What's Resilience and How to Be Resilient

30 September, 2020
Everyone must learn to be resilient; it's merely a set of thoughts and attitudes anyone can learn and develop in order to adapt to and overcome adverse situations. The people we surround ourselves with are fundamental.

You must learn to be resilient. Why? Because it’ll help you deal with difficult situations such as coping with loss. OK, but what exactly is it and how do I get some? Continue reading to find out.

What’s resilience?

OK, let’s define it, resilience is the ability to overcome adversity by being able to do our best in the face of tragedies, trauma, threats, and severe stress.

Being resilient doesn’t mean a person doesn’t have feelings or experience difficulties. In fact, everyone at some point in their lives feels sadness, uncertainty, discomfort, or pain, be it physical or emotional.

As you can see, being resilient is about being able to overcome and adapt despite any obstacles that may arise, and in spite of the impact that a given situation might have on a person.

Furthermore, resilience isn’t something you either have or don’t have. Rather, it encompasses a set of thoughts, emotions, and attitudes that anyone can learn and develop.

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Influences to be resilient

Many studies show that emotional support is one of the most important factors when it comes to being resilient. This is because having people who care, support, and trust you can make you much more resilient.

Other associated factors are:

How does one become resilient?

A cat playing with a bottle cap.

The fundamental characteristics of resilient people are:

  • They’re realistic
  • They believe their life is meaningful
  • They have a strong desire to improve

In addition, they can also:

  • Know how to control their emotions
  • Be empathetic
  • Know how to accurately identify the causes of their problems
  • Consider themselves competent
  • Be self-confident

The most important characteristic of a resilient person resides in their way and style of thinking. A resilient person is realistic and flexible.

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How to be resilient?

Resilience isn’t something some of us have and others don’t; it encompasses a series of skills and attitudes we can develop. How? Here are some tips on how to do it:

1. Establish relationships

We’ve already mentioned that emotional support is one of the most important factors that’ll help us be more resilient.

Having good interpersonal relationships, accepting the help and support offered to us, as well as helping those in need, strengthens our resilience.

2. Realistic thinking, constructive thinking

We can’t prevent threatening or stressful events from occurring, but we can change the way we interpret and react to them.

Seeing problems as challenges to overcome, from a broad perspective. Thinking we’re capable of confronting them and finding possible solutions help us be more resilient.

3. Be resilient by accepting reality

Accepting that change is part of life is essential for adapting. This is because the adaptation process would stagnate without it.

4. Trust yourself

You don’t know what you’re capable of until you try, you may even be surprised at how much you can achieve.

5. Develop goals and objectives

Take action; don’t just stay there and wait for things to come to you. Set goals and targets, and fight for them.

6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery

Often times people become wiser after overcoming adversity or a stressful event. In this way, you learn something new about yourself every time you confront your demons.

There are many other ways to develop our resilience, we just have to identify the activities that allow us to build our personal strategy to develop it.

Finally, here’s a phrase to reflect upon:

“The curious paradox is that I can only change when I accept myself as I am.”

  • Oriol-Bosch, A. (2012). Resiliencia. Educación Médica. https://doi.org/10.4321/S1575-18132012000200004
  • Becoña Iglesias, E. (2006). Resiliencia : definición, características y utilidad del concepto. Revista de Psicopatología y Psicología Clínica. https://doi.org/10.5944/rppc.vol.11.num.3.2006.4024
  • Becoña, E. (2006). Resiliencia: definición, características y utilidad del concepto. Revista de Psicopatología y Psicología Clínica. https://doi.org/ISSN 1136-5420/06