and changing how we react to change is the most impactful thing we can do to limit how it affects us.
Below are four steps you can take to start finding resilience from within, taken from our new book “Emotional Intelligence: Your Foundation for Success”:
1. Change Your Beliefs
A significant part of our resistance to change is overcoming irrational fears. Ask yourself:
- What emotions am I associating with this situation?
- Are these thoughts positive or negative?
- What do I believe will happen?
- Are those beliefs realistic?
2. Get Focused
Instead of dwelling on negative emotions and fears, take action and set new goals by asking yourself:
- What are my goals for getting through this process?
- What beliefs do I need to change to overcome my emotions?
3. Reduce Uncertainty
Anticipating change is one of the key factors to overcoming our fears and anxieties. Ask yourself:
- What do I expect will happen?
- How do these expectations make me feel?
- What steps can I take to prepare for these changes and to manage my emotions?
4. Replace Ambiguity With Information
Though it might be difficult, do your best to embrace the process and apply a critical lens to make sure you have as much information about a situation as possible. Ask yourself:
- What information do I have?
- How can I collect this information, or gather more if needed?
- When will I start?
Consider these experiences as opportunities to learn, and to keep learning. After all, learning is an ongoing process and every situation we encounter is another opportunity to build our skills and become more resilient as a result.
Find Your Resilience: Next Steps
The steps above will help you re-frame challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.
For more exercises to find resilience from within, pick up your copy of our book “Emotional Intelligence: Your Foundation for Success.”
You can also register for our Leading with Resilience course and build the skills to successfully recover from any setback.