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How to be Resilient in Tough Times

How to Be More Resilient When Things Get Tough

by Lolly Daskal

The choices we make every day determine how resilient we can be when things go wrong. Discover the secret to thriving in challenging times.

It’s human nature to resist change — particularly when it comes in the form of adversity or challenges. But change is inevitable, and developing the trait of resilience helps us not only survive change, but also learn, grow, and thrive in it. 

Resilience is the capacity to cope with stress and adversity. It comes from believing in yourself and, at the same time, in something bigger than yourself. 

Resilience is not a trait that people are born with; it involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone. 


Here are 10 ways to develop your resilience so you’re ready when you need your strength the most. 

1. Don’t try to solve problems with the same thinking that created them.  Resilient people do not make the same mistake again and again. They’re willing to be honest about why they failed and they take the time to think about what didn’t work. 

2. Master your emotions before they manage you.  Resilient people have a positive outlook. They remind themselves that much of what they’re facing is temporary, and that they’ve overcome setbacks before and can do it again. Resilient people focus on what they can learn from the experience. 

3. Stay tough.  Resilient people face their fears and have an adaptive attitude that lets them focus on possibilities even in the worst of times. The tougher the situation, the tougher they become. 

4. Keep growing.  Life does not get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient. Resilient people are constantly becoming braver and more courageous. They know that life is not what happens to us but what happens within us. 

5. Stay prepared.  Resilient people work on solving a problem rather than let themselves become paralyzed by negativity. They keep planning for the future even when things aren’t working out. 

6. Pick yourself up, as many times as it takes.  Resilient people understand that failure is not falling down, but refusing to get up. They have the capacity to adapt successfully and the tenacity to never, ever quit. 

7. Reward the small wins.  Resilient people believe in themselves. They work hard and take joy in the small wins that give them strength. 

8. Keep giving.  Even in the toughest of times resilient people find a way to care for others, because sometimes being selfless is the best way to discover your own strength. 

9. Build relationships.  Resilient people maintain strong and supportive relationships, both personal and professional. As a result, they have caring, supportive people around them in times of crisis. 

10. Create your own meaning.  Resilient people search for meaning. They develop a “personal why” that helps them have a clear sense of purpose, which helps them view setbacks from a broader perspective.

To make it through the tough times takes resilience. It requires that we pay attention to the complexities of our own experiences, listen to our emotions, and be willing to learn from disappointment and failure as well as success and motivation.



This subject area of Resilience has only recently emerged as a key research area in Human Resources. Before the 1990’s (I know that is ancient history!), it was thought that Resilience was an inner trait that you did or did not possess. Today, we believe that more than 85% of these traits can be learned and integrated into our daily personal and professional lives. As you may recall I devote a major part of my book: The Four Pillars of Employable Talent to this area. Hope you find this article informative. Resilience is a great attribute in an unpredictable world.



Lolly Daskal is the President and CEO of Lead from Within.  This article was originally published on Inc.com on April 9, 2015.

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