How many times have you been knocked down? How many times have you got back up again? I’m guessing one more than you got knocked down, right? Do you get back up having dealt with the problem, and bounce back to your true self? In psychology we call this resilience, and in coaching terms it’s bouncebackability. It’s essential so that whatever happens you deal with it, move on, and let it go.
“Do not measure a woman’s success by how high she climbs, but how quickly and how high she bounces back after she hits rock bottom.”
… truth bomb right there.
What is resilience?
Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from damage, adversity and setbacks. It’s how we cope with stress, manage adversity and rise to the occasion. And here’s another truth – being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you have all the resources, strength and courage to keep coming back to the path to your most beautiful life.
Resilience doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have any issues in life again – we all have knock backs in life when we feel low in energy, mood or we lack motivation – it just means that you cope better and bounce back quicker.
“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.“ – Louisa May Alcott
Are resilience and strength the same thing?
It’s often confused with strength, but they differ greatly. Strength is defined as the ability to withstand a great force. Trying to control your situation with overpowering strength is often a losing strategy as it doesn’t take into consideration the problem, or how to deal with it – it just kind of just ignores it and powers through anyway – the kind of put your “big girl pants on and crack on” type of mentality.
And whilst this will get the job done, this time, it will quickly deplete and frazzle you and all the sweeping issues under the carpet will mean that when you actually have to deal with some of the stuff, you’re in for a humongous spring-cleaning session.
Build big resilience muscles
And while resilience can also be a key component to bouncing back from tough times, it’s not something that should be reserved for crisis-management.
My advice? Build big resilience muscles can help you when life is going well, so you’re always ready to withstand life’s knocks and bumps and you see them as challenges rather than obstacles – build long before you need to be strong. Not only will it help you get through the hard times, but bigger resilience powers can also help you thrive during the good times too.
Some individuals come by these abilities naturally, with personality traits that help them in the face of challenge. However, these behaviours are not just inborn traits found in a select few individuals. I promise you, from all my years of coaching women around the globe, you are very capable of learning the skills that it takes to become more resilient.
My fave tips to build resilience
Gratitude journal, daily
Gratitude trains your brain to look for the good in the world. This can help ward off a feeling of being a victim, encourage more of what you want in life, and increase positive emotions (whilst dispelling negative ones). One of the easiest ways to practice gratitude is to journal – either in a journal like my Feed Your Fairy Daily Journal, in a specific gratitude journal, or just on a piece of paper.
All of my journals are available on Amazon, please type in “Feed Your Fairy” and you will see the whole range. Click HERE to see my recommended reading list.
Reframe Your Thoughts
Resilient people are able to look at negative situations realistically, but in a way that doesn’t centre on blame or brooding over what cannot be changed – think “not my circus, not my monkeys here”.
Instead of viewing adversity as insurmountable, focus on looking for small ways that you can tackle the problem and make changes that will help. Also consider what resources you have available to you to deal with this problem, and who can help you.
Focusing on the positive things you can do can help get you out of a negative mindset.
Motivate yourself with the 10-minute rule
When you’re struggling to talk yourself into doing something you don’t want to do — like dealing with paperwork related to this problem, or making phone calls you don’t want to make, etc.— tell yourself you only have to do it for 10 minutes.
At the 10-minute mark, give yourself permission to quit if you really want to. You’ll likely find that most of the time, you’ll choose to keep going because getting started is usually the hardest part.
Having people you can trust and confide in is important for building resilience. While simply talking about a situation with a friend or loved one won’t make your troubles go away, it allows you to share your feelings, get support, receive positive feedback, and come up with possible solutions to your problems.
Plus, if you can find a mentor, a coach, or another woman who has been through what you’re going through right now, it’s a thing of absolute beauty. Their empathy, ideas and insights will greatly help you on your journey sweetheart.
Remember “not my circus, not my monkeys”
When faced with a crisis or problem, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the things that feel far beyond your control. This can lead to increased anxiety and spiralling thoughts. Instead of wishing there was some way you could go back in time or change things, try focusing only on the things that are in your control.
Find a sense of purpose
When I was on my journey back from my own personal rock bottom in 2016, one of the things that helped me through was the thought that if I could find a way to get through this and build a better future for my girls and me (never knew it could be this joyful, I have to say) then I could help other women to do the same. I had an absolute single mindedness that with my psychology background and personal experiences I could inspire and bring about real change.
