Self Improvement Skills

How To Be Resilient


Resilience (aka the Robert Bruce attitude) is our ability to bounce back from setbacks, how we deal with the tough times in life, and come back stronger afterwards.


Everyone among us has shown resilience one time or other in their life. Some may be more resilient than other, while some may be fragile. But everyone has resilience.


Other names for resilience include hardiness, mental toughness


1. Basic things that help build and maintain our resilience include the regular, common-sense stuff.


- Making realistic plans with sensible lists of tasks.

- Having a positive view of yourself.

- Knowing your abilities and strengths and being confident with them.

- Good communication and problem-solving skills (skills is the hallmark of the resilient person).

- Emotionally sound: Being able to control emotions, urges, outbursts etc - and not saying anything to make the situation even worse.

- Taking care of your mind and body, exercising regularly, meditating/practicing mindfulness/ being aware to your own needs and feelings.


There is no magic to being resilient people. We just need to follow the best practices, use the relevant skills and not lose our head (this is important), and we will come out okay.


2. Not losing our head is very important:


It is important to be able to laugh (at self, at the situation etc), and to look at the silver lining in every situation ('there are inches everywhere').


Resilient people have perspective. They take a long-term view of things, and put the stressful event in a broader context.


Have hopeful outlook, expect good things and visualize these good things happen (find out how it all happened).


3. There will be things we can control, and things beyond our control.


Epictetus said: 'There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.'


4. The 'internal locus of control' is not always right.


People who have this so-called 'internal locus of control' believe they can control events and their outcomes. They start to believe in the 'hubris'. For example, over-optimistic startup founders, running high on irrational optimism.


The world doesn't always run as per your 'calculations'. Sometimes, you may be lucky and find that you can control the outcome, but it won't be like this all the time.


5. It pays to have a stoic mindset.


The Stoics (Greek origin) believe only virtue (being good) and reason can guarantee our happiness, not things like money, success, or fame.


The Stoics said we can only control our judgment (reason) and our sense of good. Stoics believed in controlling the emotional response to events - there will be thing beyond our control and there is also a natural order of things, they said.


Grin, bear, and push on.


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