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What Is Resilience and Why Is It Important for Success?

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What Is Resilience and Why Is It Important for Success?

Have you ever wondered why some people remain calm in the face of adversity, while others crumble? People who are able to effectively navigate the highs and lows of life have what psychologists call resilience, or an ability to effectively bounce back from adversity.

Whenever you come across a difficult situation, you have two choices: you can either let your emotions get the best of you and become paralyzed by fear, or you can uplift yourself from the negative and transform pain into possibility.

Even if you consider yourself to be a happy person, it is inevitable that you will encounter challenges at some point along your journey. These experiences may bend you, but they do not have to break you.

Building resilience is the key to turning challenges into successes.

All of us have the power to develop a resilient mindset; just like a muscle, it needs to be conditioned and strengthened every single day. Sometimes it takes hitting your emotional threshold before you are able to tap into your personal resilience.

What is resilience and why is it so important for success?

What Is Resilience?

The construct of resilience has its roots in the field of developmental psychopathology during the 1970s. In the course of studying children with psychiatric disorders, psychiatrists and psychologists noted that a small number of children did not display the expected maladaptive behaviors.

Instead, they displayed behaviors that were within the normal range of social development.[1]

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However, it was the studies of children of schizophrenic parents and the findings that some children thrived despite their high-risk status that led to the expansion of research on resilience. These included multiple adverse conditions, including socioeconomic disadvantage, parental mental illness, maltreatment, illness, and catastrophic life events.

During the late 1980s and 1990s, research on resilience revealed it to be a much more ordinary phenomenon than it was first thought to be. The construct of resilience evolved to presume exposure to significant adversity.

Multiple Definitions of Resilience

To date, there is little consensus among researchers about the definition and meaning of the construct of resilience. In the last decade, the concept of resilience has shifted. It was once confined to a set of stable individual traits.

However, the concept shifted to an outcome and dynamic process, dependent upon interactions between individual and contextual variables, evolving over time.[2]

Today, resilience is commonly referred to as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress.[3] This definition captures the “bounce-back” characteristic, which reflects one of the central characteristics of resilience.

The Importance of Resilience

Ever-increasing demands on time and energy have created an environment where people feel overwhelmed and unable to manage the high expectations of their daily lives through problem solving skills or coping strategies.

As a result, people find themselves constantly multitasking, chronically distracted, and pulled in too many different directions. If you want to stay at the top of your game in life and in work, it is imperative that you learn how to successfully navigate your way through the tough times.

In a study sponsored by Nationwide and Vodafone, nearly 100 percent of participants cited resilience as a factor in job success.[4] Numbers don’t lie. Resilience is the secret to success.

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Here are four reasons why possessing resilience is a critical life-skill in today’s world:

1. Transform Failure Into Success

In my experience, the road to success is paved with a lot of failure. It’s a normal part of life. You cannot build resilience unless you are willing to fail.

Those who lack the ability to bounce back from adversity end up internalizing failure and inevitably giving up altogether. If you can relate to this way of thinking, it’s important to understand that failure is an event. It does not define who you are as a person.

Research shows that when you try, fail, try again, and ultimately succeed, you get a nice kick from your dopaminergic reward system.[5] This is what gives you the momentum that you need when adversity hits you like a ton of bricks.

Failure is merely a stepping stone that everyone goes through on their path to greatness. You’ve got to ask yourself if you are willing to take bold risks in order to become the person you’ve always desired to be.

2. Develop an Internal Locus of Control

Do you believe that life happens for you or to you? In order for you to improve your happiness in any area of your life, you have to ask yourself the difficult question: “Who is responsible for my happiness?”

Your answer to this question will determine how effectively you are able to overcome challenges in life.

People who adopt an external locus of control struggle to bounce back from life’s blows. They believe that external forces determine the direction that their lives will take. Not surprisingly, this belief leaves them feeling powerless.

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Conversely, resilient people with an internal locus of control see themselves as the CEO of their lives. They know that they are in control of every single decision that they make.

When they get knocked down, they are able to bounce forward, meaning that they are able to use life’s greatest adversities as springboards for success. When you do this, you become the driver of your destiny, and resilience becomes your natural state of being.

3. Build Positive Beliefs

When your world comes crashing down on you, it’s easy to fall into negativity mode and play the “why me” game. However, you cannot overcome challenges in life if you think that the Universe isn’t on your side. Negativity will get you nowhere in life.

