Signs of a Resilient Mindset

Graeme Cowanresilience

Part 2 in a six-part blog series about resilience

In my first blog post on resilience, I looked at what resilience is and why it is important.

Now, we’ll look at how resilience is manifested.

Outwardly, resilience is manifested by how someone copes with difficult experiences, in whatever form those experiences may take.

Inwardly, as previously discussed, resilience is the ability to maintain core purpose and the ability to restore core purpose in the face of a disruption.

Remember that resilience is a mindset and can be developed by anyone – resilience is not an elusive or hard-to-achieve otherworldly state of superhuman supremacy.

Resilience is not just one ‘concept’ that can be cultivated.

A resilient mind consists of a number of qualities and characteristics that – when nurtured – mesh together to form the finished product: a flexible yet strong set of assumptions and attitudes that help people ‘Bounce Back and Thrive’ when adversity strikes.

Factors that suggest resilience

Whilst many books, websites and articles will focus on a few characteristics of resilience at a time, I have tried to compile a reasonably comprehensive list to give you a good look into just what ‘bouncing back’ involves.

So, resilience includes:

  • making realistic plans and taking action to carry those plans out;
  • recovering quickly from trauma;
  • using challenges for growth – including remembering past achievements – that makes future hardships more tolerable;
  • being able to ask for help or find sources of support;
  • strong problem-solving skills;
  • an internal locus of control (knowing what you realistically can and can’t change – and the mind is something you CAN change – and accepting that)
  • awareness (knowing the situation they are in, their own mind, behavior and reactions and the consequences of the available options for action, or non-action);
  • the ability to change and adapt as the situation demands;
  • vitality and enthusiasm;
  • feeling “on top of” situations.

I Have To Develop ALL Of These Characteristics To Be Resilient?!

Not at all!

I have simply provided you with a fairly long list so you can see what being resilient means. The point is not that you must have all of these qualities; it’s that you are able to develop and marshal one or more of these qualities to deal with difficulties and obstacles as they arise in your life.

These characteristics are not abstract nor difficult to develop and build. But constructing your resilience does require discipline and effort; you can’t simply intellectually affirm – or ‘think’ – your way to resilience.

The opposite of resilience is being unable to cope with difficulties and ending up knocked off course in your life and plunged into depression.

Another way of looking at it is that the opposite qualities to the list above can mean you lack resilience and are susceptible to taking a big hit when life throws you a challenge. Have a look through that list again and ask yourself honestly: do you have the opposite of what’s on there?

If so, you need to take action and build resilience!

What’s Next?

In the rest of this series I’m going to show you how to develop resilience – involving the characteristics in the list – by reference to identifying and developing your core purpose.

This is better than advice on developing the individual items in that list, because you have a framework within which those skills fit. Develop the framework and you’ll find the skills develop in proportion. This is a much more efficient way of learning to thrive than focusing on skills development in a vacuum!

So, in the rest of the posts in this series, we will look at:

  • What core purpose is;
  • How to determine your core purpose;
  • An overview of strategies to develop and maintain your core purpose; and

Is there anything missing from this list? What do you understand resilience to mean? Share your views with us on this blog or on our Facebook page!