No one goes through life unscathed. From shortcomings brought on by outside circumstances to misfires that are self-generated, failure shows itself in many ways. The ability to recognize and reframe one’s failures in order to recover and move on is known as resiliency.
Resiliency is key to overcoming any challenge life throws at you.
Resiliency can be learned once we understand our starting point. We are normally bucketed into one of two categories: either low-resilience or high-resilience. Those with high-resilience tend to be able to temper their emotional responses when their brains enter crisis mode due to a perceived threat. Those with low-resilience tend to stay emotionally keyed up even if a perceived threat turns out not to be a threat at all. An example of this would be entering self-pity or feeling paralyzed after failing a test or missing your bus.
Regardless of whether our brains fall into low-resilience or high-resilience we have the ability to learn how to adapt to adversity and failure with simple techniques. With practice, we can control our brain activity to modify how we respond to disappointment and failure.
Life is a Numbers Game
Learning to play the odds can increase your ability to overcome adversity and bounce back. Think about the very best hitters in baseball, they only hit the ball one out of every three pitches. By accepting that failure is okay and will happen in life we can better attune our brains to be more resilient. One way to move on from a mistake is by simply blocking it from your mind. Usually one slip-up isn’t going to break a deal so by blocking out the mistake we can immediately turn our focus on to the next task and not fall into pity oblivion. One example of this would be getting back on the dating horse right after a failed date. One date isn’t going to color your entire dating future.
If you’re an avid reader of The Social Reserve you have learned a little bit about your locus of control. Those with an internal locus of control believe they are in the driver’s seat of their destiny-mobile. Those with an external locus of control believe that things happen to them by an outside force and they do not have control over their own life. If you’re someone who believes that you have no control over most things in your life, you can fix this by starting with the small things that you believe you can’t control but actually can. Think about your last job search. If you sat around waiting for the phone to ring you could have made the choice to hit the streets and personally hand your resume to each potential employer. The proactive approach will always bring more results than the passive one. For those that have trouble taking control in their own life, especially after a misstep, remember these words from world renowned speaker W. Mitchell, “It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it.”
Resilient Role Models
Those that have high-resilience sometimes learn this trait from a role model or mentor. Try thinking about someone in your life that always seems to be swimming in a sea of success, do they ever talk about their failures negatively or do they see them as opportunities? Not only can you reach out to this person for help when you have a set-back but you also can pull on your mental image of this person when in need. Ask yourself, “What would this person do if they were in my situation?” Then take action.
Whether you look at every failure as an opportunity, grab your life by the horns, or choose Mr. Bean as your role model, you can overcome mistakes and be resilient. By practicing these techniques and other techniques daily you can start finding success in unusual places. Remember, you are not defined by your mistakes and failures. Try your very best to find the good in any bad that might come your way. Achieve this, and you’ll be able to tackle any challenge life can throw at you.
Source: Think Like a Winner by Jeff Brown and Mark Fenske