How To Create Resiliency - Teal Swan Articles - Teal Swan Jump to content

How To Create Resiliency

Though building resiliency in yourself and in the sectors of your life is always a good idea, in today’s world it is absolutely critical.  If you want to simplify resiliency down to its core, you can do so by breaking resiliency down into two things.  The first is your ability to withstand adversity.  The second is your ability to adapt well in the face of adversity.  Essentially, for something to have resiliency, it must be able to withstand and also to adapt.  Take this concept and apply it to anything to see how resilient that thing is or isn’t.  For example, if your positivity depends entirely upon something good happening to you, that is not a resilient mentality.  Having a mentality of it being up to you and in your power to create something good to feel positive about is an example of a more resilient mentality.  Or for example, if your finances are solely dependent on what comes to you through a boss and you could easily get fired and therefore lose your only source of income, your finances are not resilient.  Making sure that you have multiple sources of income, so that if one source is cut off, you still have a backup, makes your finances more resilient.  Or for example, rupture is inevitable in relationships.  What creates security in your relationships is your ability to resolve rupture.  If you do not know how to create resolve in relationships or if the people you are in a relationship with are not interested in creating resolve, your relationships are not resilient.  If you know how to resolve rupture when it occurs in a relationship and have relationships with people who want resolve, your relationships are more resilient.

The reason to create resiliency is not because the universe is against you.  The reason to create resiliency is that you want to be able to endure and rely upon your own fortitude and the fortitude and endurance of things in your life, even if you or those things encounter oppositional forces.  Keep in mind that oppositional forces are not limited to something being intentionally against you. Change is one thing that can act as a form of adversity, as so many businesses have found out the hard way, by continuing to do the same thing instead of being able to adapt to changing times and changing demands.

Over the course of our lives, we will all encounter situations where we discover that something was not as resilient as we thought it was.  The disillusionment and vulnerability we experience as a result is very scary. And while we can’t completely prevent this, we can decrease the likelihood of the negative manifestations of things like weakness, rigidity, fragility, vulnerability, failure, collapse and loss by deeply questioning how resilient something in ourselves or our life is, and consciously working towards creating resiliency.  All this being said, here are some concrete tips for how to create resiliency.

