Resilience. Strength. Mental toughness. The way we look at obstacles and rise up to meet them is a significant part of having a happy, fulfilling and successful life (by our own definitions of each, of course). Our mental toughness is determined by our ability to handle the various obstacles thrown our way. (People who have been through a lot in life know that all too well.) Here are some tips for building resilience:
Be honest with yourself
Challenges have a way of making us uncomfortable by bringing out our insecurities, so people often subconsciously use obstacles and challenges as excuses for not trying. The first step in building resilience is to acknowledge what specifically is causing your inner discomfort.
It may be a fear of change, fear of failure, fear of success or a fear of landing somewhere in-between that is stopping you. Nobody else can hear your inner conversations so be honest with yourself. You will not be able to move forward unless you can acknowledge what is holding you back.
Know your strengths and weaknesses
When you consider how your skill set compares with needs to be done to overcome an obstacle, you are likely to find that you have the natural ability to face the challenge. Also think about how you have overcome obstacles in the past, so you can utilize those skills again.
And when a skill required to a particular obstacle is not your strong suit, you will know immediately the area in which you will need to enlist help in order to fight this battle.
Control is important to all of us because it makes us feel safe, and the perceived loss of control when facing an obstacle can be the main reason we lack resilience. We may not be able to control a situation or challenge, but we can control our plan of attack and our attitude. Taking control of these pieces can help you to face a challenge with more optimism.
Break it down
Try looking at the situation in various parts or pieces. When you break it down, it may not feel so overwhelming. You may just realize that in reality you can handle much of the situation with ease and will allow you to see which aspect of the situation is the real obstacle.
Consider the outcomes
Can the situation you are facing be viewed in any other way? What if you were someone else looking in? What would they say?
Before you tackle a situation head on, it is helpful to consider other points of view. Open your mind to other possibilities and make this a learning opportunity. Also, when considering potential outcomes, remember that you do yourself no favors by expecting perfection. Expect greatness instead.
Plan your strategy
This is probably the one tip that has served me the most. Planning ahead and being as prepared as possible is one of the best ways to deal with any obstacle and help you feel more in-control. Being prepared and having a strategy will give you the confidence boost you need to hit the ground running.
Believe in yourself
Having confidence in yourself and your ability to rise to the occasion deprives the challenge of its power over you. Resilient people are optimistic (or at the very least, hopeful) in the face of adversity. As the old adage goes, if you believe it then you can achieve it.
Go for it
You have been real with yourself. You know what you bring to the table and where you stand. You know what outcome you expect to achieve and how you plan to get there. You are ready, so go all the way and do not stop until you are on the other side. Face that challenge once and for all.
The bottom line is that without resilience you will be stuck. So ask yourself, do you want to be the one who looks at the mountain or do you want to be the one who sees the view from the top?