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Resilience: Learning to bounce back

7 ways to help you focus on your natural ability to deal with challenges

By Anne Grady, C1 Contributor

Over the past several months, I’ve really come to appreciate the concept of resilience. Whether it be some personal roller coaster, recovering from disaster or the challenges of everyday life, resilience is a quality that can serve you well.

We often hear people say that children are resilient and can overcome a great deal, but what about adults? When we get knocked down, how do we get back up time and time again? Lately I’ve felt like one of those knock-down punching toys you might have had when you were little. I may be dating myself, but they were inflatable punching bags that popped back up after you knock them down. Over and over again, they just popped back up. I’ve felt like one of those bags lately, and I’ve learned a few things.

1. Keep the big picture in mind. It’s incredibly easy to lose sight of the forest and get stuck in the trees when you’re knocked down. Stay focused on what really matters to you in the long run and keep a broad outlook.

2. Focus on your strengths and accomplishments. When you’re knocked down, it’s easy to feel down. Remember what makes you amazing. You are full of strengths, accomplishments and goodness. You are strong and capable of handling anything that is thrown your way.

3. Renew your sense of purpose. Take some time to get re-grounded and focus on your personal values, your goals and what’s important to you.

4. Take care of yourself. Many of us have learned to put other people’s needs before our own. It’s OK to take time to take care of you, whether it’s some time alone, a massage or reading a positive, uplifting book. Take time for yourself. You will never find this time. You have to make this time.

5. Focus on what you can control. Rather than getting wrapped up in what-ifs, other people’s faults or external events, focus on the things with which you have direct and immediate control.

6. Surround yourself with productive people. A support system is one of your biggest tools in the battle to stay resilient. Surround yourself with people that are loving, kind, supportive and positive.

7. Reframe the way you’re thinking. What can you learn from this experience? How can this make you stronger? How can this prepare you for the struggles you will surely continue to experience in your life? What little lessons can you eke out of the situation?

If you’ve been knocked down lately (or know someone who has), focus on resilience. I have to keep reminding myself that I would not be given more than I am capable of handling (someone has way too much confidence in me at times), but it’s true. We are resilient by nature; we just have to work a little harder at it some days.

Anne Grady is the President of Acclivity Performance. For over fifteen years Anne has helped lead organizations and leverage the strengths of individuals and teams. Anne holds a master’s degree in Organizational Communication. Through her Organizational Development work with a diverse array of companies, not-for-profits, governmental agencies, and individuals, she has developed a unique ability to implement solutions for the real issues we face today. But it is the candor with which she draws from her personal experiences, combined with her humor and wit, that set Anne apart from the rest.