10 Habits of Highly Resilient People

10 Habits of Highly Resilient People

via Psychology Today by Bryan Robinson

It’s not accidental that some people are happier and more successful than others. What are they doing that separates them from the pack? They make resilience and well-being top priorities. 

A Winning Frame of Mind

Michele Sullivan, former president of the Caterpillar Foundation, was born with a rare form of dwarfism that created many challenges in her daily life. She is the epitome of a resilient corporate leader, having once told me: “For you, having a door held may be a very nice gesture from a stranger. For me, it is a requirement to enter most buildings that do not have automatic doors. It requires me to ask for a lot of help, and once I finally learned to embrace that reality, the universe answered back with thunderous support. Where I had once seen obstacles, I changed my perspective and viewed them instead as advantages. I now call this the ‘Looking Up’ philosophy, and it is how I live my life each day.”

Michele is so caught up in looking at the advantages that they eclipse her losses. She’s a challenged woman living a rich life, simply because of her perspective. Few of us have Michele’s challenge and still have difficulty coping. Compare Michele’s perspective to that of Ralph, who came barreling into my office during tax season, slinging his backpack onto the sofa and spouting curse words. When I asked him what was the matter, he groaned that he had to pay a half-million dollars in taxes. When I asked how much he made for the year, he offhandedly mumbled, “Oh, five or six million.” Ralph was so caught up in his loss that it eclipsed his gain—a rich man living an impoverished life.

Some people are born with pit-bull determination, less affected by stressful situations, and more resilient to change. Others are more vulnerable to the arrows of everyday pressures. But regardless of where you fall, you can cultivate a winning frame of mind also known as a growth mindset coined by Carol Dweck of Stanford—the belief that defeat happens for you, not to you. If you have a growth mindset, you consider success and failure a package deal—like a hand and glove, milk and cookies, flip sides of the same coin—twins, not enemies. It’s an understanding that avoidance of failure morphs into avoidance of success. To attain what you want, you recognize you must be willing to accept what you don’t want. Instead of giving up, you welcome obstacles, setbacks, and disappointments—no matter how painful, frustrating, big or small—as opportunities to grow and learn instead of as defeat.

You think of defeat as a personal trainer when hopelessness sets in after a setback: an impossible deadline, a lousy review from your boss, a missed promotion, or the rumble of your own self-doubt. You tell yourself you want to give up, but you don’t really want to quit. You just want the hurt and disappointment to stop, understandably so. At the time that might feel like the only option, but it isn’t. Perhaps you haven’t actually failed. Chances are, “failure” is what you call it when you don’t meet your expectations, things don’t turn out the way you planned or you’re simply traversing a valley that everyone goes through before reaching the mountain of success. Failure is heartbreaking, but it can also be an impetus to keep going when you possess the following traits…

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