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Published on April 17, 2018

What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide)

What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide)

With this ever so competitive era consistently demanding people to be their best versions all the time, setbacks are bound to occur some stage. Be it failing to secure a job at the company of your dreams or not being able to marry the girl you held so close to your heart, many people dive into self-destructing coping mechanisms that take a toll on their mental as well as physical health.

This is where being resilient is so much more significant as it not only helps us to make a strong comeback whenever we lose control of our life, but also propels us in the right direction to attain the goals we cherish.

In this article, I will explain to you what resilience is and how you can apply it to life to become a better and tougher person.

What is resilience

Resilience is a method of how well a person can adapt to a situation when faced with trauma, stress, tragedy or other likewise scenarios. Simply put, it means getting your life back on track every time you’re being knocked down by a difficult experience.

Studies undertaken by numerous psychologists point out that a person blessed with good resilience has the knack of turning their fortunes fairly quickly as compared to their counterpart who might struggle for a longer duration before getting their act together.

However, it does not necessarily mean that a person who portrays resilience effectively eventually becomes untouched by difficult experiences or traumatic situations in life. It is just that those people just know how being resilient can be beneficial for them.

Resilience is not a quality that people may or may not have. It consists a set pattern of thoughts or ideas that can be mastered and used into practice by any individual over time.

Why resilience is important to your life

With a lot more people finding their lives in the doldrums, being resilient has never been as vital as it has become today.

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As per a research carried out at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, depression has risen significantly over the last decade or so, especially among the teenagers. Also, the number of professionals queuing up outside a psychiatrist’s office has also registered a steep rise.

A closer sneak peek into resilience can help us throw light on the vast benefits it has in store for us:

Opportunity to introspect

Whenever we let ourselves or a close one down, a feeling of guilt can easily creep in not only making us look dejected but also lets us lose all hopes and aspirations of further doing anything right. But these moments of challenges also help us to turn a new leaf by defying all odds and reach the pinnacle of success.

During these testing times, it is wiser to take a step back and try to understand who we really are and what we would like to become. Trying to understand our thoughts and ideas can help us analyze the situation better and see alternatives that we might not have paid heed to at all in the first place.

Self-discovery can be a life changing experience that can shape the direction of our entire life, breaking barriers of orthodox mindset and paving way for a brighter future. After all, the difficulties in life are nothing but opportunities to enhance ourselves.

    Immunity towards adversity

    Think about a problem that had been giving you sleepless nights recently. What if you had pulled it in a corner instead of breaking sweat when it first surfaced? That’s what resilient people do.

    Resilient people understand that it is not the problem but our mindset towards it that eventually matters in the end. It’s not that resilient people who have fine-tuned the art of bouncing back in life find facing their struggles a walk in the park, it is just that they know how to embrace them meticulously.

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    Change is the only constant, so why not adapt to the constant change happening around us? This can only not open up more career opportunities for you, but also prepare you to take every challenge of your life in the best possible way.

    Enlighten your mind

    Resilience is a key element that helps to re-develop our thinking and learning patterns. Whenever we find ourselves deep in trouble, we draw inspiration from similar experiences of others and try to imitate their feat to help us conquer our existing fear.

    We must break away from our old selves that limit the ability of our mind. Instead, we should fuel it with meaningful knowledge and theories that build our wisdom. Strengthening the mind through habits like reading helps us to focus clearly on our long term vision.

    Resilience helps you to take care of yourself not only physically but spiritually as well. When things are not going bright in the outer world, you can connect with the inner self to look for a clarity of goal and re-develop your march towards victory.

    Not to mention, when you understand your inner desires better, it helps you to adapt better to the surroundings.

    Fulfill your dreams

    Some people put everything at stake to achieve their ambitions. However, if victory eludes them in the first attempt, they prefer giving up on the dream and follow the crowd who might have always wished for their downfall.

    It is crucial to stay focused all the time and not accept defeat until you cross the finishing line. Resilience and motivation go hand-in-hand and always push you forward in your relentless pursuit of the bigger picture.

    You only live once, so why not give your best shot at your dream until you can finally lay your hands on it? There is nothing like getting to live your dream when the odds were stacked up against you. This will lead you to be successful just the way you want.

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    Connect with like-minded people

    Everyone wants to be connected with people who have a positive influence on them and from whom they can draw inspiration.

    Being resilient can help you develop bond with groups and communities that think alike and love helping each other towards their goals.

