Resilience is a powerful skill to have in your figurative toolbox. There's irony in the notion that while resilience allows you to overcome adversity, the strongest way to build resilience is to experience it in a way that pushes you beyond your perceived limits. In order to become stronger, you first have to feel weak. Pretty similar to breaking down in order to break through (and then build up), no?
The first article I had the pleasure of writing as an Expert Advice columnist for REFINED Magazine explored the concept of resilience, and I highly recommend you give it a read. I actually had someone call me after reading the article, posing the not-possible-to-answer-in-a-single-phone-call question of, "Brett, how do I become more resilient?" It was interesting to have that conversation, though, because it got me to thinking about what steps you can take right now as you work on building your resilience. The process isn't one that happens overnight, but I'd like to share three really great ways to get you moving down the right track!
Look at adversity through a new lens
When faced with a challenge, it's very easy to get bogged down, and begin looking at all the ways you can't overcome it. That's natural; we all do it. The difference for those who are resilient is that they don't spend very much time in that mindset before making a shift. Look at the challenge in front of you not as an impediment, but as a moment (or series of moments) for growth and learning. Ask yourself, "What am I going to learn from this?", or, "How is facing this challenge going to make me stronger?", and focus on the answers. It's not about shutting your eyes, plugging your ears, and running around pretending that the challenge isn't a challenge. Rather, it's about having the willpower to look for the positive lining that exists in almost all negative situations, making that your focus, and moving forward confidently in yourself.
Think about what you're heading towards, and remember your 'why'
We've discussed toward vs. away thinking many times together, and it's absolutely relevant when building adversity. The slight twist that adversity puts on you, though, isn't that you end up focusing on what you're moving away from, but rather, that you're not capable of achieving what you want. Remind yourself of your ultimate goal -- your endgame -- and draw strength from that. You set out to accomplish it in the first place, so it must hold value for you! When you find yourself staggering against the push of seemingly-overwhelming adversity, it also helps to remember your 'why'. Why you set out to accomplish your goal in the first place. Why it's important for you to overcome the adversity. Why you're going to be a better and stronger person because of what you learn along the way. A strong 'why' is the platform you spring towards success from.
Keep your language positive, and pair it with action
Positive language is incredibly powerful. Our default inner dialogue tends to swing towards the negative, so purposefully and intentionally choosing positive language encourages us in the right direction. By developing a strong, empowering, and positive dialogue surrounding yourself and what you plan on accomplishing, take decisive actions forward. When met with adversity, remind yourself of the skills, resources, and tools you have available, and put them to use. Because adversity has a tendency to slow us down to a stop, use positive language and action to keep your momentum going. You may still slow down, but won't end up sliding backwards.
By no means is this a comprehensive list of all that's necessary to build resilience. However, employing these three techniques can definitely get you on your way. Remember that the process of creating resilience in your life is one of growth and change -- neither of which come instantaneously. It's about staying committed to the process, believing in yourself, and using the resources available to you (like working with a coach, perhaps...) to build the inner fortitude and strength you desire.