Resilience is the quality both physical and psychological that enables you to bounce back from adversity or setbacks. Some people equate resilience with mental toughness, personally I reject the whole concept of mental toughness. Resilience is so much more. It is nerves of steel, not letting setbacks get in the way of progress. The resilient athlete looks at adversity as opportunity. A chance to test themselves in a new way, to strengthen their resolve in pursuit of their goals.
Resilience is much like the wind, you can feel it, but you can’t see it. Those that have a resilient mindset have an attitude about themselves that has a direct influence on their behavior. They are characterized by a sense of control over their behavior and emotions. Seldom will you see them ride an emotional rollercoaster. They take things in stride. Resilience is closely tied to realistic goals and expectations.
The resilient person knows their strengths and weaknesses and operates accordingly. They do not set themselves up for failure because they are clear in their goals and what they must do to achieve them. They are able to anticipate the obstacles and act accordingly. Resilient individuals tend to be more optimistic. They believe they can do it. They project that belief in actions without being arrogant or cocky. They just know they will be able to figure it out.
A key aspect of the resilient individual is that they are learners. They have the capacity to learn from success and failure. They do not take the victories for granted, they learn from them, they get beyond the score and see where they can improve and learn why they have performed well. For the resilient athlete defeat, a poor performance or a sub-par workout is not final, they all represent learning opportunities. Not only do they bounce back but they come back better. Seldom do they make the same mistake twice.
Just like any other quality resilience can be improved with practice. It is a mindset and mindsets can be changed. In many ways it is learning new scripts. The script needs to be that you are in command, the master your own ship. You are not helpless, the bad workout or the lost match are outcomes that you can learn from. Design a debrief script that allows for learning and growth not despair and helplessness. Set a level of expectation that aligns with your abilities and goals. Make resilience a tool in your mental skills toolbox. Practice resilience and you will be more resilience.
It is too easy to let defeat and define you. Make the champions choice to get up and comeback with renewed resolve based on what you have learned.
Reference: The Power of Resilience by Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein