10 ways to be more resilient

A man stands before hurdles, signifying the need to be more resilient

Do challenging times for your business send your stress levels soaring? Here are practical ways to be more resilient from neuro-linguistic psychotherapist Rebecca Howard, CEO of ShinyMind

You might think resilience is like charisma – you simply have it or you don’t. However, that can be disempowering if you aren’t one of the ‘lucky’ ones, especially at times of real challenge, adversity or growth when the company’s call for resilience goes up.

But there is good news – it’s not the situation that stresses us, but our response to it. So resilience is a mindset, and we have the choice to be resilient if we want to be. A resilient mindset is flexible, self-aware, confident and authentic – it reacts positively to challenge and enhances performance by creating energy rather than letting stress drain it away.

Here are 10 transformative habits, which are grounded in psychotherapy, to help rewire a resilient mindset so that you can be more flexible and focused, and perform better…

Practise ‘grey thinking’

It’s not all black or white. Move from extremes – which is our child-like ‘all or nothing’ thinking – towards more adult solution-orientated grey thinking, scanning for options in the process.

Embrace stress

Resilient people don’t feel out of control, but embrace it, knowing that these feelings arise because it’s something they care about. Their response is simply their bodies getting ready to perform well.

Accept what you can control

It’s liberating to accept that the only thing you can control is yourself, rather than exhausting yourself trying to control what you can’t.

Look forward, not back

Don’t rake over the past, but visualise what you want to happen as your unconscious mind is focused on the future and moves you towards your outcome.

Connect with others

Stress can make isolation tempting and lead us to feel our pain alone. Resilient people offer help, accept help and are not afraid to ask for it.

Accept that you’re not perfect…

… and you never will be. You’re an authentic product of your experience. So embrace it and others will see that you’re a work in progress just like them.

Don’t blame yourself

Resilient people possess a mindset which considers setbacks as temporary. They don’t own bad situations as permanent reflections of themselves.

Embrace failure as learning

Thomas Edison said he had not failed, but had discovered 1,000 ways that didn’t work. Resilient people see failure as an opportunity to learn and improve, not a defeat.

Practise self-compassion

Accept that emotions are human and allow us to connect to others. Denying our emotions wastes valuable energy, which inevitably makes us feel out of control.

10 Have choice

Resilient people always believe they have choice – they look for options in every situation and so keep the locus of control within themselves.

Rebecca Howard, resilient expertRebecca Howard CV

Who A psychotherapeutic executive coach and neuro-linguistic psychotherapist

Role Chief executive, ShinyMind, a team of specialist coaches in resilience, mindset, performance and authenticity

2013 Appeared before the House of Lords to speak on ethical business. Previously acted as an ambassador promoting women in business, providing advice and guidance to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills as well as regional development authorities.

2011 Made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts for the contribution of her businesses to society

2009 North-East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year

2002–present Founder and chair of Cynergy, an award-winning strategic engagement agency


More articles on being resilient and leadership

Leading in volatile times

Developing your leadership skills

How executive coaching can make you become a better leader

About author

Rebecca Howard

Rebecca Howard

Rebecca Howard is a Neuro Linguistic Psychotherapist and CEO of ShinyMind, working with companies to deliver resilience mindset solutions.

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