Now more than ever, we need to keep pushing. People have found themselves in tough situations and right now resilience may be the best trait to possess.
If you’re anything like me, you can be a very anxious person. Fear and doubt creep in, making it hard to continue toward your goal. This happens to me after three weeks at the gym, when results aren’t immediate. Or when I’m apply for jobs, sending out dozens of applications, and getting zero responses. When results aren’t immediate, I tend to struggle.
Self improvement often takes patience, an area where I’ve always struggled. I often get to the point where I need to push myself further than I’d like. The ability to recover after doubt and failure builds resilience. Anyone trying to persevere during struggles should focus on building resilience because there will be bumps in the road. Sometimes those bumps are a simple “no,” other times the bump is a global pandemic.
In an odd way, this turns negative situations into a positive. Not that I’d choose the struggle simply to build resilience, but when I don’t have a choice, I’m trying to become a mentally stronger person. With awareness and focus, we have many ways to build qualities leading us to become more resilient.
1. Know What’s In Your Control. Know What Isn’t.
Resilient people are able to continue pushing forward because they take control. To do this, they acknowledge some things are out of their control, but many factors are in their control. When facing adversity, they focus on the things they can control.
The key here is to have some sense of direction. Frustrations often happen due to elements beyond our control and people tend to be blinded by misfortune. When you focus on the elements in your control, you can construct a plan B. Not everything work out in your favor, an resilient people want to focus on being productive.
2. Focus on Mini Goals
Success doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it takes a lot of work. Resilient people are often able to keep working toward their goal because they set smaller goals and sustain momentum by hitting them. Then they hit their next small goal, then the next, until their overall objective has been accomplished.
If you want to become a millionaire, you’re going to have to start with $100. Then you need to get $1,000. Once you hit $1,000 you’re only 0.1% of the way to your end goal, but it’s still an achievement worth celebrating. Perhaps the difficulty to hit your next goal will vary, but they key is to maintain steam and recognize that all progress is good progress.
Resiliency is often built by doing grunt work over and over. Celebrate repetition, even if you’re the only one who notices.
3. Know You’ll Survive
If you’ve ever been told to prepare for the worst but hope for the best, you’ve been told to build resilience. When most people consider giving up, the resilient people ask “what’s the worst the could happen?” Usually, the worst case scenario isn’t that bad, and almost always, you’ll survive.
If you know that you can endure the worst case scenario, it’s a little bit easier to push toward a goal. Often you will get frustrated, and that’s valid, but also temporary. Resilient people don’t let temporary emotions derail the time they’ve already invested.
Almost nothing comes easy in life, but usually you’re not even faced with the worst cast scenario. The fact that you’re prepared for the worst case scenario makes every minor setback seem trivial by comparison.
4. Internalize Feedback
When you feel stuck, or you feel you’re not making progress, an outside perspective can help. Anyone who is willing to comment on your situation has a different mindset than you. They don’t internalize failures in the same way, and perhaps they’ve overcome similar struggles. Sometimes an outside perspective is exactly what you need.
When you get feedback, take it personally, but in the best way possible. Resilient people know they can’t expect different results if they’re not willing to change. Someone who has invested enough time to understand your situation is going to give you advice that could contribute to your growth. It may be hard to accept that you have shortcomings or have made mistakes, but identifying these problems is the first step to changing them.
5. Never Forget Your Negative Emotions
Don’t live in the past, and allow everything in life to be negative. Conversely, completely ignore the negative is counterintuitive. If you want to change your life and better your situation, find a way to channel your negative emotions so you can take action when you’re in a more positive mindset.
Think of those pesky group projects you’ve been a part of, where you had do 90% of the work in your five person team. When you’re frustrated, don’t call your teammates and scold them, but doing the bulk of the work is not OK. Ask yourself, what would alleviate your frustrations? Remember that answer, and address it when you’re not going to curse out your teammates.
Negative emotions are a sign you need to change, and resilient people don’t act on impulse. They do acknowledge the pain of hardships and take steps to avoid it in the future.
6. Don’t Sacrifice Your Health
Resilient people persevere to become stronger, not to become a martyr. When they push through a lack of motivation it’s because they can focus on the end goal, even though it can be painful.
What they don’t do: lose sleep, live on fast food, or neglect their social lives. When you find yourself making poor lifestyle choices, it means you’re becoming consumed by work. In order to put your best effort forward, you need to be mentally and physically healthy. Find balance in your life, but if you tip the scales too far you’re going to burn out.
Put yourself in the situation when you can be successful. When you’re losing all of the pleasures in life, you’re not fighting for a worthy cause. Occasional sacrifices are OK, but when it becomes a habit, you’re doing something wrong.
Adopt a Resilient Mindset
No life is devoid of problems, and running aways from struggles never helps. To build resilience, you need to teach yourself to get back up when you’ve fallen down. To be resilient, know life will hand you problems and you can respond with solutions.
Living in 2020, we’re reminded that circumstances can easily change. Many people will need to postpone their goals or find alternate paths to success. These changes widespread, and no one is unique for struggling right now. The people who push though the struggles are the unique ones, as they are doing their best to put their fate in their own hands.
More than ever, we need to recognize what we can control and find a way to focus on goals. We’re often preoccupied with our struggles, but they’re not going to kill us. Life will go on, some people will become successful, and other people will fall into mediocrity. You want to be successful, so dedicate yourself to becoming resilient. You can accept that you’re not a victim, channel your emotions productively, and inch closer to your goals.
I am a writer, designer, and educator. This was originally posted on my website https://www.michaelbeausoleil.com/build-resilience/