Now I’m not suggesting that you go off and train to be a life coach, but in the face of crisis or tragedy, finding a sense of purpose or your “why” can play an important role in your recovery. This might mean becoming involved in your community, cultivating your spirituality, participating in activities that are meaningful to you, or just knowing that the people that you love in life will be so happy to see you ok and thriving.
Have faith in YOU
Having confidence in your own ability to cope with the stresses of life can play an important part in resilience. Becoming more confident in your own abilities, including your ability to respond to and deal with a crisis, is a great way to build resilience for the future.
Listen for the Shit FM (the radio station in your head that plays tunes such as “you can’t do this”, “you’re not enough”, “you always fail” or my fave “nobody loves you anyway”). When you hear it at full blast, this is the perfect time for affirmations that counter-balance the noise – things like “I am more than enough”, “I am loved and valued” and “I am thriving and growing stronger every day”.
Your self esteem plays an important role in coping with stress and recovering from difficult events. Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments.
Flexibility is an essential part of resilience. By learning how to be more adaptable, you’ll be better equipped to respond when faced with a life crisis. It’s ok to yell “plot twist!” and take your life off in a different direction. A growth mindset is a thing of beauty and give yourself permission to learn, improve on yourself and your life, and take on new challenges. Life is not always how it’s “supposed” to be – it is what it is – but it can be a whole heap better and more wonderful too. Different doesn’t always have to mean worse, it just means not how you thought. I’m living proof that your new version of life can be wonderful. Trust me.
Staying optimistic during dark periods can be difficult, but maintaining a hopeful outlook is an important part of resiliency. What you are dealing with may be difficult, but it’s important to remain hopeful and positive about a brighter future.
Just to be clear, this does not mean ignoring the problem in order to focus on positive outcomes. It means understanding that setbacks are temporary and that you have the skills and abilities to combat the challenges you face.
Feed Your Fairy
When you’re stressed, it can be all too easy to neglect your own needs and put yourself bottom of your own priority list. Not eating well, ignoring exercise, not paying attention to hydration, and sleep deprivation, are all too easy to do when you’re facing a crisis. Instead, focus Feeding Your Fairy (see here for more info) even when you’re troubled – making time for activities that you enjoy and nurturing yourself.
By taking care of your own needs, you can boost your overall health and resilience and be fully ready to face life’s challenges.
You can find out all about my Feed Your Fairy Membership by clicking HERE.
Develop Problem-Solving Skills
Research suggests that people who are able to come up with solutions to a problem are better able to cope with problems than those who cannot. Whenever you encounter a new challenge, make a quick list of some of the potential ways you could solve the problem.
Experiment with different strategies and focus on developing a logical way to work through common problems. By practicing your problem-solving on a regular basis, you will be better prepared to cope when a serious challenge emerges.
Crisis situations are daunting. They may even seem insurmountable. Resilient people are able to view these situations in a realistic way and then set reasonable goals to deal with the problem.
When you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by a situation, take a step back to simply assess what is before you. Brainstorm possible solutions (I love to do a brain dump for this), and then break them down into doable steps. Remember, how do we eat an elephant? Answer…one bite at a time.
Simply waiting for a problem to go away just makes the problem harder and the situation longer sweetheart. Instead, start working on resolving the issue immediately. While there may not be any fast or simple solution, you can take steps toward making your situation better and less stressful.
Remember always to celebrate any progress too before planning your next steps. Take a moment for a pat-on-the-back and congratulating yourself before moving on so that you feel like it’s not just all like an uphill, unrewarding slog.
Actively working on solutions will also help you feel more in control. Rather than just waiting for things to happen, being proactive allows you to help make your goals a reality.
We do a whole weekly module on resilience in my Signature Transformation Programme (described as “life changing”). If you would like to know more information on the programme, the next start dates, and more please click HERE for information
You can also book a FREE discovery call with me if you would like to see which coaching programme, membership or 1-2-1 coaching is most suitable for you. We can have a chat about what’s currently going on for you in life right now and I will give you my recommendations on how I can help. Please click HERE to book your call at a time to suit.
Photo by Anna Stampfli on Unsplash