Why do people fail?
Surprisingly, it’s not usually down to a lack of talent, ability or motivation.
In fact, plenty of very intelligent people fail for one simple reason: they lack resilience.
If you want to enjoy life, be successful, and cope well in a difficult world, you need to build up resilience.
Read on to find out how.
What is resilience?
Simply put, resilience is the ability to deal with whatever life throws at you without giving up.
Being resilient means being able to bounce back, even after something really bad happens.
One key characteristic of successful people is that they aren’t afraid to keep trying after they fail, and that’s because they’ve learned to be resilient.
Here’s an example:
Two people go to interviews for their dream job. Neither of them get the job.
Person 1 is resilient. He doesn’t let a small setback knock him down, and he keeps applying for other jobs. Soon enough, he gets one – and it’s even better than the original job!
Person 2 isn’t resilient. When he doesn’t get the job, he loses all confidence. He thinks he’s a failure, that he should never have bothered trying, and that he might as well give up now. He stops applying for the jobs he really wants, and sticks with a career well below his ability level.
Want to learn more about how resilience can make you successful?
Read this article: Why There Are So Few Successful People in the World: Talents Are Overrated
How to become more resilient
Ready to start your journey towards resilience?
Here are some great places to start.
Learn to overcome trauma
Had a bad experience in the past that’s put you off trying again?
Maybe you fell off a bike while learning, and got too afraid to get back in the saddle?
Learning to overcome difficult memories is the first step towards building resilience.
Here’s an idea of how to get started:
- Accept what happened, and how it affected you.
- Don’t feel like you shouldn’t be upset because ‘other people have it worse’.
- Don’t set a strict timeline – let yourself overcome issues in your own time.
- Ask for help. This could be from family, friends, or medical professionals.
- Practice acceptance. You can’t change what happened, but it doesn’t have to take over your life.
- Meditate and focus on all the things you have to be grateful for.
Want to read more about overcoming trauma?
Read this: How to Overcome a Trauma and Be Even Stronger Than Before
Look at how fear rules your life
Do you make decisions to avoid what you’re afraid of, rather than to move towards what you want?
Many of us live our lives ruled by fear – and this means we miss out on great opportunities and new experiences.
It takes time to overcome fear, but it is possible.
Start by identifying your fears, and trying to get to the root of them. Maybe you’re afraid of the unknown, of criticism, or of being rejected by others.
Try to imagine the worst case scenarios in each situation – often you’ll realize that they really aren’t that bad.
Want to learn more about how fear could be damaging your life?
Read this: How Fear Is Deep-Rooted in Our Everyday Life and Controlling Us
Learn to overcome fear
No matter what you fear, overcoming it is a worthwhile goal.
Try a targeted approach to overcoming fear with this challenge:
30 Days Without Fear: A Plan That Will Make You Feel So Carefree Like Never Before
You’ll practice and develop fear-busting skills like:
- Keeping a fear journal.
- Creating more ‘me’ time.
- Speaking in public.
- Exercising daily.
- Visiting new places.
- Communicating in a more confident way.
- Trying new, scary activities
- Resolving conflict.
At the end of the 30 days you’ll feel like you’re ready to face anything.
Is resilience the same as optimism?
No. This is a common myth.
Of course it’s good to try and be positive – but blind optimism can actually do a lot of harm.
When something bad happens, do you brush it off, acting like you don’t care at all?
Suppressing your emotions in this way can be really harmful, and is actually the opposite of resilience.
Resilience means allowing yourself to experience difficult feelings and working through them in a healthy way – not pretending they don’t exist.
Optimist can also blind us to important things.
If you feel bad about a job, it could be a sign for you to move onto to something new.
If you’re unhappy in the place you live, maybe it’s time to relocate?
Listening to your emotions can help you to make decisions that change your life for the better. Ignoring them could lead to missed opportunities for positive change.
Want to know more about how optimism differs from resilience?
Read this: Why You Shouldn’t Aim at Being an Optimistic Person
Take the resilience test to track your journey
So, you’ve started taking steps to become more resilient.
But how do you know that they’re working?
As well as looking out for benefits in your day-to-day life, you could trying taking this resilience test.
Be sure to make a note of your score and keep retaking the test to see how much you’ve improve.
Want to be strong enough to deal with whatever life throws at you?
Start developing resilience today.