Research shows that one major factor that contributes to resilience is the experience of harnessing positive emotions, even in the midst of an especially trying or stressful time.[6]

A resilient person works through challenges by harnessing the power of positive emotions and leaning on their support system when necessary. They are able to reframe adversity into something positive, which allows them to bounce back and create realistic plans in the long term.

4. Help You Embrace Change

At the heart of resilience lies a simple truth—change is inevitable. The reality is that we live in a world of constant change. In fact, uncertainty is the only certainty that we can count on.

People get into trouble when they ignore or resist change. As a result, they end up living a life of pain and suffering because they are unable to find comfort in the chaos.

You will not build resilience by hanging out in your comfort zone[7]. The only way to truly grow and expand yourself is to break free from the chains of stability and dive into the unknown.

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Get out of your comfort zone to build resilience.

    This will require that you do some deep inner work, like shifting your limiting beliefs, breaking bad habits, and learning how to make friends with stress.

    Let’s face it… nobody is excited to face their “stuff,” but it’s an integral step on the road to becoming a resilient person. In the words of Socrates,

    “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

    Final Thoughts

    The next time that life throws you a curveball, trust that you are strong enough to stay in the game. Adversity may bend you, but don’t let it break you.

    It doesn’t matter how many times that you fall. All that matters is that you get back up again and keep moving forward.

    More Resources to Build a Stronger Mind

    Featured photo credit: Brad Barmore via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Ashley Elizabeth

    Resilience Mastery Coach and Motivational Speaker

    How to Find Yourself When You’re Feeling Lost in Life How Successful Women Shake Up and Redefine the Workplace 4 Signs You Have a Victim Mentality (And How to Break out of It) How to Overcome Fear and Find Success (The Ultimate Guide) What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward?

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    Last Updated on January 12, 2022

    15 Reasons Why Taking Action Is Important For Success

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    15 Reasons Why Taking Action Is Important For Success

    Success is not guaranteed at birth, and work is required to achieve what you desire. As you grow personally and professionally, you should explore these 15 reasons why taking action is important for success so you can reach your dreams.

    However, before jumping in and taking action, it’s essential to understand its three components.

    1. To take action means to do something to get a particular result.[1] Any time you intentionally create movement, it is all because of the desired outcome. Execute your actions to support your dreams and goals.
    2. Action can be hard to take, but that’s only due to the fact of misrepresentation of the possibilities. Do your best not to focus on the outcome. Instead, ask yourself, “What does this make possible?” Even though obstacles and detours will distract you from your desired results, don’t let that be your primary focus. You’re created for more, so be willing to go the extra mile!
    3. Failure to take action can stem from many areas, the main one being the failures that have already occurred. Look at your failures as a lesson learned, so you can be willing to learn even more. Stretching yourself beyond what you can see builds trust within yourself and seizes the opportunity of the present!

    “Failure is only a trial run to the success for the greatest of these, your journey.”—Kristianne Wargo

    If you want to escape the world of mediocrity, you have to embrace the power of taking action. By doing so, you keep moving in the right direction.

    Your journey is no longer dependent on the outcomes or the results. Instead, it empowers you to tread the trail of hope even when all seems hopeless.

    Further, the main result becomes the balance in your life, all based on Newton’s First Law: the state of motion of an object is maintained as long as the object is not acted upon by an unbalanced force.

    You can take all the hits that come your way, good or bad, due to all things resisting changes in their state of motion—they tend to “keep doing what they’re doing.”[2] The only shift that needs to happen comes from you taking action.

    “Action is the foundational key to all success.”—Pablo Picasso

    Taking action seems to be so fundamentally basic that it should not even have to be mentioned. But life can have you turning in circles that you become disengaged with the basics and need a foundational review. Blaze a new trail filled with the discovery of consistent actions and a determined heart.

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    These 15 reasons why taking action is important for success will decrease your confusion while increasing productivity and heightening your purpose for a lifetime.

    1. Action Allows You to Shift or Pivot

    It’s easier to direct a moving vehicle than one that is parked. So, why not keep moving? Your activity encourages what you don’t see to become visible as you go through the intentional motions. Here is where change occurs, releasing what might have been a struggle to that which is natural.

    2. Action Ignites Motivation

    Getting through the stuff when life happens doesn’t come from pity parties but by taking the next step.

    When you constantly fight for encouragement, your emotions are set in overdrive. The focus is unbearable and stifles the opportunities before you. All you feel is what couldn’t be, and you leave all on the table what you couldn’t see.

