5 Tips to Build Your Resilience
With all the many virtues the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, resilience might just be the most important.
People tend to conflate resilience with toxic positivity, and it’s easy to understand why. For many, resilience tends to be something overglamorised, and they believe that celebrating resilience is the same as submission to bad situations, bad environments, and bad people. For them, resilience seems like just another buzzword that inhibits accountability to the things and people that lead us to bad places.
However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Resilience isn’t about believing that “things will always be bad.” It’s more a belief in the power of rising. It’s not subservience to bad circumstances because resilience is the ability to beat those situations.
So while I understand how annoying toxic positivity can be, resilience isn’t about brushing aside the bad things. It’s about understanding how to make things better, and that’s why I still believe the ability to battle adversity remains one of the most important skills a person can have.
But how do you develop it?
1) Practice Mindfulness
You might have heard of mindfulness in meditation or yoga videos, but it’s not just exclusive to sitting down on a yoga mat and searching for peace. Mindfulness is simply just the process of understanding the situation and relieving yourself of the burden of control.
How does this help in resilience? For starters, it keeps you present-oriented. You focus on where you are instead of all your past mistakes or all your overthinking about the future. When practising mindfulness, you remind yourself of what’s in front of you, which really is the only thing you can control.
Also, staying mindful allows you to confront your feelings about the bad situation you’re in. That closure helps because you’re able to recognise it and move on. Practising mindfulness means you’re not bottling up anything or denying how you feel, which will help you get back on your feet because there’s less baggage you need to carry on your way back up.
2) Keep Things in Perspective
“Without vegetables, would we ever know how good chocolate tastes?”
I’ve heard variations of that line repeated in books and movies, and while I’m a vegetable apologist, I also think there’s a lot of truth to that hypothetical question.
Of course, bad things are bad, and good things are good. I’m not here to judge how difficult or upsetting something is for anybody, but I can say with certainty that keeping things in perspective is massively important when developing resilience. What I mean by this is that in developing our resilience, we have to start thinking outside the binary of “good” and “bad,” and start viewing things as relative to each other.
For example, sure, it’s frustrating to be stuck in traffic, and it’s okay to be upset about that, but it still isn’t as bad as not having a car, to begin with. Sure, it’s frustrating not to get promoted at work, but it still isn’t as bad as not having a job in the first place.
It’s in appreciating these things and maintaining perspective on how life could be different that we develop true resilience. Because while bad things happen and it’s okay to be upset about them, having a little gratitude can go a long way in learning how to move forward and stay resilient.
3) Reframe Failures
When I was a kid, I used to hate failure so much. It was so bad that it got to the point that when my brother was beating me in arcade games, I’d simply walk away, and refuse to give him the satisfaction of victory. I dreaded failure, and it consumed me for the longest time. But eventually, I realised I had to man up and try beating him instead of quitting, and at some point, I did, even if it took me so long to accept that I might have to lose to get there.
So, while failure is a part of human life, I can personally attest that it is definitely a very sucky one. Even the smallest failures tend to be painful in a cringey way, but the biggest failures can sometimes be life-altering and even debilitating.
But dealing with failure is also where one learns to develop resilience. And it starts with being able to reframe failures as learning experiences. When you develop your resilience, you also have to develop the skill of learning from your mistakes. When you learn from your mistakes, you choose to not let bad experiences have power over you. You start recognising that bad experiences are power in themselves because they teach you how to manoeuvre future situations that might be just as bad, or even worse.
So now, every time I see my brother, and he congratulates me on my success, I make sure to thank him right back for teaching me how to fail because now I know how to win.
4) Be Solution-Oriented
It’s often said that it’s not the destination that matters, but more so the journey. And while that’s true in many cases, sometimes when you’re building resilience, it helps to think the opposite.
When you have a singular goal in mind, you start realising that it doesn’t matter how long it takes, or how many setbacks you have to deal with. Your mind is focused on the goal, andwhat’s important is achieving it. That’s why resilience often necessitates thinking about yourself, and thinking about your long-term plans, and giving yourself the leeway to achieve those goals.
At the same time, being solution-oriented also doesn’t have to be as big as that. It can also manifest in simpler, more manageable ways. For example, when something goes wrong, instead of letting it affect your self-esteem, the more solution-oriented approach would be to ask “okay, how can we fix this?”
When you develop that mindset of both finding an out and focusing on a goal, there’s nothing that can stop you on your path to success.
5) Have a Good Support System, Including Yourself
If you find yourself stagnating, unable to get back up, and treating yourself like the victim, it might also be time to look at the people in your life.
In order to be the best person you can be, you need to have a good support system. When it comes to resilience, that entails people who want the best for you and want to see you back on your feet — not people who will encourage self-pitying and self-sabotaging behaviour.
But of course, having a support system can only go so far if you don’t have self-confidence. To develop resilience, you need to tell yourself you can and deserve to bounce back from hardships. Take advice and listen to your friends when they try to help you. Resilience starts where treating yourself with pity ends, and that’s why you need to always remember the best support system is yourself.
To your success,
[Visit www.mariosingh.com now to enjoy a FREE e-book of my latest “37 Essential Principles for Massive Success” when you subscribe!]
Originally published at https://mariosingh.com on August 25, 2021.