Building Resilience

Never Look at a Failure as Final

By Marlene Wagner



Do you know anyone who seems to be bulletproof?

You know, that friend of yours that takes failures in stride and always smiles and moves forward in life.

How do they do it? You know they’re not immune to setbacks or hardship. They just seem to be able to bounce back quickly.

Life’s inevitable difficulties don’t keep them from living the life they desire. That is called resilience!


What is Resilience

Resilience is the ability to stand up to adversities and bounce back from setbacks, disappointments, difficulties, and failures.

Mental resilience is something that can be developed. It’s not a character trait you have to be born with.

Every time you suffer some loss or failure, you have an opportunity to respond with resilience and emotional control.

If that seems impossible, here’s what you can start doing. Never look at a failure as the final result.

Don’t let some hardship or difficulty be the final chapter in your story. Or, as famous author F. Scott Fitzgerald said …

“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”

That is a powerful reminder that your outlook is everything. A person with resilience chooses a positive outlook.

They understand that negative things are going to happen in their life. Yet they don’t allow that to be the end of their journey.

They don’t embrace failure or loss as the final declaration of who they are.


Common Indicators of Low Resilience 

An indicator of low resilience would be an overreaction to disappointments or everyday stresses.

They cannot cope with the emotions triggered by seemingly minor situations.

It’s normal behavior with feelings of being a victim. The world had dealt them a dirty deal, and they didn’t deserve it.

We have all known the victims. You may have, at times, felt like a victim.

Victimhood is often a mindset hard to break out of.

We have all encountered people that are constantly irritable and appear angry—another characteristic of low resilience.

They cannot control situations and get moody after initial anger and irritability. Again, the feelings of victimhood.

Depression, isolation, and trouble sleeping are all characteristics of low resilience.

Often insistence on an illness comes with low resilience. They feel there must be a medical reason for feeling as they do.

We all know or have known people with some or all of these behaviors.

And sometimes, we have found ourselves falling into these low resilience conditions.

Next, we’ll look at the things resilient people do.


Characteristics of Resilience  

Highly resilient people are the more pleasant and delightful people to be around. They are happy, positive, optimistic, and upbeat.

They are patient, kind, open-minded, non-judgmental, and roll with the punches.

Those are all characteristics of highly resilient individuals.

You feel like they never have any adversity or get knocked down by life. But they do just like the rest of us.

They deal with stress as we all do. They have disappointments and setbacks. And sometimes, you witness them having massive failures and complex challenges.  

And that is when you will observe characteristics of resilience. You will see their strength, tenacity, and persistence.

They accept the conditions of adversity or failure. They look at what they can learn from the situation or how to solve the problem and move on.

They have the ability to bounce back. They will put one foot in front of the other with fortitude. They don’t give up, and that is resilience!

Every adversity contains a lesson, something to learn. As a result, it is ultimately strengthening us.


How We Learn to be Resilient 

Look at your role models. Who are they?

I was so blessed and fortunate to have the best role models anyone could have.

I grew up watching my parents and the amazing and impressive resilience they both had.

They were hard-working at a time life was difficult, and they dealt with many adversities.

Yet they were always upbeat and never complained. They always dealt with what life dealt them, one step at a time.

To this day, I don’t know any other way to be.

Not everybody is this lucky or this fortunate. But we all have role models all around us.

Look back at your younger years who were your role models and someone you looked up to?

Think about it. Who was that person that saw the best in you and believed in you? Was it a teacher, a sports coach, a grandparent, or aunt, or an uncle?

What did you learn from them that you took into your adulthood?

When we become older and enter the mainstream and workforce, we meet people we admire and would like to be like.  

What did you see in them that you wanted to be like or have in your life?

Those are the ones you learn from. Observe their behavior in different circumstances. These are the behaviors to emulate. 


Just Take One More Step

Resilience means persisting. You keep going. You push forward and see life’s difficulties as nothing more than challenges.

You can either become stronger and more capable or allow a defeat or failure to be a statement of who you are.

It can seem like simple advice, but the truth is, sometimes, the hardship we encounter in life can be truly debilitating.  

We don’t see a way out. The worst of possible things has happened, and there’s no way we see any good coming from this.

When this happens, as it inevitably will in life, just take one step forward. 

Don’t worry about the result. You may be in a terrible situation; if you are, just make one positive movement.  

One step forward at a time. Then another and another.

Have one positive thought. Move in the direction of a positive outcome. Even if it’s miles away, don’t worry about that end result.

Just take the first step that moves you slightly away from the difficulty you encountered.

Never let any single defeat be your final defeat.

The instant you decide to push forward relentlessly, you show the world and yourself that you are a resilient human being.

You won’t be kept down for long because your unbreakable mental resolve won’t allow you to be defined by defeat.

Start observing the people you’re around most often. Identify the ones that have high resilience characteristics.

Now observe the ones you recognize that have low resilience characteristics.

Learn from observing the behaviors of the high-resilience group. Let them know you admire their resilience in dealing with difficult situations. 

When you have someone close to you with low resilience who is going through a difficult time, reach out to them and look at how you can help them.

Please support them with positive encouragement.  

When facing major challenges, knowing you’re not alone and someone is there for you is enough.

Can you recognize your own low and high resilience characteristics?  

When you’re experiencing difficulties feeling helpless, hopeless, and unable to cope, you have low resilience.

Reach out to someone in the high resilience group and ask them for help. Learn how they would handle the situation if they were experiencing it.  

We are all a work in progress. We are here to learn, grow and become our best selves.

My intention is always to bring you information that will aid you on this journey called life.

I have as-needed coaching available, and if this is something you’d be interested in, contact me for a free one-hour discovery call. 

If you have any challenges, let me know. I’ll include it in my content.

Starting today, make yourself a priority and begin living your best life. 

But before we go, always remember to

Be true to your magnificent self,
Coach Marlene

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