4 Easy Steps to build resilience

“More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. This is the truth that I have discovered in a career spanning the Armed Forces, Public and Private Sector and endurance challenges.

It’s never been more important – or more challenging – to remain focused, energized, productive and optimistic, that is, to be resilient.

 “What is the biggest factor for developing resilience?”

What is meant by resilience. The American Psychological Association state that resilience is…


“Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences.”
The key word in this quote is adapting… once you have the idea that your behaviours and actions are not fixed parts of who you are you can start to adapt how you respond. As Darwin said
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

To continually build your resilience you must know and believe that your past and present do not equal the future. By learning and reviewing your actions you can outgrow the challenge you face and in future act in an empowering manner.What a load of Arse! What can the study of resilience in sport teach us…

Dr Salmon renowned sports psychologist and author ofOvercoming performance errors with resilience’ conducted an extensive study to understand how resilience could be learnt. The outcome of this study is the below process with pneumonic of ARSE… who said scientists don’t have a sense of humour…
This process shows how we can build upon our resilience after the event…

Acknowledge – They must first acknowledge that however the event went there is learning to be gained from understanding their thinking during the process. (See Taking Responsibility Article)

A client, part of the armed forces, struggled with finding the strength to continue to push themselves to their peak ability, once the pain became too much they would stop; however, they knew that they could have pushed further.

Review – Review what happened and why it didn’t work.

With the above client, we back tracked through the moment and isolated his thinking, what led him to feel the need to stop? What where the thoughts just before he stopped? What did he think it would say about him if he continued and if he stopped?

(The technique mentioned above is part of a goal setting system called PECSAWCA, I covered this in another blog here)

Strategy – Now that you have gained an insight into what went wrong put in place corrective action to prevent it happening in future events.

We created a strategy where we now linked the actions of carrying on to their top three values and started the process of linking it to their identity. We also adopted the idea of just 1% more each time. When the pain got too much just to go 10 more meters, then another 10 meters…. (If you are interested in how to find you CORE Values please get in touch see below also see Process Goals: Use Habits to achieve success)

Execute – Go out and test the new strategy.  (See the Importance of Experimentation article here)

As soon as was possible the client tested his new strategy.

The following quote from Michael Jordan demonstrates this idea of using learning to increase your resilience.

I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
Steen Stones, a former Royal Marine, adventurer and founder of Quest Life Coaching and Training; a business focused on helping you achieve your aspirations through building psychological resilience. Are you ready to take responsibility to create your change? Sign up to the Resilience Newsletter 

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