The Top 5 Characteristics of a Resilient Mindset
By: Deb Maes
July 10, 2013
Sometimes life ‘pulls the rug out from under you’ and dumps on your proverbial, leaving you feeling battered and bruised. We can’t get through life without some of those moments. Fortunately though, we have learned from people who ‘bounce back’ that it is your ‘mind-set’ that is vital in allowing you to stay focused, balanced, and on task. This mindset is a set of beliefs that enable resilient people to take action and bounce back in adversity.
Having recently conducted a meta analysis of the current research on resilience this is what I have found to be the Top 5 Resilience Believes:
- Setbacks are Part of Life:
One characteristic of resilience is the understanding that life is full of challenges. While we cannot avoid many of these problems, we can remain open, flexible, and willing to adapt to change.
- Survival is possible:
When dealing with any potential crisis, resilient people view themselves as a survivor. They avoid thinking like a victim and instead look for ways to resolve the problem. While the situation may be unavoidable, they stay focused on a positive outcome and get committed to action. Goethe once said, “The moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.” The faith or belief in your ability to be, to do or to achieve something must be present before you experience success, not after. It’s the feeling of capability which helps build the bridge towards the success.
- Actions will influence the outcome:
Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right”. Belief that the actions taken will affect the outcome of an event is vital for a sense of self belief. Of course, some factors are simply outside of our personal control, such as natural disasters. However, it is important to feel as if we have the power to make choices that will affect our situation, our ability to cope, and our future.
- There is always a solution:
Resilient people quickly decide on an achievable outcome and commit to taking action. Resilient people are able to spot the solution that will lead to a safe outcome. In danger situations, people sometimes develop tunnel vision. They fail to note important details or take advantages of opportunities. Resilient individuals, on the other hand, are able to calming and rationally look and the problem and envision a successful solution. Resilient people believe there are always ways of solving problems. They define problems, consider different solutions, attempt what they judge to be the most appropriate solutions, and learn from the outcome. This provides a sense of ownership and control is reinforced.
- There are no mistakes:
Experiences always provide learning opportunities. Resilient people view mistakes as opportunities for learning while those who are not hopeful often experience mistakes as an indication that they are failures. Mistakes are not only accepted, but also expected, so if what they are doing isn’t working, do something different.
Non-resilient people continue to follow what’s worked in the past and are not flexible and persistent at trying new things. They continue “doing the same thing over and over and expect different results”, which Einstein defined as “insanity”. Frustration then causes them to give up on their goal.
Resilient people, on the other hand, not only remain flexible, they serve as models for dealing with mistakes and setbacks by communicating acceptance and love and provide encouragement to others when people make mistakes.
Developing this mind-set BEFORE adversity, challenge and stress arises is vital. You’ll make it much harder than it needs to be if life has knocked you on your proverbial. Don’t do that! Instead, you might like to ask yourself, ‘What are some things I can do to strengthen these and other enabling beliefs even more now’?