The Questions

What is resilience? What does it mean for something/someone to be resilient? Is resilience and mental toughness one and the same? What relationship does resilience have with attaining one’s goals? What are the benefits of being resilient? What are the costs of lacking resilience? Is there such a thing as being too resilient?

What is it?

Look up the word in any dictionary and you are likely to find the following definitions.  Resilience is the ability of a substance or object to spring back  into shape or the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.  Jack Welch defined resilience as the ability to get back on track quickly from falls, mistakes, mishaps,  and failures and get going again with renewed speed, conviction and confidence. 

According to the American Psychological Association, “Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences.

What are the benefits?

Many students of success understand that there is no such thing as a journey unmarked by setbacks, hurdles, expected events, hardships even tragedies.  One key benefit includes the ability or the mental strength to tackle problems head-on, overcome adversity and then move on with his/her live.  Being resilient also enables one to be calm in any situation, think clearly and find a solution to the problem. Resiliency also benefits the person in that a resilient person does not have unrealistic expectations and when confronted with any difficult situation will demonstrate resourcefulness and naturally come out on top.

What are the costs?

Without resilience, a person is likely to take a longer time to recover from setbacks or adversity. In fact some folks never seem to recover.  A person without resilience seems to never learn from his/her mistakes thus will find themselves repeating the same failed behavior over and over.

Is it an inherent or learned trait?

Depending upon the source you consult, resiliency might be found naturally in some folks (Kathleen Hall, Uncommon Hope), However for most people. resilience is a learned trait.

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