In a world that can sometimes feel chaotic and overwhelming, resilience is a useful skill that will support you in bouncing back when things don’t go according to plan. 

Life can be unpredictable, throw you a curveball and feel “unfair.” People make mistakes, get stuff wrong and sometimes, despite your best efforts, things won’t always go according to your plan…

So what should you do? Stamp your foot, shout, scream, give up, retaliate or sulk? Well sometimes, any one of those responses is perfectly normal … but following an initial “outburst” how you move forward and “recover” from setbacks is an indication of how resilient you are. 

So, let’s take a look at 5 tips for becoming more resilient. These suggestions are intended to support you with the day to days stuff that can get you down. For life-changing events, please seek professional support and advice. 

Know yourself – What makes you tick?

Resilient people are self-aware and practise self-care. Understanding your triggers and recognising when you are unlikely to make a good decision is key. If lots of small things seem to be going wrong – is it that you are tired, hungry, need some downtime, fresh air or time out? Taking care of yourself and prioritising your physical and mental health is vital. This will enable you to put things into perspective and see a situation for what it is. 

Prioritise – What’s important?

Resilient people focus on what’s important, not “seemingly” urgent. Being time-efficient, organised and proactive will support you in better dealing with the seemingly inconsequential stuff that throws you off track. You can’t control everything… but taking control of what you can and putting systems in place to help you prioritise the important stuff will mean, that at least most of the time, you feel like you’re winning!

Accept responsibility and learn from experience

Are you able to acknowledge when you get something wrong and admit you made a mistake? Are you able to apologise, accept responsibility and try to put things right? That and being able to view setbacks as learning opportunities, evaluate a situation then move forward is a good indicator of how resilient you are. If you are unable to accept responsibility, always blame other people or “circumstances” for your misfortunes it is unlikely you will develop strategies for dealing with issues as nothing is “your fault..” 

Persevere (but know when to stop…)

‘Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour’ James Clear. In today’s fast-paced, “get it/have it now” orientated society it appears you can achieve anything faster. Resilient people recognise that sometimes you just have to work at it and that success isn’t a guaranteed outcome of your efforts. You might fail at something multiple times but learn from the process. Sometimes no amount of perseverance will achieve the desired result – know when enough is enough. Only you know when you can confidently walk away from something knowing you gave it your best shot.

Be flexible

It doesn’t always have to be your way or no way. Do you carry on regardless, despite someone suggesting a better alternative or continue to do something you set out to do even though – you’ve realised it just isn’t going to work…? Sometimes it’s difficult to be flexible, particularly when you’ve worked hard on a project or circumstances beyond your control mean something just can’t happen the way you had planned. Resilient people can deal with/adapt to change and move forward. Being flexible is about looking at a situation for what it is – appreciating that sometimes you have to do things differently and “not right now” doesn’t necessarily mean “not ever…” (although it might!) 

And finally…

Becoming resilient is a skill that requires practice and patience. Think about the people you know and how they deal with setbacks. Depending on peoples perspective, experiences and take on life – think about why is it that some people bounce back, achieve the unimaginable despite a, b and c and why others appear “stuck” unable to change tactic or move forward. Becoming more aware of “resilience” and what it looks like, may support you in developing a resilient attitude.