    How to do build resilience (a step-by-step guide)

    Whether you find yourself engaged with a challenge right now or would like to be in a better position to tackle the next one, there are a few ways that can help you become resilient and improve the way you look at your challenges.

    Here goes the list:

    1. Believe in yourself

    Research has shown that a majority of people remain unsure of what instigates their everyday behavior. Labelled as motives, our behavior is primarily based on what we think of ourselves. The beliefs we carry in our minds or the ideas we preach will determine the course of our actions.

    Below are a few ways to develop self-belief that can work wonders in your life.

    • Make bold decisions. Set practical goals that you feel are achievable in a certain time-frame. Implement a strategy as to how you plan to achieve that goal. Once you reach the desired outcome, only then it is wiser to push your limits and aim for a higher goal.
    • Appreciate yourself. Most people get too harsh on themselves at times, which not only puts a dent into their self-confidence but also inculcates negative thoughts. Therefore, it’s always wiser to give yourself a pat on the back, even for a tiny accomplishment. This goes a long way in inducing self-belief.
    • Avoid comparisons. Making comparisons with others can also let your self-belief vanish in thin air. Even though you might be good at your trade, there will always be someone who could be better than you. The comparison game will only harm your self-belief. Making comparisons is instilled strongly in our nature, but can always try to reduce it by keeping your mind busy doing productive tasks.

    2. Become action-oriented

    Always shying away from your problem and putting it off to solve it another day will only elevate it further. You may not get all the answers to your problem initially, but solving it by bits and pieces actively will surely lead to a successful outcome.

    Some ways that can help you prevent procrastination and be more action-oriented:

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    • Set deadlines. Begin by making a to-do list that includes all the tasks that you probably have been avoiding recently. Then set deadlines as to when you’ll likely want to get them done.
    • Cut down on temptations. Get rid of any distractions that might pull you down from achieving your deadlines. If you think your phone texts or notifications is the biggest hindrance, keep your phone away from you or turn the notifications off until you cover your goal for the day.
    • Reveal your intentions. Take your family and friends aware of your goals and deadlines, so they can push you towards it whenever you refrain from showing up. Letting others know your intentions will also add pressure on you to perform when everyone expects a desired outcome from you.
    • Pamper yourself. Always have a reward carrot in place. In case you finish your assignment now, you can buy your favorite meal. This will help you to get things done more efficiently and timely.

    If you want to start taking actions and stop putting things off, this guide can help you: A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

    3. Give a helping hand

    Reaching out to the needy is a great way to build your own resilience. According to researchers, the neurotransmitter serotonin that regulates mood and social behavior builds up when we engage in acts of kindness.

    • Volunteer. Volunteering is one of the best ways to help others and bring a smile on their face. Take some time and visit a charity nearby, and let them know you are there to help in whatever way you could.
    • Donate. Instead of discarding your old clothes or any household items, you can give them to someone who can make better use of it. You can also get some food for a homeless person rather than just giving them money.
    • Teach. You can teach your friend a new skill that you’ve recently mastered, or lend help to a child who might be finding his homework difficult. Teaching something will always help you connect better with others and improve your problem solving skills.
    • Compliment. Compliment your colleague in front of others for a presentation that have been working hard on. You can also compliment a complete stranger for their appearance or attire that can make their day. You never know–by striking a conversation with a stranger, you could win a friend or business partner for life. Plus, there is hardly anyone who doesn’t like to be complimented.

    4. Enhance your skill bucket

    Learning a new skill set at any age never goes out of fashion. Want to learn how to play guitar but don’t have time for it? Look for any online course or a video session that can help introduce you to a few basics. As building up new skills becomes mandatory to get ahead in life, here are a few tips you could follow to start your journey for self-improvement.

    • Clarity of thought. While beginning a new skill set, it is important to know what we really want to attain out of it. A chef might want to learn making a new cuisine to help his restaurant attract more customers. Similarly, someone may want to learn a new language to open up more career opportunities. It is beneficial for you to know how that skill can help for you to grow.
    • Learn how it suits you. Living in an era where abundant information is just a few clicks away is always a boon to have. In case you don’t have a budget to enroll for a professional course, you can easily access all the blogs, videos and online channels. You can also join community groups where people with similar interests can bond with you.
    • Don’t rush into things. Select one skill set at a time and try to understand how you can adapt in by breaking it into smaller achievable goals. For example, if you want to be a better writer, start by reading books and articles of famous writers and writing a journal for 15 minutes everyday.

