Building your resilience

By Cara Waudby Tolley | July 12, 2022

How well do you fare when the going gets tough? Find out with Anti-Burnout club’s Bex Spiller.

Being able to bounce back from adversity or high levels of stress is an important skill to have, and luckily it’s something that can be honed with the right tools. There are steps we can all take to become more resilient, which will, in turn, improve our self-esteem, happiness, and reduce stress levels.

Step 1 – see setbacks as opportunities

This is one of the keys to resilience, but also an area where many of us will stumble. When something doesn’t quite go to plan, does it make you want to throw in the towel and give it all up? If so, it’s time to reframe those setbacks as opportunities!

We can do this by keeping a thought diary every time we experience a setback and asking ourselves the following questions:

• What is the setback?
• How does it make me feel? (Eg, angry, upset, not too bad)
• Why does it make me feel that way?
• Is there anything I can learn from this experience?
• How can I turn this into an opportunity?

Really digging deep into each setback going forward will help you discover the opportunities for learning or growth that may come from each. Eventually, this process will become pretty much automatic and you won’t even need the thought diary to be able to turn each setback into an opportunity.

Step 2 – set some strength based goals

According to the VIA Institute, everyone has 24 different character strengths in different degrees and using these to your advantage can reduce stress, increase your happiness, improve your work performance and even boost your confidence.

We are so good at focusing on our weaknesses, we can often forget that we’re actually pretty amazing human beings. Use the free VIA test online to find out your top five character strengths and then work on creating goals and aspirations around these. If your number one strength is a love of learning, then your goal could be to gain a new qualification or read 50 books in a year! If your number one strength is creativity, then your goal could be to write your first book or sell your first painting.

Try and spend a little bit of time each day focusing on your character strengths and working on the goals that light you up to make it easier to bounce back even when time

Step 3 – find your people

Having the right social support is absolutely vital to building resilience and there’s a common misconception that resilient people just do it all themselves. However, the opposite is often true! Resilient people know when they need to reach out to ask for help and have the right network of people to be able to do this.

When I went through some of the hardest moments in my life, I found the support of others was what kept me going. I found community groups for pretty much every tough experience I had in my life, and it was this social support that made it easier for me to bounce back from the most difficult of times. So, find your people and don’t be afraid to reach out to them for help!

It might be your closest friends, family members, a partner, or a whole community of like-minded people. Talk to them, learn from them, grow with them. Whatever troubles you may face in your life going forward, know that you’ll never have to face them alone when you’re surrounded by the right people.

About the author

Bex Spiller is an author, TEDx speaker and founder of The Anti-Burnout Club which provides courses to improve physical and mental wellbeing.