How to Develop Resilience, and Why You Should!

Grit, resilience and perseverance have become buzzwords of late. From psychologist Angela Duckworth’s impactful interview on NPR to feminist graphic designs—grit and resilience are being recognized as the most important traits for success.

Developing your resilience can be the key to not only success at work, but a well-balanced social, home and family life, as well as your own self-care.

Still, many people spend a lot of time focusing on skills—in school, on job resumes, even in what’s taught to children. While there is nothing wrong with honing skills, the way you wield those skills is vital. That is where resilience comes in.

Do you have resilience, an vital emotional intelligence toolThink of resilience like the way in which you use the tools you already have.

Resilience involves your ability to rebound from a defeat or setback. It is optimism and continued effort in spite of failure or struggle. Resilience works hand-in-hand with grit, which can be explained as the motivational drive that sustains your work ethic over time. You might see grit as the forward drive and resilience as the undaunted spark.

Cultivating the ability to rebound can help you:

  • Bounce back stronger from a harsh job review or layoff
  • Come up with new ideas quickly, even after one fails
  • Recover from a scathing emotional remark
  • Adapt to changing plans, whether on vacation or in a boardroom
  • Keep a positive outlook even amidst financial troubles or family drama

One of the best ways to practice the skill of resilience—because it is a practice—is to approach problems with a growth mindset. This is an outlook where you perceive challenges as opportunities to learn. It encourages an uplifting mindset that seeks to learn, rather than a defeatist view that shuts out innovation and resists change. Stanford University, together with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, published a study of Carol Dweck’s findings on tenacity in an academic setting. The results are powerful and strongly show that a growth mindset breeds resilience, and more resilience leads to success.

Building up your resilience a growth mindset is a daily, if not hourly, practice. Here are some of the many ways you can grow your own resiliency:

  • Intentionally relax to be more flexible when plans change
  • Set small, achievable goals to keep you striving
  • Take time to reflect and learn from your experiences
  • Find a sense of purpose that will help inspire you to move forward
  • Practice positive self-talk
  • Build a supportive social network
  • Practice problem-solving skills, like brainstorming other solutions even if you have one
  • Take decisive action when it’s right, rather than waiting to see what happens
  • Watch your language—use words that encourage or inspire you

Creative designer working onlineAll of these things can build and inspire you to get up when life inevitably knocks you down. If you’re curious about your own level of grit, Angela Duckworth has an online test you can take. Another great resource is the American Psychological Association’s Road to Resilience.

It is not easy to get up when you’ve been knocked down. Look at the financial crash of 2008 and how people are still recovering. Think back to a time when you experienced a break up or job loss. See the toll of criticism on a child who’s still developing their own skills. Yet, time and again, resilience proves to be the vital ingredient to overcoming challenges.

Just as in the quote from author Robert H. Schuller (that Regina Dugan’s TED talk later made famous) goes: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”

What could you achieve with the help of a little more resilience?

For skills in resiliency and to cultivate emotional intelligence, contact us today at Heartmanity.

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Enid R. Spitz / Heartmanity ContributorEnid R. Spitz / Heartmanity Contributor
Enid Spitz is a writer and yoga instructor based in Charleston, SC. She previously lived in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA, where she was a newspaper editor and researched yoga for Traumatic Brain Injury. Heartmanity combines Enid's passions for social wellbeing, neuroscience and yoga. When not writing or on the yoga mat, she is an avid traveller, enjoys a good whiskey, and loves being outdoors. Twitter: @enidrosalyn, Instagram: @littleyogibird.

Posted in Emotional Intelligence & Fitness

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