Resilient people seem to thrive in all areas of their life. They roll with the punches. They’re fairly agreeable. They pivot after failures. Really, they are just generally cool people.
It’s easy to think they were cut from a different cloth. We look at them and wonder, were they born with something that allows them to stay cool under pressure, when dealing with that guy or when they’re just having a bad day?
But resiliency, like many attributes of people with high levels of emotional intelligence, can be strengthened over time through practice.
Do you always fly off the handle when traffic is especially congested? Does that one co-worker get on your nerves so much that it interrupts your day? Then take notes about the daily habits of especially resilient people and see how you can make changes in your own life.
1. Take the time to learn more.
“Resiliency comes from expanding knowledge and skills, so it’s important to make a habit of continually learning. For me, I like to watch YouTube videos and TED Talks as well as read business books and articles on my tablet.”
— Angela Ruth, eCash
2. Work from a to-do list, not your email.
“Resiliency comes from seeing positive outcomes from your work. At an early stage, what’s critical to driving the success is doing the right work. By creating a priority list and ruthlessly working from there, you’ll be able to gain momentum—and build trust in yourself and your process — to overcome obstacles.”
— Aaron Schwartz, ModifyWatches.com
3. Check in with mentors.
“Track your weaknesses, failures and what makes you not love what you’re doing. Talk to your mentors. Once you find your flow of how to manage failure and the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, you’ll be golden. Trusted mentors and advisors are key.”
— Alexis Levine, Savvy Media
4. Make entrepreneur friends.
“It’s important to be able to talk with people who understand what you’re going through, so make as many friends as you can with the people who work around you. Having a social net of people who understand you will make you more resistant to burnout, and they’ll be able to give you much more relevant advice when you have trouble.”
— Matt Doyle, Excel Builders
“I improved my resilience by adopting a ‘biohacking’ practice, explained by Dave Asprey, that optimized my diet, exercise and sleep so I could reach a new level of performance. We waste so much energy on the wrong workouts, eating foods that slow us down and sleeping inefficiently. Test what changes work best for you.”
— Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Video Doorbell
6. Practice meditation.
“In my early years of entrepreneurship, I had no off switch. I took everything personally; I felt guilty when I wasn’t working, and I had a short fuse because of it. I picked up a meditation practice more than a year ago and found that taking time out to be still has allowed me to able to face challenges and not sweat the small stuff.”
— Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40 / Finance Whiz Kids
7. Become immune to rejection.
“Before you hear one yes, you’re going to hear a lot of no’s. Letting all that rejection slide off your back will help you keep moving forward when times get tough. The best way to practice becoming immune to the no’s? Try cold-calling or door-to-door sales.”
— Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
8. Try cognitive restructuring.
“Practice cognitive restructuring. It can change the way you think about potentially negative situations by helping you better understand your feelings of fear or discomfort. The ability to reframe your failures as important lessons is what makes a truly resilient leader.”
— Stephen Gill, Tiller
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