How to build resilience

How to be More Resilient to Achieve Success

Recently, I talked about a key trait that every successful business leader must have – resilience. Now, I’m going to show you what you can do to be more resilient in your life so you can achieve higher levels of success.

How to Build Resilience

According to Merriam-Webster, one definition of resilience is “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”

Or, as I like to say, resilience is about recovering quickly from what shuts you down and what sets you off. Click to Tweet

Here are some helpful pointers to help you get started:

Build resilience to achieve success

Practice awareness.

  • The first step in developing your resilience is to pay attention to exactly how you respond when “bad” or adverse things happen.
  • How are you reacting to disappointment, conflict, a lack of feedback, or other perceived misfortunes?
  • Is it time for a nap, a cocktail, or some downtime on Facebook? Or, do you perceive the event as an exciting opportunity for change and/or growth?

Assess your support network.

  • Who is on your support team?
  • When you think about the people you consider a part of your network, do they help you come up with real solutions – or do they take your troubles as an opportunity to commiserate or even, bring you further down?
  • In other words, do the people on your team build you up – or leave you feeling drained of energy?

Nourish your mind, body, and spirit.

  • I’ve talked about the importance of self-care – and why it’s the foundation for all true success – many times. Taking good care of yourself is also a critical component in developing resilience.
  • The Mayo Clinic aptly suggests tending “to your own needs and feelings”. Beyond the obvious self-care tips like eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest, and engaging in physical activity, it’s also important to carve out time to develop your interests and hobbies.
  • The key is to be proactive – pay attention to the ways you’re most likely to neglect yourself when you’re under stress so the next time an adverse event makes its way into your life (and it will!), you’ll be able to take healthier steps to recover faster and come out stronger.

Learn from an Example

I was working for some time with an HR Director who came to me because she needed guidance on tackling her various responsibilities. She was lacking time to get her administrative work done, have face-to-face meetings with staff, finish her degree and take care of a chronic health condition…never mind the long list of responsibilities outside of work.

We put some structures in place which alleviated much of the stress, but she slowly allowed some of her old habits to creep back in. When we had been unable to talk for a month, I next found her at the brink of completely shutting down in overwhelm.

Step Back to Soar Ahead…How to build resilience

I did what anyone on the outside of the situation looking in would do. I insisted she take a day off. She was appalled and only expressed to me weeks later how angry she was that I would suggest such a thing.

But when we did talk next she was grateful. She had spent the afternoon shopping and visiting with her sister and when she came back to work the next day, she immediately prioritized her tasks, delegated several, and communicated to interested parties that some projects were just going to have to wait.

Pointing Out the Obvious

Business owners and high level leaders sometimes need someone to point out the obvious and validate necessary action. Not because they are lacking, but because they are so focused on the goal and achieving results that they sometimes overlook the signs that they are not in the right headspace to be at their most effective.

Share your best tips – what do you do to cultivate resiliency?



  1. Maritza Parra

    Jodi, LOVE your counter-intuitive yet super effective advice to take the day off! It can be difficult to prioritize when we’re so close to our tasks, dreams and goals… I actually took the whole weekend off and feel super refreshed and energized coming back into my home office!

  2. FireStarters

    This is such an important topic, thank you for this article Jodi. For me, it’s taking a step back to study and understand the situation, then take two steps forward applying the lessons learned. Also, having a support team is such a key element for resilience as you point out.

  3. Bob Nolley

    Jodi, this is soooo important for so many folks. Self care is the key…why do we keep running ourselves into the ground?

  4. Ouch, I think you’ve hit a sore spot with me. 🙂 Yes, resiliency is so critical. I do well when I have it and I struggle when I don’t. Awesome that you would suggest the advice to step back so I can step back in with power. Thanks!

  5. Rebecca Jorgensen

    Becoming shut down or set off is never fun and getting outside input really helps when it happens. As a business leader I know I can sometimes get too focused and miss signs to take a break or some time off. Having someone on my team to provide feedback and be a sounding board really helps and is one of my most important parts of self-care. Thank you for a thoughtful and important article.

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