Behavioral scientist Dr. Steve Maraboli put it eloquently, “Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient.” Psychologists stress the importance of building resilience in our personal and professional lives for a variety of reasons. Although it won’t eliminate stress or loss, resilience is what helps us overcome adversity and emerge even stronger than before. Some people might be born with the personality traits needed to be more resilient, but there are steps that can be taken to strengthen resilience.

  1. Focus on the positive but acknowledge the issues. If you ignore the problem you’re facing, then it becomes more difficult to find solutions. A better approach is to remind yourself that what you’re going through is only temporary. Look at negative situations realistically and use them as learning opportunities. Accept that there will be things that you can’t control, but you can control how you react to them.

  2. Remember your strengths and accomplishments. Don’t let challenges eliminate your successes. Both can be true at the same time. Staying confident during tough times helps to build resilience.

  3. Accept and provide social support. There’s no reason to face significant losses alone when social support is just a text message or phone call away. It’s a two-way street that comes in a variety of forms such as giving or receiving advice, helping with daily tasks, or simply showing concern for those in need. Social groups can provide us with that sense of belonging and a layer of protection that we need during uncertain times.

  4. Stay focused on self-care. From eating healthy food to exercising on a regular basis, self-care establishes a solid foundation to build resilience on.

  5. Face the fears that are holding you back. Failure, rejection and being judged are all common fears that hold people back in their personal and professional lives.

  6. Look for solutions. Identifying problems is an important step, but too many people stop there. In order to overcome obstacles, you really need to continue through the entire problem-solving process by defining the problem, developing a strategy, organizing information, allocating resources, monitoring progress and evaluating the results.

Psychologists also emphasize that the more prepared you are to adapt to life-changing situations the better. You can’t control everything life throws at you, but you can learn to manage certain aspects, and become more resilient over time.


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