Raising Resilience When Times Get Tough
Updated: May 6
If there's one thing that's certain in life, it's that it has a nasty habit of tripping you up. And whilst some people bounce back easily, others struggle to rebound from even the smallest of knock-backs.
When it comes to business, that's virtually suicide. If you're in it for the long-game, you simply have to learn how to deal with setbacks resiliently. Because if you can't, you'll just give up at the first hurdle.
I talk a lot about how confidence is having the self belief to turn your amazing thoughts and ideas into some kind of positive and consistent action..
Resilience is all about that consistency.
Resilience is your ability to adapt and recover. It's dealing with the unexpected. It's pivoting when plans change and it's remaining forward focussed rather than lurking in the past.
According to the psychologist Susan Kobasa, resilient people are invariably great at doing three things:
A) They focus on the challenge rather than the problem and look for opportunities over threats. They are also able to detach themselves from their outcomes. So something went wrong? It doesn't mean YOU are a failure, it just means that something you did didn't work.
B) They are committed. Not just to their work, but their friends, families, causes and passions. But they are also committed to themselves and their own wellbeing.
C) They take control. They let go of things they can't affect and focus on the things they can. They put their efforts where they will have the most impact rather than waste them ruminating.
Do you see yourself in the description?
Last year, I hosted a Q&A on my wonderful community with an amazing guest speaker who embodied resilience. She literally oozed it out of every pore!
Shockingly, she had endured every parent’s worst nightmare when her young son was diagnosed with an incurable life-limiting condition.
However, she had turned that despair and anger into positive action. By switching her state of mind and taking control, she was able to start making choices and to fight for the care her son deserved. She also worked tirelessly to raise the profile of his condition and empower the families who have also received that same devastating news.
In short, she developed a resilience that not only enabled her to cope (and indeed thrive), but to help others cope in the toughest times too.
She highlighted that resilience isn’t something you’re born with, but it’s something that you can learn and develop -when you put your mind to it.
With the right strategies, you can absolutely build your resilience.
Here are ten tips to help you do just that.
Your Ten Point Plan for Raising Resilience
1) Accept your situation. It might not be what you hoped for or planned, but that’s okay. Acceptance is the first step to moving on. I regularly hear, ‘but I shouldn’t worry about X as some people have it far worse than me’. The truth is, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you acknowledge and accept the root cause of your situation.
2) Understand that there's no such thing as failure, only feedback. People aren't perfect, plans go awry, situations go tits-up. When things don't go as we hoped, the best thing we can do is learn from it and move on. (A mistake repeated more than once isn't a mistake, it is a decision.)
3) Recognise that you’ve made it through tough times already. Think back to how you survived them. What could you do again? What strengths do you have that you can draw upon? Who did you turn to for support?
4) Build your ‘tower of power’! Resilient people always seek support. As our wonderful guest speaker put it, you need to start building your ‘tower of power’ and call on those people who will listen and help when you need it the most. Your tower may consist of friends, family or professionals, but the old adage that a problem shared is a problem halved exists for a reason. (And there’s a very good reason why fewer women commit suicide than men – women tend to have stronger support networks.)
5) Resist the temptation to look too far back or forwards.
Resilience is about living in the here and now. Lamenting the past or ruminating on the future during tough times is rarely productive and can waste valuable mental energy.
6) Take action.
The most resilient people know that even within the worst situations, there are always choices to be made. Considering the possibilities and choosing a course of action puts you back in the driving seat and helps you regain a sense of control.
7) Know that you can't control other people..
People can be unpredictable. It's what makes us human. Whilst we can't control those around us, our reaction to those around us is entirely in our control.
8) Be around positive people.
Learn to recognise who adds the blocks to your tower of power and who takes them away. Positivity is infectious.
9) Give yourself permission to rest.
It’s hard to be resilient when you’re totally knackered or mentally exhausted. Your brain needs rest as much as your body.
10) Know that what doesn’t kill you makes you mentally stronger.
You’ll be more resilient in the future and better prepared for life’s knock backs. Sometimes it takes the bad to recognise the good in yourself and see what you are truly capable of.
Need some help raising your resilience?
Then click here to book you free virtual cuppa where we'll brainstorm your confidence action plan. How good would that feel?