    The takeaways

    Rome was not built in a day, nor can resilience be built in a day. Even if you currently find yourself struggling with your share of problems, it’s time to move on and bring about a positive change in your lifestyle that can help you become a better version of yourself.

    While we cannot change our personality in a blink of an eye, we can certainly make an effort to change our perspective immediately towards our problems. As you set your mind towards new challenges, your resilience towards achieving them gets stronger.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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    Karan Bali

    The Marketing Maniac

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    Last Updated on March 19, 2019

    How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

    How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

    It’s Monday morning. The alarm rings. What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you open your eyes?

    “I really don’t want to go to work today”, “I have such a long day ahead, what a dread”, or “Yes! It’s a brand new week ahead! Looking forward to getting lots done.”

    Whatever your response may be, ask yourself this question:

    “What is it that made you feel unmotivated?” What was driving you to feel negative or positive about your Monday ahead? How to get motivated?

    Meet Nancy

    I used to have a colleague by the name of Nancy. She came to work at the same time every morning, and would leave at 6.30 sharp every evening. Not a minute earlier, not a minute later. She was known to be the office grinch as she was often grumpy towards everyone, so much so people would avoid her whenever possible. She complained about everything under the sun.

    I had a brief conversation with her one morning in the office lounge where we were both getting coffee. She told me she had been working with the company for over 20 years! When she told me that, I asked her what motivated her to stay on for so long, and her reply was simply “I don’t know. It’s a job that pays the bills, and is close to where I live.” With that, she walked away and I was left standing alone in the lounge with my hot coffee, at a loss for words.

    How could someone be doing the exact same thing for over 20 years? And she clearly doesn’t enjoy her work, what with all that complaints and grouchy attitude. So why hasn’t she done anything about it?

    The 2 Types of People

    This might be an extreme case, but I’m sure you must know of people who have been doing the same thing for years and seem to not have any problem staying stagnant. Whether it be in their marriage, job, or personal endeavors, they seem to be getting along just fine without progressing towards anything ‘better’.

    On the other hand, I’m sure you would also know of individuals who focus on the positive, set goals and are constantly pushing themselves to greater heights. Be it promotions at work, building a family, celebrating milestones in their marriage or relationships, upgrading houses and cars, setting up new businesses, or going to school again, these individuals seem to constantly progress towards something that improves or enhances their life.

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    So what’s the difference between these 2 category of individuals?

    What you feel like or don’t feel like doing, boils down to one thing. And that is motivation. It is the force, or lack of, that keeps driving you forward to overcome challenges and obstacles to achieve your goals.

    Without motivation, you’ll give up after a few failed attempts or even on the first tough challenge that comes your way. Or, in the case of Nancy, just remain where you are: unhappy yet not doing anything to progress ahead.

    What is Motivation, Really?

    Whether you realize it or not, motivation is a huge force in your life; and it needs to be harnessed in order to excel and actually enjoy whatever it is that you’re doing on a daily basis.

    Unfortunately, many overgeneralize the word motivation. We think of being either motivated or demotivated as a simple “yes” or “no” state of being.

    But motivation is not a switch. Motivation is a flow. To feel motivated, you need to dive beyond the surface. Just reading a motivational quote, being encouraged by your friends or even mentor won’t help you build sustainable motivation in the long run.

    You can think of the motivation that we want to achieve like the Sun (self-sustaining and long lasting), which supplies a constant influx of energy to all life on Earth. Just like the Sun, your “motivation engine” has different layers, starting from the core and spreading out to the surface. The surface is what you see, but the real process is driven from the core; and that’s the most important part… I’ll explain why in a moment.

    If you can create a self sustaining motivation engine, you’ll not only be able to find more meaning and purpose in your life, but you’ll be able to enjoy every minute of what you’re doing, which will make your roles and responsibilities less of a chore. Now wouldn’t that be a game changer?

    Let me help you understand this motivation flow better, by breaking down the Motivation Engine into 3 parts:

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    1. Core – Purpose
    2. Support – Enablers
    3. Surface – Acknowledgement

    I’d say we’re most familiar with layers 2 and 3, as we come into direct contact with both of them frequently.

    The Second Layer: Support – Enablers

    In essence, the second layer of the Motivation Engine (also known as Enablers) is what supports your goals. They can magnify the motivation core you have, or speed up the momentum that you build. Basically, they create favorable circumstances for things to go smoothly.  

