There are few character traits more valuable and underrated than resilience.
Strength, bravery, intelligence, will—while all these qualities may be great to have, there is one common element they all share, and that’s resilience.
Emotional resilience is your ability to pick yourself up after you fall down.
Resilience keeps your nose in the book and your will alive, even when everyone around you has given up.
Emotional resilience is the difference between wanting a dream and turning that dream into reality.
And while some people naturally have a vat of resilience to pull from, the rest of us have to build it.
Here are 10 ways you can start building your emotional resilience and becoming a stronger version of you:
1) Find Your Purpose
So many of us go through life on a kind of prolonged autopilot. We go from one stage of life to another—school, work, marriage, family—without truly asking ourselves: what do we want to do in life?
Your career and your partner can act as substitutes for your purpose while you search for one, but if you never find the thing that fills you with single-minded commitment, then you will never truly want to push yourself as far as you can go.
2) Look on the Bright Side
We get it—life is tough, and staying positive and optimistic can be one of the greatest struggles you might ever go through.
Life can beat you down and make you feel like the smallest thing in the world, and there are times when you need to retreat and heal.
But that can’t be your only response. You have to stand back up after every hardship, and the best way to do that is by looking on the bright side.
Even if all the odds are against you, find the positivity, the possibility of a happy ending, and use that mental image to pull yourself forward.
3) Find Others
Humans are social creatures, and it’s no surprise that those with strong bonds and communities are those that have traditionally thrived.
Sticking to yourself might seem like the best option, especially if you have a history of being let down and even betrayed.
But you won’t be able to achieve the resilience you need if you have no one to lean on except yourself.
Accept your own weaknesses and limitations, and find others you can draw strength from in your times of need.
4) Never Stop Evolving
Your contribution to the world is the legacy you will leave behind. So what will your contribution be?
Just your presence, your effort, your kindness? Or will you leave behind something more unique, something that truly marks your place in the history you want to set?
It isn’t enough to just “be” if you want to stay relevant and resilient. You have to “be” the best version of yourself you can be, and that means evolving and developing your skills. Focus on your skills, build your strengths, and become a force that only you can be.
5) Set Goals
There is nothing more chaotic than a crisis, and for most people, a crisis is enough to rock their entire world.
Even the most resilient people will find themselves overwhelmed at times by the worst crises in their lives, but the difference between a resilient individual and someone who isn’t is their response to the crisis.
And that response? Set goals. Find your next step, and get to it as fast as you can. Start clearing the chaos before the chaos clears you.
6) Take Care of You
We all know stress. Some of us run away from it, some of us slam ourselves against it until it goes away.
But one way or another, stress has the tendency to make us forget about ourselves. Eating healthy, getting enough exercise, sleeping enough every night: all of these habits can go out the window when you are stressed, and that makes the situation even worse.
Always take care of you before anything else.
7) Adapt to Change
One rule of life is that nothing ever stays the same. It can be heartbreaking and tough when a great situation is forced to change, but refusing to adapt to that change can make or break who you are as a person.
Accept the inevitability of change, and get ahead of the curve before it leaves you behind.
8) Believe In Yourself
Believing in yourself is a key force you have in overcoming the stress of life’s greatest obstacles.
Even if the odds are stacked against you, saying to yourself that you are capable of what you need to do is enough mental motivation to get you through to the next stage.
9) Be Active, Not Reactive
Some of us wait for problems to occur. If you have a great situation going, you might be tempted to relax and let yourself enjoy the moment.
But don’t enjoy the moment too long: as stated earlier, everything in life will change. Problems that you never expected will come up out of nowhere, and your capacity to overcome them will rely on how much you prepared for it.
Don’t wait for problems to come up; start solving them before they happen.
10) Learn How to Solve All Problems
And finally, the most resilient individuals know that problems can pop up around every corner.
The better you equip yourself with problem-solving skills, the easier it will be to get through even the most alien situations.
And don’t stick to the same solution every time: be creative, be innovative, and find new ways to tackle old issues.
The more creatively you learn how to solve problems, the more resilient you will be when the worst days come by.