How to Maximize Your Resilience

How to Maximize Your Resilience

Last update: 21 February, 2018

Life can be wonderful, but realistically, it isn’t always so, no matter how hard you try. Some good things will happen purely by chance, but it mostly depends on the amount of effort you put in. And what about bad things? The mere fact of living means you’ll go through hard times, that you won’t always get what you want, and you’ll need a good deal of resilience to get through it.

Does everybody react the same way to these situations? Obviously not. But can anyone come out of these negative events stronger than they were before? If you seek personal growth, then that’s the key. Continue reading to discover how to maximize your resilience.

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.”

-Ernest Hemingway-

In order to maximize your resilience, first you have to know what it is

We’ll start at the beginning – what is resilience? While the term is frequently used, you might not be completely clear on its definition. It’s normal to have a vague idea about what it means, but not know how to define it if someone were to ask you.

Resilience is the ability to adapt to adversity in a positive way. Resilient people are those who can become strengthened by difficult situations. But it’s more than just “seeing the good side of things.”

raindrops on window

Resilience involves, among other things, being able to effectively regulate your emotions. This will allow you to face difficult situations and overcome obstacles.

Another great thing about resilience is that it is not determined by genetics or personality. That is, you’re not born with a limited capacity for resilience. Instead, it develops throughout your life as you interact with your environment. This means you can increase your resilience!

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

-Michael Jordan-

Internal factors that can strengthen resilience

So how can you maximize your resilience? To do so, it’s important to know which factors influence it,  both personal and environmental. That way, you can work on each factor and learn how to adapt to adversity in a positive way.

First of all, you have to accept what has happened. Obviously, this doesn’t just occur immediately after an unfortunate event. It’s a gradual process that comes with time and often, the help of a qualified psychologist.

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”

-Bob Marley-

Next, it’s important to be able to do something we mentioned above – see the good side of the situation. In other words, be optimistic – just don’t forget to be realistic. You shouldn’t dwell on the negative things and forget about the positive, but you also shouldn’t elevate the positive to an impossible level. If you do, when you fall back to reality it will hit even harder.

Lastly, having a sense of humor can help you improve your resilience immensely. Being able to laugh at yourself or the situation is a worthwhile tool that will help you adapt to many different obstacles.

friends playing near barbed wire fence showing resilience

External factors that can strengthen your resilience

On top of personal factors, there are also external factors that can influence your ability to maximize your resilience. For example, when you’re going through a difficult situation, having support in the form of specialized help can facilitate the process of adaptation.

Another thing that makes a difference is the social support system you have. Being able to lean on your family, partner, and friends is an invaluable resource. They can be there for you, both emotionally and physically, if you need a favor or help.

It’s important to keep all these factors in mind when you’re presented with difficult circumstances. It’s normal to struggle at first, but nobody is born knowing how to adapt. The key is to know which tools to use to maximize your resilience and grow from everything you’ve been through. If you fall, you can get up again!

Images courtesy of Ib Wira Dyatmika, Nick Nice and Andy Omvik.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.