    Keep your emotions and feelings in check by staying in action.

    “One step at a time leads to miles of greatness!”—Kristianne Wargo

    3. Action Establishes Habits

    The more you do something, the easier it is to keep doing it, whether good or bad. You can’t succeed if you don’t do anything.

    By maintaining the action, you are setting yourself up for a greater chance of hitting your goals without being too detailed and overplaying the plan.

    4. Action Shrinks Failures

    As much as you always want to be successful, failure is inevitable. But by taking action, your failures become less of the everyday cornerstone and more about engaging in firsts and seconds.

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    The only failure is not trying. So, when you try, you cannot fail.

    5. Action Induces Winning

    No one afraid of losing has ever won. How many times does an athlete have to lose before the win? Too many most would say. But actually, it’s just enough to keep the iron in the fire to refine the gifts and talents. It’s in the fire where champions are made.

    6. Action Breeds Better

    Preparation is good. However, it’s easy to get stuck in research and making sure everything is going to play out as planned. But you can get buried in the preparation and forget that to get you moving to the next level, you must be in action.

    Don’t let yourself become trapped in practice trying to get it all perfect first. Action will always make it better.

    “Action is the heartbeat of success.”—Kristianne Wargo

    7. Action Determines What’s Possible

    You cannot eliminate what doesn’t work and establish what does work except through trial and error. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. That requires action on your part.

    You have to be ready and willing to test in real-time to understand the complexity of what you are going after. The more action you take, the deeper your possibilities grow.

    8. Actions Create Your “Now”

    There is no need to put off tomorrow what you can do today. Build consistency in doing something with intention, and see how your life changes.

    If you wait for the right time to show up, you will be waiting forever. Take your day into your own hands and create your “now.”

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    9. Action Slows Down Time

    There’s no time like the present. By staying in action, essentially, you slow down your inhibitions and fears from manifesting into more than what they need to be. You get to decide how fast you move by the actions you take in your every day leading to your success.

    10. Action Produces a Result

    How will you know if what you are doing will get you down the lane of success? Trial and error.

    Every step you take produces an outcome, good or bad. So, why shy away from what works. Do it and make the adjustments needed in real-time.

    11. Action Creates a Chain Reaction

    Once you experience the result and determine the validity of how it coincides with your dreams and goals—meaning getting it right—then it directs you to the next step.

    The plan of how you’re going to achieve success continues through the chain reaction. Action is the foundation where consistency is built.

    12. Action Silences Your Inner Critic

    The most significant time spent is with your inner voice.

    If you are in a constant mode of debating whether or not you are worthy, good enough, or qualified, how will you be able to move forward? You’ll be frozen in time. However, staying in action makes the inner voice more of a nuisance yet can be muted by taking the next step.

    13. Action Utilizes Knowledge

    Reading and learning are addicting. But no matter how much you read or learn, nothing will gain success for you unless you take action.

    The thing is that action is not so exciting. In fact, action can be tedious, especially if you don’t get the desired results. Yet, knowledge can lead your action when utilized appropriately. Don’t sit on what you know. Knowledge is power.

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    14. Action Minimizes Risks

    When you are in constant motion, momentum is on your side. What appears as a risk initially fades away more quickly because there is no time to overthink what just happened. The risks exist only to be outnumbered by the actions taken.

    15. Action Builds Trust with Yourself

    Many failures and dreams stop you in your tracks simply because of the lack of trust.

    When you find yourself down and out, and your record reflects losing more than winning, it’s easier to quit and retreat. Yet, if you have confidence in yourself, trust triumphs over what didn’t happen, opening the door for what’s possible.

    The Success Equation for Life

    Knowledge + Action = Success

    Ready your head to make a commitment that nullifies the missing link and establishes success by taking action. Here is where you will celebrate success more often than not. Now, the results and outcomes may not be as expected, but a little suspense never hurt any journey.

    May your heart compound the experiences, including your commitment to taking action and the results of what’s to come. Claim the ultimate success when action meets your everyday.

    “Grow beyond what you see so you can succeed beyond what you desire.”—Kristianne Wargo

    Your journey is a path of many colors. Take a chance to make a change to choose the action that serves your purpose. Cheers to you for taking action and creating success this new season! The best is yet to come. Be present. Be incredible. Be you!

    More Tips to Get You Into Action

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    [1] Merriam-Webster: take action
    [2] The Physics Classroom: Newton’s First Law

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