What does it mean to be emotionally and mentally resilient? Why are some of us able to handle stressful times and bounce back quickly? Why do others sink into a deep rabbit hole of negative thoughts and fears? 

When you’re in a crisis, it is so important to learn how to build resilience and ride the wave of emotions and fears. For this reason, I think you need to know three things about resilience so you can bounce forward rather than get stuck and sidelined when you face challenges.

Three Things You Need to Know About Resilience:

1. Hardwired to react to the bad.

With survival in mind, humans focus on the bad things that happen.  For example, when you are in a fight or flight situation, you are wired to quickly react without pausing and thinking about the best response to create the best outcome. 

Rather than have a negative reaction, take your time when you respond to a crisis. When you’re in this type of situation, this is the time to seek support from a trusted friend or mentor to talk through negative feelings. Most importantly, observe your thoughts. Then, place a label on the feelings as being non-constructive and unhelpful. Now, you disconnect yourself from the negative thought.

2. Skills at managing negativity.

When you receive bad news, do you freeze and worry about possible future fears and failures? Or, are you the person who meets challenges and rolls with the punches coming at you? 

One notable theory observes the temperament of a person. A person who is described as goal-oriented in their day-to-day life is better able to face and overcome a crisis. While a person who is avoidance-oriented is more likely to suffer, and become withdrawn and numb, in a difficult situation.

 If you’re action-oriented, you have learned the skill to navigate through uncomfortable things with ease and resilience through the daily practice of taking action on goals.

 If you’re avoidance-oriented, you have learned to avoid difficulties and procrastinate on taking action to face and move through the tough stuff. And, you may even stew and worry about the challenge.

First, it’s good to recognize your disposition and practice building the resilience tools while your life is calm. If you’re an avoidance-oriented individual then you will benefit from stress-reduction techniques in your toolbox when a crisis hits. Also, I recommend seeking a coach who will guide you to create goals and take action. As a result, you will learn to overcome fear and stress while navigating through challenges. 

3. How you define yourself matters.

Are you a person who defines yourself by your work and being a provider?  If you do, then you will suffer a harder hit when the setback or loss is in your core sense of self such as your work.   

For this reason, you will encounter suffering when you place all your emphasis on one role. When you lose your work, you will feel withdrawn and unbalanced. Most importantly, it is essential to identify with a number of various roles. 

 First, you want to list the various roles in your life. Does your vision of self include such roles as father/mother, spouse, daughter/son? Also, do your roles include, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin, church member, community volunteer, teacher, swimmer, and chess player?

Then, you want to create goals for each specific role and area of your life. You will have direction and balance in your life when you have various roles and goals. If you can’t make changes on your own, seek the help of a coach to teach and mentor you on leading an action-oriented life with goals in every area of your life.

Resilience is a state of mind.

In conclusion, you will increase your resilience by being conscious of your thinking and how you approach your life. To sum it all up, to be resilient is a state of the mind. When you’re resilient you can maneuver through life’s storms. With repetition, you will build resilience over time. Most of all, you will bounce forward stronger. As a result, you become more compassionate with yourself and others.

To your building resilience!


Do you need support in discovering and building your dreams and goals? In between my coaching and speaking schedule, I carve out a few strategy sessions each month. If you would like a complimentary strategy session (Value = $250), simply contact me here.

As a Life Coach, Wendy Johnson helps people who are feeling stuck and frustrated design a life they love living on purpose with more joy and peace. She’s passionate about teaching clients to unlock their true potential, achieve success, and live a life they love living. Wendy is an inspiring speaker, passionate educator, and a highly sought-after transformational coach.



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