Personal Resilience

What is resilience?

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from the pressures that life can throw at us. It can help us to deal with tough times and includes recognition that mistakes and setbacks are part of life.

Resilience is knowing when we need to take it easy, making best use of our strengths and connecting with those close to us when we are faced with difficult times.

Why is it important?

Resilience is important because we will all face setbacks in our lives; not everything will go to plan.

Resilience will help us to cope with these situations, learning from them to allow us to grow as individuals and move on in life.

What stops us being resilient?

There are a number of natural reactions to adverse situations which can include jumping to the worst case scenario, blaming others, accepting helplessness. Most people will have experienced these reactions at some point in their lives.

How can I become more resilient?

In order to try to overcome such feelings, it is important to recognise how you are feeling and consciously try to change this. Although you may not be able to change the problem you are facing, you can always change your reaction to it.

This may seem difficult at first, but new ways of thinking can be learned.

It can help to reflect on the problem you are facing and try to reframe it in an optimistic way, for instance:

Moving From…   Moving To…
Setbacks are permanent Setbacks are temporary
Feeling the situation is hopeless Being specific about what the problem is
Blaming others Taking responsibility

You can also aim to develop a ‘growth mindset’ which focuses on:

  • Success meaning that you have been stretched in a positive way.
  • Failure is something to learn from.
  • Feeling good when effort pays off.
  • Welcoming fair criticism.
  • The ability to cope with uncertainty.

It also helps to understand the resources you have available to you or you have used in the past, which may be:

  • Personal strengths – you may be particularly good at communicating with others, have determination, flexibility or courage.
  • Strategies – asking for help, using problem-solving approaches, writing, meditation.
  • Resources – you may go to friends, a mentor, use books you have read.
  • Insights – you may have useful ideas, perspectives or sayings that you can draw on to help your resilience.

Finally, moving forward, remember the following:

  • Acceptance – life is going to be difficult.
  • Perspective – take some time out to get some perspective on the situation.
  • Mindset – be optimistic.
  • Company – learn how to ask for help and support.
  • Confidence – believe that you can do it!

Where can I find more information?

You can access a free personal resilience questionnaire which will highlight your areas of resilience as well as areas for development:

Personal Resilience Tool

Further information can also be found at the following websites: