How do you cope when things go wrong?
Plus, why is it that some people are better at bouncing back from setbacks than other people?
The answer is all down to RESILIENCE…..
It’s a buzz word in the self-development industry at the moment because thankfully its recognised that life isn’t perfect and things do go wrong, fairly regularly.
Famously, Steve Jobs was fired by Apple early on his career. Stephen King had 30 rejections for his first book Carrie and Oprah Winfrey was told was would never make it as TV presenter and the list goes on, J K Rowling, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein……
What do all of these people have in common? Why did they all eventually succeed? What can they all teach us about?
What is Resilience?
I like the definition from Mind UK:
“There may be times or situations in our lives that are more difficult than others. The capacity to stay mentally well during those times is what we call ‘resilience’.
Resilience is not simply a person’s ability to ‘bounce back’, but their capacity to adapt in the face of challenging circumstances, whilst maintaining a stable mental wellbeing.
We believe resilience is something that can change over time and that we, as individuals, have the power to change it. We believe that resilience can be taught, and learned, and that the elements that build resilience can be introduced into everyday life.”
Character Traits of a Resilient Person?
Resilient people approach life in a more optimistic way and generally display the following traits:
- Stay focussed in times of stress.
- Can see the funny side.
- Not defeated by failure.
- Learn from bad experiences.
A resilient person doesn’t have to have a natural disposition for resilience btw.
Some lucky people do of course, but many people have adopted the above traits through self-development and experience.
You can too.
How to Build Resilience
- Don’t React – When something goes wrong, don’t react on auto-pilot. It will be a natural instinct to react, don’t. Force yourself not to react on impulse and to observe how you’re feeling and analyse what’s happened. Take yourself off somewhere to calm down on your own.
- Alternative – If you’re tempted to react badly, think about the consequences to that. How is acting poorly going to help you? If you’ve got to release tension or negative energy then fine, but go and punch a pillow or go for a long drive and scream n shout.
- Don’t Dwell – Whatever has happened, has happened, there is nothing you can do to change that. It’s important that you accept this. It’s natural to feel upset or angry, but consciously don’t let it take over you. Be strict with yourself. Don’t dwell on it. Move on.
- Temporary – “This too shall pass” is a famous saying and it’s worth remembering it. When something goes wrong try to remember that you will overcome it, you will make it through.
- Future – Think into the future to calm your mind. How important will this problem be to you in 5, 10, 20 year’s time?
- Opportunity – Reframe your mindset and accept that change is part of life and look for the opportunities in what has happened. Where can this new direction lead you? Look for the positives.
- Network – Surround yourself with positive people and take the counsel of someone you trust and ask their advice
I will leave you with J K Rowling who is the perfect example of someone who developed resilience through failure.
In her famous 2008 Harvard Commencement Speech, she told the audience that before Harry Potter “I was the biggest failure I knew.” She then of course went on to famously discuss the benefits of failure, she said:
“Why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was. I was set free; my greatest fear had been realised. And so, rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. Some failure in life is inevitable. It’s impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” – J K Rowling.