4 Best Ways to Build Resilience and Yes, It Applies to You Too


I’m sure that you’ve heard about the importance of resilience, you might have been a part of a training about being resilient.

The pandemic underscored the importance of resilience, leading to an increased focus on training programs. However, you might think that this is just another way to boost performance.

What if I told you it’s so much more than that?

That’s why I want you to rethink what resilience is.

In a recent survey conducted by Rutgers University, only 33% of Americans said that they were very happy. That is a sad number that leaves 77% of us wondering, “Why don’t WE feel very happy and what should we do about it?”
The truth of the matter is that as life grows more and more complex, happiness seems to become more and more of a challenge to achieve.

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So what does resilience mean for your happiness?

Does it really make sense to define happiness as one of our goals? Not so much.

Researchers at Rutgers University and the University of Toronto recently conducted four studies to research how people perceive and pursue happiness.

The underlying question was “Can you pursue happiness and will it really work for you if you do?”

According to the findings, the answer is that
pursuing happiness as a goal is a literal waste of time.

Worse than that, defining happiness as a goal encourages you to trade experiences for material things in an effort to “buy” a little happiness. Science has proven this is a poor substitute for genuine happiness.

There is no guarantee that you will face any setbacks in life, but how you choose to deal with them is definitely within your control. Happiness isn’t about not encountering any challenges in life; it’s more about knowing how to come back strong and learn something after facing them.

It’s the ability to cope that leads to happiness. The more resilient you are, the happier with life and with yourself, you end up being.


Resilience is often subtle and manifests in outcomes, such as happiness, stability, adaptability, and an eagerness to learn and grow. People may not explicitly think of themselves as resilient, but they recognize the positive aspects that stem from resilience. Think of resilience as a cluster of traits that you accumulate throughout your growth journey.

As people deal with increased stress and anxiety due to their dynamic and often unpredictable lives, being resilient pays off.

But what if you struggle with work and day-to-day responsibilities? To build your own resilience you need to find the ‘why’ behind those struggles. I put this article together to help you identify the root cause of those challenges and how you can overcome them, thus becoming more resilient.

 Building resilience is paramount to creating a strong team, but developing resilience is not a quick process and you can’t take shortcuts when it comes to creating a team that can handle challenges and build skills that help them accelerate and thrive.

What is Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. It is the ability to cope with stress, setbacks, and challenges. Resilience is a key quality for success in life and in the workplace.

 Also, resilience involves a growth mindset. Building resilience also refers to learning from past mistakes and challenges in order to boost problem-solving skills and create a more fulfilling life, whether you’re talking about professional or personal hurdles.

This is a science-based tip for building resilience: change your words when you talk about the difficulties you are currently facing.

Take the words “crisis” and “problems” out of your vocabulary completely. Use the word “challenge” instead.

You can’t
change the fact that highly stressful events happen, but you can change how you interpret and respond to these events.

Using the language of resilience will help you tremendously in training your mind to focus on your strengths rather than on your challenges.

For that, you use two phrases: “I CAN” (get through this, pass that test, get a new job, etc.) and “I WILL.”

Repeat that to yourself over and over again. There is nothing that you cannot do. You can get through this and you will be happier. Your thoughts matter. Start leveraging their power in a positive way.

It is in your hands. You CAN and you WILL.

Why is Resilience Important

Resilience is actually coping with stress in a positive way. This is where you have a sense of control not over WHAT happens to you but over HOW you interpret and react to it. This is where you trust yourself that you can cope, that you can overcome, and that you can grow out of challenging or difficult situations.

Through purpose, you find your compass in life. Through resilience, you possess the ability and strength to have confidence in yourself to navigate through tough situations.

Your Confidence and trust in your ability are real. They’re real because resilience can be developed and enhanced with effort over time.

Beyond personal development, resilience contributes to reduced stress, anxiety, and depression, promoting overall well-being and laying the foundation for success in various aspects of life.

When you’re dedicated to building resilience you will find that you manage stress better, remain calm when faced with a problem or stressful situation, and identify the positive aspects in order to reduce stress and face challenges more easily.

How to Build Resilience in Life

 Navigating through challenging situations can be difficult for some, for different reasons. Resilience is something that you need to constantly work on and improve to build the inner strength to navigate change and overcome challenges.

For some, it’s a lack of effective coping strategies due to self-worth struggles or past experiences that might make it hard to build up resilience.

Developing resilience is closely tied to building confidence. Fear of failure and negative thought patterns that hinder resilience are often rooted in a lack of confidence.

Building confidence becomes the first step in the journey towards resilience.

When you believe in your ability to overcome obstacles, challenges become less difficult to navigate.

Confidence acts as a shield, allowing you to face adversity with a positive mindset and a sense of self-assurance.

