Unlocking Your Inner Resilience

Written by: on February 21, 2024

Life can be unpredictable. One moment, everything seems to be going to plan. The next minute, you’re faced with challenges that test your strength and purposefulness. In times of adversity, resilience becomes your greatest asset – the ability to bounce back, adapt, and grow stronger from life’s inevitable setbacks. This is something I discovered in 2019 after facing brain surgery, a stroke, becoming the first woman in the world to have a type of facial reanimation surgery and embarking on a recovery journey learning to do simple things again.

During this time in my life, I understood the importance of having inner resilience. Being able to find opportunities in difficult situations helped me get through the inevitable challenges that life throws at us. Resilience helped me find the positives and dig deep for the hope and optimism to get through it. In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of resilience and provide practical tips to help you build it in the face of adversity. 

Understanding Resilience

Resilience means more than recovering from tough times. It’s about flourishing even when faced with challenges. It’s the ability to handle pressure, setbacks, and tough times while holding onto hope, optimism, and a sense of purpose. Resilient people have a range of psychological and emotional skills that help them deal with life’s difficulties. It’s not about avoiding difficult situations but facing them with courage and determination.

For example, imagine a student who fails an important exam. Instead of giving up, they use it as motivation to study harder and improve their grades. Additionally, consider a small business owner facing financial difficulties. Despite the challenges, they’re determined to find solutions and persevere through tough times. This resilience enables them to overcome obstacles and thrive in their entrepreneurial journey. 

In both cases, resilience isn’t only about bouncing back. Resilience is about using adversity as a stepping stone to greater success. It’s about maintaining a positive outlook and finding strength in the face of challenges.

Why It Matters

Building resilience is crucial for various reasons:

Now let’s look at practical strategies we can apply to build and strengthen this trait.

9 Tips to Build Resilience

Adopting a growth mindset means believing in our ability to learn from challenges. Someone with a fixed mindset avoids challenges through fear of failure or judgement. But growth mindsets see challenges as a chance to learn a valuable lesson. Embrace setbacks as opportunities for growth rather than viewing them as failures. Understand that setbacks are not permanent. We can overcome them with perseverance and determination.

Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, especially during difficult times. Remember to prioritise rest, relaxation, and activities that bring you joy . This could mean going for a walk, practising mindfulness or meditation, journaling, listening to music or enjoying quality time with friends. Doing things that make you happy and relaxed helps you feel energised, even when life is hard.

During tough times, surround yourself with people who uplift and encourage you. Don’t hesitate to lean on others for support when needed. Foster meaningful connections by listening, showing empathy, and being present for others. Consider volunteering as this helps build empathy and perspective, encouraging you to see that you’re not alone.

Try to find something good in every situation. Even when things are tough, remind yourself that problems won’t last forever. Instead of negative thinking, try to see things in a better light. Focus on what you can change and take action to make things better. For example, if you’re stuck in traffic, instead of getting frustrated, use the time to listen to your favourite music or podcast and enjoy the moment of peace and quiet.

Get better at understanding and controlling your emotions. Try calming techniques like deep breathing or meditation when you’re stressed. Improve your ability to handle tough situations by being more aware of your emotions and practising mindfulness.

Break big goals into smaller ones that you can actually do. When you make progress, take a moment to feel good about it, even if things don’t always go perfectly. Keep moving forward, little by little. Change your goals if you need to and trust that small daily progress adds up. 

Think about what matters to you. Do things that make you feel happy and satisfied, even when things are tough. Find meaning by doing things that match your values and by helping others or being part of something bigger than yourself.

When you have negative thoughts that make you feel less strong, try to change them. Instead, think in a way that makes you feel more confident and realistic. Use techniques that encourage you to think about situations in a different way. Think of challenges as chances to get better at things, and not as problems. For example, If you’re nervous before a job interview, focus on your strengths. Instead of worrying about not being good enough, remind yourself of relevant experience. Tell yourself that you have what it takes to contribute to the company. This positive thinking can help you feel more confident during the interview.

Every day, think about what makes you grateful, even when times are tough. Gratitude helps you see the good things in your life instead of focusing on what’s missing. You can write in a gratitude journal, send thank-you notes, or tell others how much you appreciate them. Also, you can try finding at least three positive aspects in a situation that seems bad. For example, this could be new doors or opportunities that you wouldn’t have gone through otherwise. Or realising you’re closer to a friend or family member and have more meaningful connections because something difficult that brought you together. 

By incorporating these tips into your life, you can strengthen your resilience and navigate life’s ups and downs better.

Supporting Others in Building Resilience

We can also support others in their resilience-building journey. Here are some ways to help:

Building resilience helps us become stronger and more capable of handling tough times. Having a positive attitude, learning how to cope, and building supportive relationships helps overcome difficulties and grow through them. Remember, resilience is not about avoiding hardships. Resilience is about embracing them as opportunities for growth and personal development. It’s an inner strength that helps you stay hopeful, learn from difficult experiences, and keep going even when things get tough.

About the Writer

This blog was written by Sammy Taylor, founder of Beauty in the Brain, who delivered our first InnovateAll event of 2024. In her talk, Sammy shared her personal journey of overcoming life-altering brain surgery and stroke, she highlighted the power of resilience and adaptability, explored how to reframe difficulties as opportunities for growth, and discussed how to develop inner strength. She encouraged the audience to identify positive aspects within their challenges with key takeaways including embracing change, cultivating resilience as a skill, and envisioning a positive future shaped by current challenges.

Our InnovateAll event’s are free for all of our partners to attend, so if you’re interested in becoming an InnovateHer partner and joining future events, click here.

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