  1. Clearly recognize what is not resilient about you and about the sectors of (and things in) your life.  The goal of this exercise is to get very specific.  How resilient are you overall?  How resilient is each one of your relationships?  How resilient is your community? How resilient is the society in which you live and the structure of that society? How resilient is your lifestyle? How resilient are your finances?  How resilient is your business?  How resilient are your plans?  How resilient is your sense of purpose and meaning? How resilient is your mentality?  How resilient are you emotionally?  How resilient is your health?  How resilient is the environment in which you live?  You should then break down each sector of your life into smaller components.  Such as: How resilient is my style of communication in my relationships?  Or How resilient is my employee retention plan in my business?  Or how resilient is my circulatory system?  Once you have answered these questions, be willing to go back to the drawing board so as to make changes so as to create what is actually resilient instead.  Think: How could I make X stronger?
  2. What is your contingency/back up plan?  So much resiliency comes as a result of creating a contingency plan for things.  Never take a thing for granted and assume it is forever.  So many people have found this out the hard way.  It’s one reason why so many famous musicians and athletes are now bankrupt.  Of course, a contingency plan applies to everything, not just a financial contingency plan.  An example of this in a business is to have different plans for how to generate income and not to be dependent upon one product or one service.  An example of this relative to health is to say I’m going to try this remedy wholeheartedly.  But if it doesn’t work, I’m going to try this other thing.  An example of this relative to your housing situation is: I’m committed to this place, but if my finances dip past a certain point, I’m going to get a roommate.   Some people fear that if they create a contingency plan, it is like giving energy to the idea that a bad thing will happen.  This is one reason why so many people hate the idea of pre-nuptial agreements.  It feels to them like they are wanting to have faith in the fortitude of their marriage.  And a prenuptial agreement feels to them like putting energy towards divorce or having no faith in the marriage.  I want you to start to look at contingency planning a different way.  If anything, just like wearing a seatbelt in a car, it can make it so you feel more security and sense more fortitude and therefore stop thinking about, worrying about and putting any energy towards whatever negative potential may exist.  Therefore, a contingency plan doesn’t just protect you from being blindsided by adversity.  It also protects you from focusing your energy towards adversity.
  3. Face and Integrate Your Fears.  Nothing destroys resiliency quite like fear.  Nothing builds resiliency quite like integrating fear.  When fear rules us is when it is behind us, controlling us.  We need to turn around and become intimate with our fear.  This means we need to see, hear, feel and seek to deeply understand it.  From there, using the information that we gained by doing so, instead of fighting against that fear, we need to do what it takes on a mental, emotional and physical level to resolve it.  By doing this, that fear no longer controls us and so others cannot control us with it.  It is easy to see how much stronger you will be and how much more adaptable and able to withstand you will be by doing this.  If you would like to learn about fear in a more in-depth way, an entire section of my book titled: The Anatomy of Loneliness, is dedicated to fear.
  4. Build a support network.  Resiliency is about developing autonomy as well as interdependence.  We live in a world that currently values independence and dependency is shamed.  The structure of society is set up to make people more and more separate and more and more able to do things for themselves.  The thing is, people need other people.  Humans are a relationally dependent species.  Having a support network in your life and being a part of other people’s support networks, means you can add their energy and mental, emotional and even physical resources to your measure of resiliency.  There is a reason that some people with addictions end up on the street and some don’t.  The answer is: resources.  The answer is having a support network or not.  And the way to maintain a strong support network is to give/support.  Lend your mental, emotional and physical resources to others in order to support their resiliency.  In a group of people, other people’s resiliency adds to your own.  Communication skills is a very important part of doing this.  And never forget that collaboration may be a key element to resiliency.  Two heads are better than one… many are better than two.
  5. Accept change when it happens and accept that change will inevitably happen.  Rigidity does not create resilience.  Denial does not create resilience.  The more adaptable, flexible and on board with (instead of opposed to) change you are, the better. Acceptance is the opposite of denial and avoidance. To accept is to recognize something as valid or correct. Doing this makes your being consent to receiving it and digesting it as truth instead of fighting to not acknowledge it and not take it in. Acceptance has nothing to do with liking something.  Acceptance has nothing to do with condoning something or condemning something. It has nothing to do with whether you want to change something or not. It is simply about being able to acknowledge something as valid enough to let that acknowledgment in instead of fight to keep it out.  To be resilient, you’ve got to be in reality.  To truly understand this, watch my video quite literally titled: Reality.  Ask yourself “What am I really afraid I might be in denial about or avoiding right now?”  Make a list.  Denial runs deep.  But often it doesn’t run deep enough to totally silence the little voice inside that is warning you about the potential truth of an unpleasant reality.  Then ask yourself with each item on the list, “If the voice of denial were not so loud, what would the unpleasant voice underneath it be saying to me about this situation?”  See if you can really accept those unpleasant truths. Recognize that even though you love control, when you are in denial, you are in fact giving up control.  By not accepting the reality of something unpleasant, you can’t do anything about it.  Eventually, it will get out of hand and take its own course with or without your consent.   Denial does not work because unless you know where you actually are, you cannot know where you want to be and you can’t take the appropriate step between here and there.  You may not be in denial about what is happening, but simply be refusing to accept it.  Remember that you are wasting precious time and energy fighting against what is and what you cannot make un-happen.  And remember, because evolution and therefore change is the modus operandi of the universe, change is what will happen… will you be ever on the lookout for and ride the wave of change?  Or fight it when it comes?  One strategy is the recipe for resilience.  The other for collapse.  Remember, the more adaptable you are, the more resilient you will be.
  6. Change your perspective about adversity.  The attitude that you hold about adversity in general, changes how you respond to adversity and also all kinds of biological mechanisms such as what stress chemicals your body releasees.  What is your attitude about adversity?  How do you respond when faced with adversity?  Does that attitude and response bend you towards resiliency and success or collapse and failure?  People who demonstrate resilience, hold the perspective that adversity makes them stronger, better and more.  They take it as an invitation to learn and change! They see it as a call to re-evaluate their intentions and strategies. This doesn’t mean that they like adversity.  No one likes it.  Don’t try to get yourself to like it.  Look for the value in it and look for how to use it for your benefit.  Be very, very careful about what meaning you assign to an experience of adversity.  A mal-assigned meaning can demolish your resilience and capacity to turn adversity into something that adds to you, instead of takes away.  To understand more about this, watch my video titled: Meaning, The Self Destruct Button.  And don’t forget to seek positive meaning to what you are experiencing.
