The Success-Magic Of Practicing Resilience!

Jun 3, 2017 | Creativity


When you’re knocked down in some way, bouncing back and shaking it off is the thing to do, right?

We all know this, right?!

And sometimes it’s so easy.  Just so easy, boom, onto the next.

But, when something’s really knocked the wind out of me, it’s not always easy to just hit the “reset” button and move forward on an easy breeze.  And, when I have done it, there are times where a kind of reverberation of the shock of the past seeps into the present moment and makes things that should be simple far more fraught with stress.

It’s way easy to follow a time of success with more success, but after an apparent fail, those major times to learn lessons and grow, it can be tempting to get attached to that momentary dive and do so much to focus upon it that it grows to be larger than life.

My best friend is raising and coaching his golf champion daughter.  When the first hole isn’t that awesome, there are two ways things can go… learning, correcting, and catching up or… freaking out, starting over and freaking out some more.  Of course, she is a wise young lady and chooses the first option.

I relate to the latter one, much more!  I like it to be great experience then more great experience and when you toss in a not great experience… ugh…I want a “do-over” so it can all be so much stronger and better!!

But, we don’t really get do-overs, do we?

Just right now, where we are, we get a chance to change things as we move forward. And, that’s a life skill that’s epic.  It’s what creates champion athletes, great artists and strong people who aren’t swayed by the winds of  daily hiccups or even big events off their course…

It may not be the preferred path, to have to bounce back, but it’s the kind of skill that lends itself to a much easier, far more confident, far more powerful life.


I don’t know how many times I’ve heard some version of the words “ You can’t control life but you can control your reactions to life.”

But… then, sitting in that moment where you have to make a comeback, repair something, reinvent something, start fresh or build anew… that idea of being in control can be elusive.

So many emotions, so many thoughts, maybe some regret, maybe some anger…

Or… there’s resiliency. Bouncing back… and NOT looking backward. 

Want to become more resilient? Need to become more resilient right about now? 

You can absoultely do it!

The APA’s main resources explain that you can practice resilience:

“Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.”

Resilience is the ability to overcome adversity, trauma, problems with relationships and financial troubles. It’s the ability to cope with stressors in your environment and “bounce back”.

A long-term study on 99 men conducted at Harvard University tested the effects on a person’s viewpoint of negative life events. This involved either seeing the negative event as fixed and unchangeable or temporary and able to change. They found that the latter mindset – seeing negative situations as subject to change not only yielded healthier individuals, but these people were more resilient.

Becoming more resilient is actually not a hard-won, painfully-gained skill.  The ingredients of reslience are enjoyable and inspiring! 

Positive thinking and seeing the light in things is everything.   Barbara Fredrickson, PhD and professor of psychology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of the book, Positivity, found through her research program that, “Resilient people are characterized by an ability to experience both negative and positive emotions even in difficult or painful situations, she says. They  mourn losses and endure frustrations, but they also find redeeming potential or value in most challenges.”

Be good to yourself.  Everyone has moments where things aren’t 100%. 

Sleepless, it’s hard to be excited about a new chapter or a comeback or the solutions that may take some reflection to find.  It’s also hard to be resilient when you’re blaming yourself or locked in an imbalanced lifestyle.

Sheri Van Dijk, MSW, a psychotherapist in Sharon, Ontario, Canada, believes that living a balanced life emotionally and physically allows an individual to be more resilient. This includes getting a good sleep at night, free of interruptions, eating foods rich in nutrients, physical exercise, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.

Kicking sugar also helps in a big way where your brain and body and moods are concerned.

Be easy on yourself.  

I know, you’ve probably been shown that self-punishment is the only way to learn a lesson, but that’s not just untrue, it also doesn’t create real solutions to move forward.  Dr. Leslie Becker Phelps, Ph.D is an advocate of  “compassionate self-awareness” which embodies being aware of your emotions, thoughts, thinking patterns and being sensitive and compassionate towards yourself.

Taking initiative to understand and honor your emotions will help you be able to view to the problem areas and be better able to confront and change your life.

Find way more to be greateful for, including all your talents and accomplishments.  

According to Psychology Today, “7 Ways Mentally Strong People Bounce Back”, people who express gratitude are not only grateful for new challenges and opportunities, but have a forward thinking mentality and understand the lessons required in life to move ahead and change their situation. This can include setting goals to live a better life and be a better person.

All this said, if you’re idling or feeling stuck after a percieved failure or defeat and you’re not sure the next move… the best move may be lots of self-love and some perspective.  From there, you can start reconnecting to all your greatness, moving forward in new ways and feeling amazing as you build that genius resilience and bounce back better than ever!



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