It’s not accidental that some people are happier and more successful than others. What are they doing that separates them from the pack? They make resilience and well-being top priorities.
A winning frame of mind
Some people are born with pit-bull determination, less affected by stressful situations, and more resilient to change. Others are more vulnerable to the arrows of everyday pressures. But regardless of where we fall, we can cultivate a winning frame of mind also known as a growth mindset coined by Carol Dweck of Stanford — the belief that defeat happens for us, not to us. If we have a growth mindset, we consider success and failure a package deal — like the two sides of the same coin. It’s an understanding that avoidance of failure morphs into avoidance of success. To attain what we want, we must be willing to accept what we don’t want. Instead of giving up, we welcome obstacles, setbacks, and disappointments — no matter how painful, frustrating, big or small — as opportunities to grow and learn instead of as defeat.
We think of defeat when hopelessness sets in after a setback — an impossible deadline, a lousy review from our boss, a missed promotion, or the rumble of our own self-doubt. We tell ourselves we want to give up, but we don’t really want to quit. We just want the hurt and disappointment to stop. At the time that might feel like the only option, but it isn’t. Perhaps we haven’t actually failed. Chances are, “failure” is what we call it when we don’t meet our expectations, things don’t turn out the way we planned or we’re simply traversing a valley that everyone goes through before reaching the mountain of success.
Failure is heart-breaking, but it can also be an impetus to keep going when we possess the following traits.
Habits of Highly-Resilient People:
1) They grow a thick skin and expect rejection and setbacks. They commit themselves to facing the many brickbats they would encounter.
2) They get out of the comfort zone and step into growing pains.
3) They postpone immediate gratification in the short term for the fulfilment of their goals in the long term.
4) They cultivate bounce-back sustainability. They are like a rubber ball that bounces higher than the height it falls from.
5) They refer to previous experience and reflect on past obstacles they’ve overcome in their rise. They remember lessons learnt and underscore ways they have grown stronger through past hard knocks.
6) They identify self-doubts that have cramped their work style or crippled them from growing fully. They harness them — instead of running away from them — and channel them into useful skills so they don’t paralyze them.
7) They manage the ups-and-downs of their life by treating highs and lows equally. They celebrate the highs but don’t take them any more seriously than the lows, and don’t take setbacks any more seriously than upswings.
8) They eschew the what-the-hell attitude. This attitude only adds insult to injury. They face the let-downs and introspect what they can learn that will help them grow.
9) They practice positive self-talk and optimism. They avoid negative put-downs and criticisms. Instead of blaming themselves after a setback, they give themselves positive affirmations and encouragement to get going.
10) After a setback or discouraging situation, their motivation bounces back quicker as they support themselves with compassion. Instead of kicking themselves when they’re down, they are on their own side. They are their number one cheerleader as they progress in their goals.