    The Third Layer: Surface – Acknowledgement

    The third layer, also known as Acknowledgement, encompasses any type of external recognition that might give you motivation. It may come in the form of respect or recognition, such as compliments and praise.

    Or it could be emotional support through encouragement, feedback and constructive criticism. It could also be affiliation, where you have mutual companions or buddies sharing the same goal or burden with you.

    This is generally what you see on the surface when you look at other people. You see the external acknowledgement, respect, and recognition they’re getting.

    The Innermost Layer: Core – Purpose

    But what’s most important, and the true driving force behind your Motivation flow, is the innermost core – your Purpose. Your purpose is what differentiates the motivated from the demotivated, the achievers from the underachievers, the happy from the unhappy.

    Your motivational core is your Purpose, and is sustained by two things: Having Meaning, and Forward Movement. With these two as a foundation, you’ll have a power source that will feed you motivational energy indefinitely.

    So, how do you do these two things?

    How to Sustain Your Purpose

    Having Meaning is simple. Just ask yourself a question: Why?

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    Why are you pursuing a certain goal? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. While motivation provides you energy to do something, that energy needs to be focused somewhere. So without meaning, there is no direction for your energy to be focused on.

    Yet, having a meaningful objective doesn’t mean you have to change the world or create A huge impact on society. The secret to meaningful work is simple: it should contribute value to something or someone that matters to you.

    Next up is gaining Forward Movement. In short, this means to just keep moving. Like a snowball, motivation from having progress creates momentum. So to keep this up, you have to keep moving.

    And the good news is, your progress doesn’t have to be huge for you to recognize it. Small amounts of progress can be just as motivating, as long as they keep coming. Like driving a car, you may be really impatient if you’re at a complete halt. But, it lessens if you’re moving forward–even if you’re moving slowly.

    Creating a simple progress indicator like checklists or milestones, are a great way to visualize your small (and big) wins. They trigger your brain to recognize and acknowledge them, giving you small boosts of motivational energy.

    This is why video games are so addictive! They’re full of progress indicators everywhere. Even though the progress is completely virtual, they’re still able to trigger the motivation centers in your brain.

    Find Out What Drives You Today

    So why not take some time today and do a quick reflection of where you’re at now? Take one aspect of your life that you’d like to be more motivated.

    For example, it may be your current job. First, start with why. Write down your reasons for why you’re in the job that you’re in. Then think about your Motivation Core: Your Purpose. Write down what it is within your job that gives you meaning, and what are some things that will help push you forward in life.

    Once you have those points, it’s time to do a comparison. Does your current job help you make progress towards that Purpose that you’ve written?  

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    If it does, then wonderful! You’re on the right track. But if it doesn’t entirely, or you now realize you’re way off target, don’t panic. It’s definitely not too late to align your actions back to your true purpose.

    Here at Lifehack, we’ve condensed over 15 years of life improvement coaching into 7 distinct Cornerstone Skills. And finding motivation is just 1 of 7 Cornerstone Skills that you can master to dramatically turn your life around!

    Wouldn’t We All Like to Be Happy?

    Happiness need not be a vague term or illusion that you’re constantly chasing after–with no end in sight. By finding your true motivation, you’ll be one step closer to realizing your happiness and finding meaning in all things you do.

    And for those of you who feel like you’re already working towards your purpose or goals, learning these 7 Cornerstone Skills will only help you to push progress even further, and at a much faster rate. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be 10 times more productive?

    You may have read hundreds of books, articles, and watched videos, maybe even tried some solutions too to help you stay motivated. But, none of them really have any impact. They bring only incremental changes, and that’s not what you’re really looking for. This is because permanent change requires a holistic approach, and is more than just focusing on one area of your life, or working on changing a part of your routine or actions.

    You want to make a fundamental change; but it feels like big, unknown territory that you can’t afford to venture into at this point in your life.

    The truth is, taking your life to the next stage doesn’t have to be this complicated. With our course, it’s actually quite simple. It’s an all in approach, and the 7 Cornerstone Skills is just what you need to make that holistic change. So if you’d like to take the first step to achieving your life purpose, the time is now!

    Applying one of the 7 Cornerstone Skills as covered in this article can already make a difference in your life, imagine learning the whole set of skills to live your best life! How to learn them all? We’ve got the solution at Lifehack — Find out More About Our Solution Here!

    Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

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