7 Fantastic Ways to Increase Your Resilience


One way of explaining resilience is…
the ability to handle adversity, challenges, stress, and the strong emotions that come along with those difficulties well.

With resilience, you are able to successfully navigate what life brings your way and thrive rather than just survive.

Who doesn’t want to increase their odds of thriving despite life’s challenges? It makes sense, then, to take steps to become more resilient, but when life and work are going well, resilience may not be on your radar.

Investing In Your Future

Think of intentionally seeking to increase your resilience as investing in your future like insurance. Auto insurance doesn’t keep you from having accidents, but it sure makes it easier to recover from one afterwards. Health insurance doesn’t keep you from getting hurt or contacting a disease, but it’s mighty helpful when you do!

In the same way, resilience equips you to bounce back when life throws a punch your way!

“To Leap”

It might surprise you to know that somersaults and resilience share the same root word in the verb salire, which means to leap. Interestingly, somersaults actually conjure up a pretty accurate picture of what resilience looks like – turning upside and rolling again and again and again!

Without resilience, life halts! Well, not literally, but the lack of resilience does have some undesirable effects like increased stress which takes a toll on your physical well-being. It also leads to negative emotions and you may find yourself lacking motivation and/or energy. Decisions become more difficult to make, your concentration is diminished, and you may feel overwhelmed. That often adds up to being stuck.

Resilience is something that’s developed over time as you face difficult experiences and suffering IF you learn, grow, and integrate what you are learning into your life. To be clear, resilience isn’t something you have or don’t have. Each experience is an opportunity for you to move along the resilience continuum in a positive direction.

More on Resilience

Having resilience in one area of your life does not automatically mean that you are resilient in every area. For example, you may be quite resilient in your relationships, but lack resilience spiritually, financially, or in a crisis. Or you may naturally be financially resilient, yet need more resilience emotionally.

Increasing Resilience

Periodically assessing how resilient you are in the various areas of your life is a worthwhile exercise so you know where to concentrate your efforts. There are also some fantastic ways to begin revving up the resilience in your life overall. Even better, these actions have a cumulative effect!

1. Manage Your Energy

Every day you use up physical, cognitive, spiritual, and emotional energy, each of which is limited. With a typical day in mind, how much energy are you putting out in each of these four areas? When it comes to these key areas, how much of your capacity are you using up? How much energy do you have to spare? What depletes your energy? And just as important, what energizes you?

Armed with that information, how will you “budget” your energy input and output? The more skillfully you manage your energy, the more energy there is for handling the unexpected.

If you are consistently doing life depleted, you are less capable of handling life’s challenges when they come.

2. Guard Your Calendar

Loosely connected to managing your energy, is the need to guard your calendar. I say guard, because it’s easy to allow activities to sneak in and rob you of the margin you need in your life to operate at your best.

While the activity level that best suits you might be too much for me, and vice versa. Knowing your ideal activity level based on your personality, season of life, and responsibilities is essential. Each time that happy level of activity is exceeded you lesson your resilience.

3. Assemble Your Tribe

The most resilient individuals are connected to people who support them when they need it. Do you have people in your life who…

      • Listen without judgment?
      • Encourage you in your goals and dreams?
      • Advocate for you?
      • Shed tears and/or celebrate with you?
      • Love you enough to tell you when you are off track?
      • Stretch and push you?
      • Invite you to play, explore, and/or be creative?
      • Point you back to God?
      • Inspire you?
      • Really know you, get you, and appreciate you?
      • Challenge you to venture outside your comfort zone or invite you to step into what you thought impossible?
      • Coaches you – someone trustworthy who provides a safe place to process and explore life and helps you see the mindsets, habits, and patterns that aren’t serving you?

You don’t have to have a tribe of a dozen people, although you might! Maybe some of the people in your tribe play multiples roles in your life. The point is to surround yourself with people who truly love and support you. You are significantly stronger when you don’t do life alone!

4. Know Your Identity & Purpose

Identity and purpose are the very foundation of you.

Your identity is how you define who you are – it’s your very essence. If you were to toss all of the unique qualities you possess, your beliefs, values, character, experiences, etc. all into a soup pot and gave a healthy stir you’d end up with your identity.

Your purpose is who God created you to be – the unique way you reflect Him to the world. It’s a way of being that has the potential to play out in every aspect of your life. Your purpose also plays a critical role in the calling God’s placed on your life and/or the dreams, passions, and/or goals He’s placed within you.

The stronger your sense of identity and purpose are the greater the odds are that you will persist when you encounter obstacles, adversity, failures, or setbacks.

5. Connect To Your Emotions

God created you with emotions for a reason. They provide you with powerful information if you choose to connect to them. For example, your emotions might be revealing…

      • What’s important to you.
      • Something you need to let go of.
      • A conflict with your values or an alignment with your values.
      • A need, desire, or problem that needs to be solved.
      • An issue you to deal with or expectation you have.
      • A fear.
      • The growing pains that come with stretching or stepping outside your comfort zone.
      • It’s time to take action or slow down.
      • That something is missing.
      • A loss or disappointment.
      • The need for love, comfort, or support.
      • Contentment and satisfaction.
      • An insecurity or loneliness.
      • That you’ve been hurt or done something wrong.
      • You’ve exceeded your limits.

Of course, this list is far from exhaustive, but I trust it opens your eyes to the incredible resource emotions offer you so that you are able to take wise next steps that truly serve you.

6. Renew Your Mind

Your thinking has the power to seriously stunt your resilience! Just one of the many reasons to be in the Word daily, meditate on the scripture, and take your thoughts captive! While I won’t elaborate further here as I’ve frequently touched on this topic don’t ignore the big part your mind plays!

7. Practice Doing Hard Things

If stretching isn’t a part of your workout routine every day, then stretching is hard when you do attempt it!

In the same way, if you make an effort to regularly tackle what doesn’t come easy for you, then you’ll be better prepared to handle tough stuff when you need to.

Regular stretching makes you more limber and getting in the habit of doing hard things makes you more resilient!

Inspired to invest in yourself in ways that would increase your resilience?

Some additional sweet benefits to becoming more resilient are that it simultaneously boosts your confidence, protects your mental well-being, and enables you to take more risks!

Professionally resilience makes you more productive, a better problem solver, improves your communication, and makes you a better leader!

While the process of ramping up your resilience won’t happen overnight, but it certainly will add up!

When it comes to intentionally increasing your resilience, what’s your next step?

Photo credit: Dragan Smiljkovic

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.

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