  7. Develop Self-Efficacy.  Self-efficacy, when it comes to building resiliency, is the belief or confidence in your ability to overcome challenges and to withstand and succeed in the face of adversity.  You will find that you have much more Self-efficacy regarding some aspects of your life than others.  To give you a small example, a person who feels confident in their skills in the kitchen will feel Self-efficacy if they are put in a situation where they are missing many ingredients.  A person who doesn’t, will immediately feel disheartened and overwhelmed and maybe even give up.  Really recognize, let yourself feel good about and resource the areas in which you feel self-efficacy.  Know your strengths. When you discover an area in which you lack that self-efficacy, ask yourself: What would it take for me to feel confident in my ability relative to this thing?  These areas are areas in which learning and practice to develop knowledge and skill will go a long way.  Think of it this way: A person who knows how to grow their own food would feel a lot more self-efficacy regarding a food system shortage.  You are looking to think and do things that cultivate the feeling that you can not only cope with what happens, but succeed with what happens.  The more competent you feel and are, the more self-efficacy you will experience.
  8. Always focus on what you can control, instead of on what you can’t. It is so easy to get absorbed and overwhelmed by what you have no control over because it poses the greatest threat.  But if something is out of your control, then by definition you have no power there.  Instead, look for where you do have power in any situation that you find yourself in.  Look for the window that is open when you have no control over a door being closed.  Do not remain focused on what you can’t do.  What CAN you do? Because personal empowerment is such an important element of resiliency, it may benefit you to watch my video titled: Take Your Power Back.
  9. Find or Create Purpose.  Purpose makes you more resilient.  End of story.  Life purpose provides the strongest resilience.  But before you panic, know that you don’t need to be sure about your life purpose to have purpose.  You can look for it and even create it in any situation that you may find yourself in.  For example, a person might be feeling their resilience waning in the face of unjust treatment.  But if they decide that there is purpose in what they are doing, because continuing to fight will ensure a more just world for many others like them, suddenly they will have much more resilience.  You can withstand a great deal more and for longer.  People cannot withstand pain without purpose.  People can’t really strongly get their own energy behind them in something without purpose.  So… come up with that purpose.  Genuinely look for and come up with the purpose that makes all of your personal energy ‘back you up’ in a thing.
  10. Deliberately focus positively.  Positive focus is a slippery slope.  If you are using positive focus in order to avoid something, then you are using positive focus as a tool of resistance.  You are doing so because you don’t trust in your ability to cope with a negative reality.  This disempowers you because it puts you in denial.  That being said, as long as you accept the reality, looking for the actual positives in your life experiences will ensure you much more resiliency.  And, it will mean that you are more in reality because there are always both positives and negatives to be found in any experience or situation.  To be in reality is to see both sides of the coin at once.  People who lack resilience tend to struggle with seeing the positive aspect of reality.  So, recognizing the positive and making lists of positives and developing optimism is something they tend to struggle at.  But deliberately practicing this, will increase your ability to withstand, endure, adapt and succeed.
  11. Answer this question: What would give me energy? Having more energy increases your resiliency.  But people seldom prioritize doing things that put energy into themselves.  To create resiliency, you’ve got to do this consciously and directly.  The answer will be different for all people. For one person, being social will give them energy.  For another, it will take energy away. For one person, running will give them energy.  For another, it will take energy away.  For one person, taking a salt bath may give them energy.  For another, it may take energy away. For one person, watching an intense documentary will give them energy. For another, it will take energy away.  For one person, completing all the things on their to do list right now may give them energy.  For another, it may take energy away. Write a list of all the things that give you energy and pick items off of the list to do on a regular basis.  Keep in mind that what gives you energy and takes it away may change from day to day or moment to moment.  And whenever you feel yourself getting weaker, fatigued or depleted, ask yourself “what would give me energy right now?
  12. Think about resiliency as being the strength of the strategies for adversity, withstanding, adapting and success that you have on a mental, emotional and physical level.  On a mental level, strategies could be things like learning, altering your perspective, critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, creating plans, finding purpose and positive focus.  On an emotional level, strategies could be things like expression, regulation, caretaking your own emotion and listening to the personal truth that is being conveyed by your emotion.  On a physical level, strategies could look like taking action, doing something as opposed to thinking about it, making physical changes, building connections, creating a strong body through your diet, exercise, sleep and lifestyle habits.  And doing things that enhance your health and energy levels.  Meditation is an example of a strategy that can build strength in all three areas.  A person is really a layer-cake of these three layers of existence.  To have true resiliency, you must build strength in all three areas. You must seek to create mental fortitude, emotional fortitude and physical fortitude. And each layer feeds into and effects the rest.

As a side note, if you currently feel like you are in a crisis, know that crisis tests your resilience.  And so, your resilience is probably being really, tested right now. I have created an e-course to help you with this… How to thrive in a crisis.  In this course, I lead you through lessons and in-depth exercises to improve your resilience and help you thrive (not just survive) in a crisis.  To learn more about the course visit:

Resiliency does not make it so you are immune to life’s difficulties.  You will still experience challenge, pain, negative emotion, and other unwanted things.  But with resiliency, those things will not ‘topple your tower’.  You will be able to recover and have the strength to use adversity to add to your success.  Imagine a life where adversity could amplify your success instead of bring failure. So, in the name of resilience, I leave you with the words of author Elizabeth Edwards.  “She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails."


Where can we send you your 5 free guided meditations?

Join Our Newsletter And Get Teal's 5 FREE Guided Meditations as a welcome gift!
Your privacy is our top priority. We promise to keep your email safe! For more information, please see our Privacy Policy
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.