If you want to boost your resilience and bounce back stronger, follow these 7 steps

Do you ever find yourself stuck by life’s inevitable twists and turns, wondering how you can bounce back stronger and quicker?

Well, you’re in the right place. Here your stumbling blocks will become stepping stones and you’ll learn how to land safely and get back up even stronger!

Welcome to this deep dive into 7 steps to boost your resilience, according to the UK’s well-known career strategist, John Lees.

1) Channel your inner historian

Let’s kick things off with a time travel trip to the past. Not to dwell or ruminate, but to celebrate your bounce-back moments. You’ve very likely survived tough times before.

Looking back at past experiences, especially difficult ones, can provide valuable insights. You’ve encountered tough times before and you’ve found ways to overcome.

Reflecting on these experiences can help you understand the strategies that worked for you. Think of a time when you felt victorious—what tactics did you use? Your past can teach you a lot about how to handle future challenges.

Take a moment to relive those victories and the strategies that got you through. As Lees says, your past is your resilience coach, teaching you how you fought and won.

2) Tune out the 2 am DJ

You know those sleepless nights when your mind becomes a radio station playing the ‘Worry Top 40’ over and over again? We’ve all been there.

Those 2 am worry sessions, when fears and doubts seem most overwhelming, are usually the product of a distressed mind. They’re not based on reality, but on heightened emotions.

Lees suggests understanding these as the voice of a scared child, not your rational, adult self. They seem way scarier than they really are. Recognize this, and you can find peace in knowing these fears are often more imaginary than real. What a relief!

3) Put a leash on worry

We all worry—it’s human nature and a certain amount of worrying is necessary. But Lees proposes a different approach to managing it. Rather than trying to eliminate worry altogether, try to postpone it.

Set aside a specific “worry time” during the day when you’re calm and use this period to consider your worries. Often, when you face your fears intentionally, they lose their power.

Of course, this is easier said than done but it’s doable. It’s a bit like taking your worries for a walk, then letting them snooze for the rest of the day.

4) Revamp your goals

Let’s get SMARTER! No, that’s not a typo.

Setting goals is crucial for moving forward, but Lees adds a twist to the common SMART goal strategy. He recommends SMARTER goals—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound, Lees adds an ‘E’ for exciting and an ‘R’ for rewarding. Who wants boring, non-rewarding goals?

By aligning your goals with your passions and rewarding yourself when you meet them, you’ll stay motivated and engaged in what you’re doing.

5) Tackle the imposter monster

Imposter Syndrome, or the feeling of being a fraud, affects many of us, even those in high-ranking positions. It’s crucial to recognize it for what it is—negative self-talk—and not an accurate reflection of your abilities. Lees suggests sharing these feelings with someone you trust and then letting them go, freeing you from the self-imposed mental trap.

The rest of the world may see a confident and competent person but that is not what the imposter sees! It’s a vulnerability experienced by people in demanding situations who lack support and are isolated.

6) Deflate the drama

Catastrophic thinking, or imagining worst-case scenarios, is a common response to stress. However, it often leads to increased anxiety and prevents problem-solving. Lees suggests acknowledging this habit, then consciously choosing to consider best-case scenarios.

The fight or flight system where we perceive danger and threat is genetically programmed within us to help us survive.  The optimistic approach can help you identify solutions and not just focus on the gravity of the problem.

It’s all about managing those sky-is-falling thoughts and turning them into a more upbeat tune.

7) Master the bounce-back (and bounce-right!)

According to Lees, resilience is not just about weathering storms, but also growing from them. It’s about learning from yourself, becoming more self-aware, and learning from others.

When you bounce back, it’s not just about returning to your previous state but growing into a new, more robust one. The resilience you build today can better prepare you for tomorrow’s challenges.

Lees says resilience isn’t just about survival, but also about growth and personal development. Remember, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” isn’t just a catchy song lyric—it’s a resilience mantra!

Final words

So, there you have it—the 7-step workout for your mental resilience.

It’s fascinating to realize that every time you revisit these strategies, they speak to you in new ways. Different life circumstances bring out the relevance of different aspects of these techniques.

As the wise Buddha said, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Keep an open mind and an open heart because you never know when you’ll stumble upon a lesson that’s tailor-made for you!

It’s also important to remember that while these strategies are universal, your journey is unique. Your experiences, perspectives, and circumstances will shape how you apply these insights.

Be patient with yourself as you navigate your path to a more resilient mindset. Progress might be slow, but remember that every step, no matter how small, is a step forward.

One more thing, don’t shy away from seeking help when needed. We are social beings, and there’s immense power in sharing, learning from each other, and supporting one another.

Reach out to a good friend, mentor, or professional if you find yourself needing a different perspective or additional support.

Building a resilient mindset is not a one-time event but a lifelong process. It’s about continuously learning, growing, and evolving.

After all, resilience isn’t just about bouncing back from hardships; it’s about emerging stronger, wiser, and more prepared for whatever comes next.

And finally, as you navigate your way through the ups and downs, remember to take a moment to celebrate your victories – no matter how small they may seem.

Picture of Jeanette Brown

Jeanette Brown

I have been in Education as a teacher, career coach and executive manager over many years. I'm also an experienced coach who is passionate about supporting people in finding real meaning and purpose in their lives, building a resilient, grounded inner self and achieving their desired goals.

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