10 Habits of Highly-Resilient People From Psychology Today. November 30, 2020 Bryan Robinson
Most certainly apply to my Swedish immigrant widow, mother of three left to raise her family alone in a hostile foreign land during America’s Great Depression.
1. Grow a thick skin and expect rejection and setbacks. Commit yourself in advance to facing the many smackdowns you will encounter like all happy people before you.
2. Ditch the desire for comfort and step into growing pains. Be willing to go to the edge of your emotional pain so you can be fully present with what lays beyond the barrier.
3. Be willing to postpone immediate gratification in the short term for the fulfillment of your goals in the long term.
4. Cultivate spring-back sustainability. Think of yourself as an elastic band that bends and stretches to a certain point before you spring back higher than you fall.
5. Refer to previous experience. Reflect on past obstacles you’ve overcome in your climb. Point to lessons learned and your personal resources and underscore ways you have grown stronger through past hard knocks.
6. Identify self-doubts that have cramped your work style or crippled you from growing fully. Harness them—instead of running from them—and channel them into useful skills so they don’t paralyze you.
7. Stay off the roller coaster. Manage the ups-and-downs of your life by treating highs and lows equally. Celebrate the highs but don’t take them any more seriously than the lows, and don’t take smackdowns any more seriously than upswings.
8. Eschew the what-the-hell effect. This attitude only adds insult to injury. Face letdowns by taking the towel you want to throw in and use it to wipe the sweat off your face then ask, what you can learn that will help you grow.
9. Practice positive self-talk and optimism. Avoid negative put-downs and criticisms. Instead of bludgeoning yourself after a setback, give yourself positive affirmations and encouragement to get back in the saddle.
10. Catch yourself when you fall. After a setback or discouraging situation, your motivation bounces back quicker when you support yourself with compassion. Instead of kicking yourself when you’re down, be on your own side, wish yourself well, and be your number one cheerleader as you progress in your goals.
How to Sustain Your Resilient Zone
Once you have these habits in your hip pocket, the rest is up to you. You start to accept failure as an essential stepping-stone to success, you give yourself permission to make the mistakes necessary to get where you want to go. The more you accept failure, the more opportunities you have to accept success and bounce back higher than you fall. And every time you fail—instead of giving up—you do what every resilient person before you did: take the towel you want to throw in, wipe the sweat off your brow, and plot your next forward move.