Essential Skill Overview: Resilience

Focus on resilience to overcome setbacks.



Have you ever seen one of those inflatable punching bags that always pops back up when you hit them? Kick it, hit it, smack it all you want, but that little guy won't stay down. Now, that's resilience.

Oxford Dictionary defines it like this. Resilience is "the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties," or, you could say, to pop back up when life throws you some hard times.

Now, I love those definitions, don't get me wrong. And I would love to pop back up. But sometimes life just throws me a hard jab and a huge uppercut. And if they hit me enough, I just don't feel like getting back up. I want to stay down for the count.


So does that mean that I'm not tough enough, that I'm not enough of a resilient person? Some people are just born tougher than others? No. Actually, study after study has shown that resilience is learned.

And you may not want to hear this. But it's best learned through those hard times. Luckily, though, we don't have to stop there. You see, there's a simple way to build resilience in those hard times. You just need to change the channel.

Now-- now, that doesn't mean that you get to change your life circumstances, though oftentimes I wish you could. It simply means that you need to change your focus, your perspective. Tune out of the static and tune in to the good things in your life.

You see, resilient people, they have this X-ray vision of sorts when it comes to hardship. They start by first accepting their circumstances and then they look past them, through them, into them even, to find the good. Simply switching your focus, well, it's a powerful way to build resilience.

So try this. Look for three things that you're grateful for today. And remember, adversity affects all of us. It doesn't discriminate. But we always have a choice. We have a choice to change the channel, to change our focus, to tune in to the good that's all around.

And remember, it's not just about being tougher. It's about being more resilient, more flexible, more focused on what we can change than we can't. And that my friend is an essential skill to learn.