University of Pennsylvania psychologist and researcher Angela Lee Duckworth studies what determines success and has found that in the study upon study resiliency – also known as grit – is the number one indicator of success.
What is Resiliency?
Let’s start with what being resilient means.
According to an article in Psychology Today, resilient people display the following characteristics.
- They know who they are and don’t let stress and trauma define them.
- They keep good company and surround themselves with other resilient people.
- They cultivate self-awareness and are in touch with our psychological/physiological needs.
- They practice acceptance and understand that pain is part of the ebb and flow of life.
- They’re willing to sit in silence and be present of the moment without judgment or avoidance.
- They don’t have to have all the answers and know it’s ok not to have it all figured out.
- They have a menu of self-care habits and engage in them often.
- They know how to reach out for help and have a team of supporters.
- They consider the possibilities and train themselves to ask which parts of their current story are permanent and which can possibly change.
- They get out of their head and engage in habits such as journaling to gain perspective.
8 Ways to Build Resiliency
With an understanding what resiliency means, let’s turn to some ways to build it and get a bit grittier!
- Positivity: Resilient people find the silver lining in every situation – even the challenging ones. When they catch themselves sinking into negative thinking, they challenge their beliefs. A wonderful example of a resilient human being is the actor Michael J. Fox. Despite having spent years living with Parkinson’s disease, Fox radiates optimism and inspires millions. Read his book Always Looking Up to inspire you to become more positive.
- Be Action-Oriented: People who display grit are people of action. When you find yourself in a challenging situation, ask what you can do to improve it. Focus on problem-solving and solutions. Look for opportunities in what may seem undesirable situations.
- Practice Self-Care: While resilient people often work hard, they also know that self-care is essential. Ask yourself what you can do to take better care of yourself today, including activities that are enjoyable and relaxing as well as exercise and eating well.
- Develop Confidence: Self-love is at the heart of confidence. Ask yourself (and be honest), how do you feel about yourself right now. If a flood of negative thoughts come to mind, find ways to develop confidence and trust your instincts.
- Nurture Connections: If you don’t have a tribe, explore ways to develop one. This takes courage, as it may involve joining a group to meet new people. But resilient people make time to cultivate good relationships with family, friends and co-workers.
- Have Goals: Develop realistic goals and take steps each day to achieve them. Reaching goals will also build confidence. Remember, steps toward goals don’t have to be big – one small step after the next adds up!
- Learn from Mistakes: We all make mistakes – even the most resilient among us. Look back on your mistakes and ask yourself, “What did I learn from the experience and how might I do things differently next time?” Then let it go, and move on.
- Take Personal Responsibility: Resilient people know that they alone are responsible for their choices and actions. Ask yourself if you are taking full responsibility for your life. If not, consider what you can do to become more accountable to yourself.