By Carol Malysz

Ever wonder why some people seem to bounce back quickly from setbacks while others seem to fall apart when the unexpected happens?

The key is resilience.  Resilience is the ability to adapt well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy or extreme stress.  Whether a job loss, losing a client, a failure, family or relationship issue, serious health problem or financial setback, resilience allows you to rebound from these difficult experiences.  It’s not about toughing it out, being stoic or going it alone.  It’s about the ability to roll with the punches and move forward in your life despite the tough times. Resilience is about overcoming obstacles, fear, and doubt, and believing in yourself.

Resilience is not a trait that some people have and others don’t.  The ability to adapt to change is a skill that one can learn. Here are five things you can do to become more resilient:

  1. Be proactive – figure out a plan and take action to address the adversity that you’re currently facing. Focus on your strengths and how they can be an important tool to help you overcome the challenges in front of you.  Remain confident that you can solve your problems during a difficult time.
  2. Find support – close family members, friends and loved ones can provide you with support and acceptance during tough times. Mentors, Advisors, Coaches and others are resources to offer additional guidance and understanding.  Volunteering or joining a community-based organization that you believe in and have some type of connection to, is a way to expand your social support system and renew your sense of hope and contributing to others. Helping others helps you feel valued and appreciated.
  3. Practice gratitude – find ways to appreciate the small things, whether a good book, a leisurely walk or a beautiful sunset. Reach out to a loved one, or a good friend or colleague you haven’t spoken to in some time. Say thank you.  Laugh. Gratitude helps us appreciate what we have and change our mood from a negative to a positive one.
  4. Take care of yourself – engage in activities or hobbies you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep.  Taking time for self-reflection and organizing your thoughts and emotions can help you manage stress and adapt to new challenges with less anxiety and a renewed sense of purpose and meaning.
  5. Keep things in perspective – Talking with others who’ve been in a similar situation and are further along in the process can give you a sense of hope and perspective. Whatever the situation, try to consider it in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective.

At Career Advisors,we offer a variety of services to help you strengthen your resilience, and to face your challenges and career direction and/change head on. To learn more, please contact us at 508-279-9900 or