Resilience involves working on building confidence to empower individuals to confront and overcome life’s challenges.

Also, building a support network is pivotal in building confidence and resilience.

It helps create a sense of belonging and validation, which is key for boosting self-esteem.

Positive interactions and encouragement contribute to your self-esteem. Try to find support in people you trust that uplift and encourage you.

During challenges, the support network offers emotional and practical assistance.

Shared experiences and guidance help navigate difficulties, building resilience and a sense of stability.

Change, be it professional or personal, periods of uncertainty, and stressful situations create anxiety and affect your overall well-being. Resilience in the face of these situations starts from the individual’s sense of security.

How to Build Resilience at Work

Building resilience at work can be daunting, for leaders and employees alike. When you step into a new team, no matter what role you have, you will encounter these types of challenges. Resilience is crucial for an organization. When you break it down and analyze what creates resilience you’ll realize that it works through the relationship you have with yourself and others to a bigger picture like a community or workplace.

I’ve put together 4 key elements that build resilience and take the way you navigate your professional connections to the next level.

1. Build Trust

Building resilience in the workplace, especially as a leader, starts with creating a sense of security to have open communication. Genuine support involves first and foremost trust among them members and leaders. Trust creates a strong sense of belonging and it’s paramount in order to promote resilience.

Where trust is not present open communication and community do not exist. Resilience involves a network of support, usually built in communities, be it at work, or with family or friends.

The lack of trust between team members, and leaders, can stem from various factors:

  1. Poor Communication: Lack of clarity in communication can lead to misunderstandings. Lack of transparency can create suspicion and skepticism.

  2. Inconsistency: If leaders or team members act inconsistently or unpredictably, it can undermine trust. Consistency in actions and communication is crucial for building and maintaining trust.

  3. Unfair Treatment: Perceptions of unfair treatment, favoritism, or bias can chip away trust within a team. When individuals feel they are not treated equitably, trust is compromised.

  4. Lack of Accountability: When leaders or team members do not take responsibility for their actions or mistakes, it can lead to a breakdown in trust. Accountability is essential for building and maintaining trust.

  5. Micromanagement: Constant monitoring and micromanagement can create a sense of distrust among team members. Trust is built on autonomy and a belief in each other’s capabilities.

  6. Failure to Deliver on Promises: When promises, commitments, or deadlines are not met, it can result in a loss of trust. Consistently delivering on commitments is crucial for trust-building.

  7. Lack of Inclusion: Exclusion or lack of inclusivity within a team can lead to feelings of mistrust. Fostering a sense of belonging is essential for building trust among team members.

  8. Unresolved Conflicts: Previous instances of conflicts or broken trust can impact current relationships. Addressing and resolving past issues is crucial for rebuilding trust.

  9. Organizational Culture: The overall culture within an organization, whether it promotes openness, collaboration, and integrity, significantly influences the level of trust among team members and employees.

When people feel safe to express concerns, struggles, and opinions without the fear of being judged or reprimanded creates a culture where everyone supports each other and it’s much easier to navigate difficult situations, periods of uncertainty, or organizational change.

It’s important to realize that resilience comes from a sense of security and leaders should model their behavior in order to promote a professional environment where employees feel supported.

In my keynotes, I talk about the psychological process of mirroring.

Mirroring is the behavior in which someone subconsciously imitates the gesture, speech pattern, or attitude of another. Mirroring often occurs in social situations, particularly in the company of close friends or family, often going unnoticed by both parties.

When leaders or teams struggle to create an open sense of communication or a stronger sense of community they often forget this goes both ways.

So a question you can ask yourself before anything else is:

‘Am I open and transparent with others?’

You want people’s support, you have to offer it yourself. Remember, relationships go both ways.

2. Open and Clear Communications

Once trust is established open and clear communications are a must in creating a thriving and resilient culture in the workplace.

Why is this important? As I said before, periods of uncertainty, or change create anxiety and even fear. That is a normal human response. How do you alleviate that? Be open and honest.

When there are challenges within a team they should be addressed, and communication is key.

Whether you talk about addressing performance issues or dealing with restructuring or any type of change, these things often create anxiety. Clarity minimizes uncertainty.

Clarity when it comes to the ‘why’ behind it and the end goal can make employees accept and be excited about the change.

This is a building block for another key component of resilience which is:

3. Adaptability

Adaptability is the ability to adjust to changes in your environment or situation. It’s tied to your willingness to change your own in order to be successful.

Adaptability is an important skill for success in life, both personally and professionally.

Adaptability is not always something you need when it comes to challenges and adversity. It helps you stay present and up to date with new trends, technologies, and information.

Adaptability comes from a growth mindset, from the willingness to grow and improve, to find new solutions, and to create innovation.

