Resilient You: The art of becoming resilient

Guest contributor: Estrella Lopez-Brea

I’m not a psychologist or a coach, but have been called resilient many times. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and realized that in the process of overcoming difficult situations, I tend to consistently apply the same mindset and principles. In other words, thanks to experience I’ve learnt to BECOME resilient.

Analyzing my own behavior and mindset when things get complicated, as well as the ones of those around me, led me to identify 4 INSIGHTS on how to overcome adversity:

  1. The need to Accept reality so we can Focus on what’s under our control.

When a negative event occurs, resisting the situation is a common reaction (we all tend to ask ourselves Why?). But this behavior is absolutely useless as nothing, and no-one can change the past. This means that the only way to move forward is to accept what has happened, separate what’s under our control vs. what isn’t, and then focus 100% on making the most of what we can do.

2. The importance of Setting a Goal and making small progress every-single-day.

The only way to get out of a difficult situation is to set a clear objective and commit yourself to it. There’s no other way. No need to try to do it all at once but focus on making small bits of progress every single day, because progress leads to motivation and motivation leads to improvement. Always.

3. The power of Self-confidence.

As if trying to get out of the hole is not enough on itself, quite often, negative beliefs appear to tell us that the challenge is too hard and we won’t be able to overcome it. When this happens, we should do everything possible to keep things in perspective and avoid irrational thinking in order to maintain our head clear and positive.  

4. The value of Prioritizing Helpful connections.

Overcoming adversity is too hard of a job to do it alone, right? But here’s a big caveat: while being surrounded by people is critical, not everybody is necessarily helpful. During hard times, we should be choiceful, and identify the people that are most trusted, empathetic and understanding and who can empower us, help us reframe the perspective of a situation or encourage us to get back and try again.

As much resilience involves bouncing back from these hard situations, let’s not forget that it can also involve a great deal of personal growth. Life is full of uncertainty and unexpected change, so learning how to deal with it is not a choice, it’s a necessity.