Resilience has often been referred to as the “holy grail” of positive human functioning. As someone who has been through personal tragedy at a young age, I have been constantly asked by many people how they can build resilience even if they have never encountered tragedy and loss. Navigating a personal tragedy takes you outside of your comfort zone – it can create chaos in our personal and professional lives and can result in anxiety and depression.
Resilience is one of the most important factors to mental health but also to performance and success in our daily lives. It means that we have to be adept at finding meaning in life even through tumultuous change and experiences.
Finding meaning in life is an integral concept to world-renowned psychologist Martin E. Seligman, author of the book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being, and he includes this concept in his shorthand for happiness, PERMA, which stands for Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Achievement.
Seligman states that if we want to be “happy in the long term, we need to strive for the ‘Meaningful Life,’ in which we find a deep sense of fulfillment by employing our unique strengths for a purpose greater than ourselves.” This concept of finding meaning despite life altering setbacks is critical to building resilience and living a holistically wealthy lifestyle.
Here are three ways to build your resilience muscles even if you’ve never encountered a life-altering setback:
- Step Outside Your Comfort Zone – Embrace Change
Stepping outside of your comfort zone and embracing change is key to building resilience. We live in an ever-changing world with rapid technological change. When you experience a life-altering setback you are immediately thrust outside of your comfort zone – and into unfamiliar territory. This unfamiliar territory can often feel destabilizing. By stepping outside of your comfort zone on a regular basis you can know how it feels to navigate the unfamiliar and develop the tools you need to be successful.
2.Broaden Your Network
Building resilience means broadening your tool-kit. One of the best tools in your toolbox is your network. In my book Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons To Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity and Happiness, I discuss the importance of relationships. Relationships are a key part of resilience because they are a support system. However, we often align ourselves with those who share the same worldview as we do. A critical part of building resilience is having a diversity of relationships. We often rely on our “homogenous ties”. However, “heterogenous” ties or relationships are also critical to building resilience. Homogenous (or strong ties) are normally people closest to us, like family members and friends; these people have the same networks as we do. Heterogenous ties (weak ties) are more diverse, have a far reach, and normally expose us to new ideas, innovation, and creativity. These weak ties can be powerful if we try to tap into them. They help us build our resilience muscles in a multitude of ways, whether through exposing us to different cultural contexts, innovative ways of looking at different problems and finding solutions that we had never thought of.
Embracing failure is a very important aspect of building resilience. World class athletes, and entrepreneurs know that failure is a part of success. If you’re not failing it means you’re not trying anything new. By embracing failure you will also be more likely to take measured risks – which is a critical part of finding success and opportunities in your daily life.
Building your resilience muscles is a process that is most effective when it becomes an intentional part of life. Learning to embrace failure, to step outside of your comfort zone to harness the power of both homogeneous and heterogenous ties – will be key in finding success.
Keisha Blair is the world’s foremost expert on Holistic Wealth and bestselling author of Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons To Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity and Happiness, and the Holistic Wealth Workbook: 32 Life Lessons To Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity and Happiness.
For more information visit www.keishablair.com