4-Steps to Acquiring a Resilient Mindset

The popular definition of resilience is bouncing back from adversity. The truth is this is just one of the 4-steps required to activating a resilient mindset.


1. Engage

The first and most important step to activating resilience is engaging with adversity. Without engagement there is no resilience. If you avoid that tough conversation, deny the harsh reality of your job or run from adversity you fail the first test of being resilient – facing your fears head on. To see if you ‘face’ or ‘flee’ adversity, check out my blog on emotional avoidance


2. Sustain

A second quality of resilience is persistence. Resilient individuals are able to sustain their actions or performance. This might mean delivering on a really tight deadline or continuing to stand your ground in a conversation, even though you are being criticized. Think about this for a second. When the going gets tough or the emotional temperature in an argument rises, what do you do? Do you become how you feel and lose your composure, or do you maintain your emotional equilibrium and keep going? To learn more about ‘sustaining’ your performance take a look at my 4 ways to prevent the hassle slowing down your hustle.


3. Rebound

The third piece of a resilient mindset is the ability to rebound from a tough or difficult situation. Resilience isn’t about being invulnerable: it’s about being human; about failing; about sometimes needing to disengage. For example, you’re depleted by pulling an all nighter or emotionally bruised from a difficult encounter and you need to heal and decompress. Resilient individuals are able to rebound and re-engage quicker than the average.


4. Learn

The final piece of the puzzle is learning. Without learning you might cope with adversity but you won’t be resilient. Resilience requires that you learn and find meaning in the experience. There are two ways to do this.

  • The first is to ‘bracket’ time during a difficult event. You can do this by being mindful and asking yourself, ‘what’s really going on here?’, ‘why am I feeling so anxious?’, ‘how have I allowed myself to be emotionally hooked by what’s happening?’ Bracketing an event allows you the time and space to learn.
  • The second opportunity (and most common) is to reflect on what you can learn from the experience. This isn’t an opportunity for a beat down. It’s a chance to acknowledge what worked (there is always something) and be honest about what didn’t (calling him a jerk probably didn’t help de-escalate the situation).

Being resilient is a state-of-mind. Next time you are in a tough spot remember how to activate your resilient mindset.


Want to learn how to activate your resilience? Check out my free course.

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