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5 Ways Only the Most Resilient People Overcome Defeat

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The way in which we handle defeat determines how successful we are. You can learn to be resilient, it is a choice in attitude that we can all make.

The ability to recover quickly from failures is a key attribute of the successful. No one likes to fail, no matter how great or small the stakes involved. How resilient we are in the face of failure is a true test of nature and ability. Success is not possible without failure, view defeat as a inevitable stop on the road to success and learn how to overcome it. So, how do resilient people differ from those who are disheartened by each and every setback or loss?

Here are 5 habits of highly resilient people and ways you can improve your own ability to bounce back from failure.

  1. Acceptance

First be quick to accept the mistake, admitting the error is the first step toward overcoming it and moving on. Prolonging denial will only protract the potential losses and delay your route to success.

  1. Positive Thinking

See defeat as an inevitable part of the learning process and not a personal failure. Resilient people look for the lessons to be taken away. Challenges can be our greatest learning opportunities. Feel grateful alongside the disappointment, this fosters optimism and quickly leaves behind the crippling effect of negativity.

  1. Strong Sense of Purpose

Alongside positivity, use humor, or your own strong sense of purpose to get you through the difficult times. Use these tools as sources of strength during stressful periods.

  1. Strong Sense of Self

Know who you are and what is of worth to you. Then you will not waste energy or time on the need for affirmation and equally not be derailed by criticism or ridicule. Develop a strong inner sense of self and you will use less emotional energy on worry and have more strength to do what is really important. Don’t be deterred by what people think of you or your goals.

  1. Look to Well-Established Coping Mechanisms

Such as maintaining a strong support network – social support fosters effective coping strategies – look to friends, family and colleagues for support to deal with the stress of defeat. A problem shared is a problem halved, help from a good social support network will move you more quickly from failure to success. Exercise, meditation or hobbies are proven ways in which we can center ourselves to be battle ready again.

People with these traits don’t suffer fools gladly. Look to famously resilient people for mentorship and inspiration, people who exemplify these qualities include Thomas Edison, fired from his first two jobs. Henry Ford, whose first two automobile business failed. Winston Churchill, who after years in political wilderness became Prime Minister.

Remember that self pity and doubt are not traits of the resilient- think ‘what have I learned from this experience? How can i succeed in the future?’ Some people are born with an innate ability not to feel deflated by defeat – think Napoleon Bonaparte – “My downfall raises me to infinite heights”. It is all about attitude, be positive, view life’s harsher lessons as learning curves. You can make a conscious effort to make these practices your habits and become resilient.

About the Author

Tatiana Compton is a freelance journalist who has covered accountancy and finance in both the UK and US.