How do you become more adaptable?

Adaptability and confidence go hand in hand. When you’re constantly learning you will find it much easier to adapt.

It can start with something small as getting used to a new software that can make your workflow much smoother or being open to new ways of doing things. It’s important to start small so you can build confidence from your accomplishments.

You have to remember that failure is a part of learning, making mistakes is part of the process. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work the first time. Learning something new and making mistakes it’s better than limiting yourself because of fear of failure. It’s a change of mindset that happens over time.

My biggest advice is do not beat yourself up too much. Mistakes are normal. Learn from them and move on, don’t let them linger and affect your confidence.

When talking about team dynamics it’s important that leaders and organizations create and encourage growth opportunities. Adaptability comes from learning and staying up to date.

Being proactive and providing learning opportunities will result in talent with more expertise, that will have an easier time adapting.

4. Provide Support to Those Who Struggle

As stated earlier, one of the key components of resilience is support through community or network. For teams in the same way.

People might struggle with changes or adapting to new processes due to a variety of reasons.

This can include:

Low Self-Esteem: Low self-esteem can be due to traumatic events or other challenges. Building confidence is the first step in addressing these challenges.

Lack of Coping Skills: Lack of coping skills can result in feeling overwhelmed by stress, or change making it difficult for you to effectively navigate difficulties.

Negative Thought Patterns: Negative thinking has a huge impact on your mindset and thought process. Do not underestimate the impact you have on your own thoughts. You listen to yourself every day, it doesn’t do you any favor to constantly criticize yourself.

Limited Social Support: Lack of a strong support system can leave people feeling isolated during challenging times. It can be difficult for an employee who experienced a lack of support in a previous place of employment. This makes it difficult to trust others and be open. To address this it’s important to build trust.

Fear of Failure: Fear of failure can you feel less inclined to take risks or try new things, which limits your potential for growth.

It’s important to analyze yourself and understand what the cause of the challenges comes from. Once you have a clearer picture you can work on yourself and find support and mentorship in others.

It’s also crucial to note that these are not limited to personal experiences (although these can affect your overall performance at work). People can struggle with these in professional settings due to past experience at work or due to a lack of opportunities for learning and growth.

Building a successful and resilient team should not dismiss addressing these challenges in order to set employees up for success. Support is part of building resilience. Different people will have their own strong suits and things that they might need to work on. A resilient and successful team means a well-rounded team. Addressing these challenges is what builds a well-prepared team that can collaborate, work together, and support each other.

Skills You Need to Build Resilience

Now that you understand what creates resilience, it’s important to note the trademark of resilient people, who can create strong relationships with others.

  • Self-awareness. This will help you to understand your strengths, weaknesses, and triggers. This helps you improve and grow, both professionally and personally.

  • Emotional intelligence. This will help you to manage your emotions and be more empathetic and a stronger communicator with others.

  • Problem-solving skills. This will help you to identify and solve problems effectively. This is a big part when it comes to being adaptable and finding new ways of doing things.

  • Growth mindset. A growth mindset is what pushes you to learn new things, become more knowledgeable, and therefore more confident in your abilities. this will make you a more adaptable person.

  • Prioritize Yourself. Taking care of your physical and mental health comes before everything. You need to have the mental budget to deal with challenges and grow. You can’t do that if you put your health on the back burner.

Resilience is crucial for success as it allows you to navigate challenges, learn from setbacks, and maintain a positive mindset. It acts as a key factor in overcoming obstacles and achieving long-term goals.

Resilience plays an important role in the workplace. It enables you to adapt to change, overcome challenges, and maintain productivity in the face of challenges. Having a resilient workplace culture means teams that are adaptable, work well together, and thrive in the face of challenges.

To build resilience to stress, you need to put your mental health and physical health. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Prioritize in order to avoid stress. Cultivating a positive mindset helps you reframe negative thoughts and view challenges as opportunities for growth. Learning from setbacks and seeking professional guidance when needed contribute to an overall resilient approach to stress management.

Picture of Dr. Michelle Rozen
Dr. Michelle Rozen

Dr. Michelle Rozen, Ph.D., is a highly respected authority on the psychology of change. She is one of the most booked motivational speakers nationwide as well as internationally, and a frequent guest on media outlets such as NBC, ABC, FOX News, and CNN on topics related to dealing with change in our world and in every aspect of our lives, so that we can do better and feel better.

Her most recent book, 2 Second Decisions helps people power through with their most challenging decisions through turbulent times.

Dr. Michelle Rozen consistently speaks for Fortune 500 companies and her clients include some of the most recognizable companies in the world including Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, Pfizer, and The U.S. Navy. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Psychology and resides in the greater NYC area.

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