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It all looks easy! Everyone seems to be laughing, hanging out with friends, and wearing exactly the right clothes. But if you’re a young adult, you know that life can be pretty tough sometimes.


You may face problems ranging from being bullied to the death of a friend or parent. Why is it that sometimes people can go through really rough times and still bounce back? The difference is that those who bounce back are using the skills of resilience.

WHAT IS resilience?

10 steps to become more resilient.

Visualise success

Resilient people create their own vision of success. This helps them achieve their goals by providing a clear sense of where they’re headed. Your vision needs to be rounded and vibrant and based on what is currently possible; resilient people don’t waste time on impossible dreams or hankering after things they’ll never have. They recognise the fine line between stretching goals and unrealistic goals.


Boost your self-esteem

Identify what you’re good at. What can you feel positive about? Remind yourself of these things regularly. Recognise what other people appreciate about you. Allow others to praise you, and resist the temptation to brush compliments aside. When something goes wrong try to avoid beating yourself up unnecessarily; others will undoubtedly do it first! Don’t compare yourself with other people. 


Take control

Resilient people believe they can make a difference and be successful.

Others suffer from unhelpful beliefs, or ‘drag anchors’.  

  • Clarify your core values and beliefs

  • Identify internal vs. external motivations

  • Believe that you can

  • Take personal responsibility

  • Let go of what you cannot control


Become more optimistic

Optimism is one of the most important characteristics of resilient people; it is vitally important to look on the bright side, have confidence in your own abilities, and salvage what you can from problematic situations. Even those who lean towards the glass-half-empty mindset can learn.


Manage stress

Psychologists see stress as an energising force – up to a point, beyond which it becomes debilitating. Highly resilient people have a higher tipping point and, when things threaten to get them down, they know how to deal with it. Sources of stress are unique to you: to boost your resilience, you need to identify what your stressors are and how to counteract them. Stress management falls into 2 categories – distraction and resolution. Distraction techniques include exercise, breathing deeply, walking or extracting yourself from the situation. Resolution is focused on solving the problem.


Improve decision-making

Resilience requires you to make rather than avoid decisions. Resilient people trust their own judgement, but aren’t afraid to challenge their minds. They know that decisions are rarely irreversible and that procrastination is the enemy of resilience. Understanding your preferred decision-making approach is a critical step towards building resilience.


Ask for help

You don’t have to do this alone; resilient people know when to reach out to others – and who is best to turn to. Do you have this strength of network? If not, map it out. Draw a circle on a sheet of paper – this is you. Draw your network, with others depicted as circles too: the more important they are to you, the larger the circle; the stronger the relationship, the closer they are to you. Draw lines linking you to others and others to one another, dotted lines for indirect relationships. Consider what you want from them and what you can offer and add this to the map. 


Deal with conflict

Conflict occurs when our views differ from those of another person – so we have to deal with conflict every day. The ability to handle it constructively is an important part of resilience – ensuring that the style of resolution is appropriate, given the nature of the conflict and the other party.



Thinking regularly about what lessons can drawn from your experience strengthens your ‘learning muscle’ and helps you build resilience. Figure out how you learn best and take the most from the experiences life throws at you.


Be yourself

You may be determined to enhance your resilience but you won’t succeed if your plan for doing this offends your core identity and values. The most resilient leaders are as selfaware as they are self-confident!

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Tragedy and significant challenges can bring up a bunch of conflicting emotions, but sometimes, it’s just too hard to talk to someone about what you’re feeling.

If talking isn’t working, do something else to capture your emotions like start a journal, or create art.

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You want to stay informed—you may even have homework that requires you to watch the news. But sometimes, the news, with its focus on the sensational, can add to the feeling that nothing is going right. Try to limit the amount of news you take in, whether it’s from television, newspapers or magazines, or the Internet.

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Be sure to take care of yourself—physically, mentally and spiritually. And get sleep. If you don’t, you may be more irritable and nervous at a time when you have to stay sharp. 

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