Overcoming & Growing From setbacks – Developing Resilience

Developing Personal Resilience


The process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stress. It meansbouncing back from difficult experiences.

  1. Being resilient is a proactive and determined attitude to remain a thriving enterprise;country, region, organization or company, despite the anticipated and unanticipated challenges that will emerge.
  2. Resilience moves beyond a defensive security and protection posture. It applies the entity’s inherent strength to withstand crisis and deflect attacks of any nature.
  3. Is the empowerment of being aware of your situation, your risks, vulnerabilities and current capabilities to deal with them. and also being able to make informed tactical and strategic decisions.
  4. An objectively measurable competitive differentiation i.e., more secure, increased stakeholder and shareholder value.

Personal Resilience:

Capacity which helps people and organisations respond well to challenge, setback and even crisis. It describes the ability to ‘bounce back’, to recover and respond with commitment and optimism.

It is not an innate quality which people either have or don’t have, it can be learned and developed in anyone.

Being resilient doesn’t mean being problem-free, but the qualities that ensure a resilient character enable the individual to better respond to challenge. Resilient people are robust because of their understanding of themselves, confidence in their abilities and willingness to take action in the face of adversity.

Organizational Resilience:

Ability of an organization to anticipate, prepare for, respond and adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions in order to survive and prosper.

Organisations can also develop greater resilience, partly through planning and foresight, but the most important aspect comes back to people again; resilient teams and employees mean the organisation will be able to function better when things get tough.






How to Develop Personal Resilience-Ways

Personal resilience relies on different skills and draws on various sources of help.  Including rational thinking skills, physical and mental health, and your relationships with those around you.


1. Make or build support networks (connections). 

Problem shared is a problem halved solved, and having a mutually supportive network of colleagues, friends and family to call upon in a crisis is enormously beneficial to personal resilience. Accepting help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens resilience. Assisting others in their time of need also can benefit the helper.

2. See crises as opportunities to become better.

Change how you interpret and respond to stressful events. Try looking beyond the present to how future circumstances may be a little better. learn to deal with difficult situations.

3. Accept and manage change as a part of living. 

Certain goals may no longer be attainable as a result of adverse situations. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter.

4. Focus on your goals.

Everyone has the capacity to increase and improve their resilience and can benefit from doing so. Favour small steps over a giant leap for realistic goals. Do something regularly, small accomplishment that enables you to move toward your goals. Instead of focusing on tasks that seem achievable. identify that one thing that you can can accomplish today that helps you move in the direction you want to go.

5. Take decisive actions.

Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would just go away.

6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery. 

People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of their struggle with loss. Many people who have experienced tragedies and hardship have reported better relationships, greater sense of strength even while feeling vulnerable, increased sense of self-worth, a more developed spirituality and heightened appreciation for life.

7. Remain optimistic and forward looking

Since it is impossible to change past events the best way to cope and remain resilient is to maintain a positive outlook and consider the actions that need to be taken to move forward effectively.

8.Nurture a positive view of yourself.

Developing confidence in your ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts helps build resilience.

9. Keep things in perspective.

Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Avoid blowing the event out of proportion.

10. Maintain a hopeful outlook.

An optimistic outlook enables you to expect that good things will happen in your life. Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear.

11.Develop your mental and physical health –

Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with situations that require resilience.

The Importance of Resilience

According to the research of leading psychologist, Susan Kobasa, there are three elements that are essential to resilience:

  • Challenge 

Resilient people view a difficulty as a challenge, not as a paralyzing event. They look at their failures and mistakes as lessons to be learned from, and as opportunities for growth. They don’t view them as a negative reflection on their abilities or self-worth.

  • Commitment 

Committed to their lives and their goals, and they have a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning. Commitment isn’t just restricted to their work but also to relationships, their friendships, the causes they care about, and their religious or spiritual beliefs.

  • Personal Control –

Spending time and energy focusing on situations and events that they have control over. Because they put their efforts where they can have the most impact, they feel empowered and confident. Those who spend time worrying about uncontrollable events can often feel lost, helpless, and powerless to take action.

Another leading psychologist, Martin Seligman, says the way that we explain setbacks to ourselves is also important. (He talks in terms of optimism and pessimism rather than resilience, however, the effect is essentially the same.) i.e

  • Permanence – People who are optimistic (and therefore have more resilience) see the effects of bad events as temporary rather than permanent. For instance, they might say “My boss didn’t like the work I did on that project” rather than “My boss never likes my work.”
  • Pervasiveness – Resilient people don’t let setbacks or bad events affect other unrelated areas of their lives. For instance, they would say “I’m not very good at this” rather than “I’m no good at anything.”
  • Personalization – People who have resilience don’t blame themselves when bad events occur. Instead, they see other people, or the circumstances, as the cause. For instance, they might say “I didn’t get the support I needed to finish that project successfully,” rather than “I messed that project up because I can’t do my job.”


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