10 Simple Techniques For Building A Resilient Mindset In Times Of Crisis

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10 Simple Techniques For Building A Resilient Mindset

Clarity, foresight, and knowing when we can move about the cabin again is what we all crave in this COVID-19 world. With all the doubt in your mind and worry in your heart, it's no wonder you’re feeling a bit out of control.

But being able to focus on your resilience and learn how to build resilience is key to coping with uncertainty.

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I’ve heard it said many times during this pandemic that “we’re all in this together.”

Recently I read the perfect response to that statement: “Yes, but we’re not all in the same boat.” Everyone’s situation is different than their neighbor’s.

What matters most is how you recover from adverse circumstances.

The ability to bounce back after devastating losses will make the difference between a triumphant reemergence and a disappointing failure. That’s resilience.

You can’t acquire this skill without work and experience, and picking up the pieces when everything seems to have fallen apart isn’t easy. Furthermore, not everyone may recognize this tool in their toolbox.

So, what next? You can practice several simple techniques to help you build the resilience to help you rebound.

What does resilience look like?

Noted psychologist Susan Kobasa suggests there are three main categories under which resilience characteristics can fall: challenge, commitment, and control.


Those with a resilient mindset typically see adversity differently: They see it as a challenge. Rather than stopping them in their tracks, they look for new solutions to address the problem.

They can step aside and look at their situation as an objective observer. This perspective allows them to see the lessons from the mistakes and failures, and to shift their approach to get better results next time.


It’s a commitment to what’s most important. Resilient people are committed to and take guidance from their core values and beliefs, so they can make decisions that honor them.

Then, the commitment starts at home, building self-confidence, humility, and grace. From there, you’re likely to see their involvement in life, business, relationships, friendships, and community mirror how they treat themselves.


This means personal control, because there are a lot of things you can’t control in life. The wise, resilient ones are most likely to accept that fact and focus on the things they can control.

When you spend your energy on matters you can do something about, you feel empowered and satisfied that you’re moving forward and making progress.

Here are 10 simple techniques for building a resilient mindset in a crisis.

1. Take care of yourself.

Your ability to cope when things are not going as planned is directly related to how well you treat yourself.

The usual suspects are on this list: Rest, nourishment, self-compassion, and "me time."

2. Mind your mind.

Rehash, ruminate, rinse, and repeat. Not good.

Find positive ways to turn your mind's chatter into self talk that empowers you, rather than keeps you feeling like a victim. Resilient people don’t play the victim role.

3. Change how you look at things.

Sometimes, it takes just a two-millimeter shift in how you see something.

To make that pivot, ask yourself some questions such as, “What if it was my idea? What would I do then?” Or, “What would I say to my best friend in this situation?”

Being able to change your perspective makes a huge difference in your ability to discover new solutions.

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4. Learn from failures.

Perspective also helps you to step back and see what you learned from the circumstances you faced.

It may not have turned out well. You might have considered it a failure.

Here’s the treasure: When you look back without judgment and seek the oyster with the pearl in it, you will have another tool to use the next time. That means you get to do it better.

5. Tap into your reserves.

If you’ve lived a minute-and-a-half on this Earth, you’ve probably accumulated some reserves. By this I mean you have knowledge, experience, and skills to do things well. Think about all those things and make a list.

The more items on your list, the more reserves you have. Acknowledging that you have these deep wells of support will empower you and help build your resilience. You merely have to tap into them.

6. Create a "cloak."

Imagine each experience that makes up your reserves is a beautiful square of fabric or tapestry. As you think about what you need help with right now, what are the experiences you can draw upon to make you feel better?

Let’s say your self-confidence has taken a hike. Pick out all those squares of fabric from times when your confidence soared. Now, imagine that you’ve sewn them together into something you can wear. I call it my cloak.

In this case, it’s a "confidence cloak." From now on — when you need a little shot of self-confidence — put on your imaginary cloak. Feel what it felt like when you were confident in the past. Bring that feeling into the present moment, and move forward from here.

You may create "cloaks" for many occasions. The ones I use the most are confidence, patience, and grace. Who doesn’t need a little self-confidence every once in a while?

I wore my "patience cloak" over the weekend when I was dealing with family. And I need my "grace cloak" whenever I need to remind myself about acceptance, humility, and love.

7. Focus your vision.

Resilient people can bounce back quickly because they know where they're heading. Their vision is clear.

Their vision is the beacon on the lighthouse that guides them back on track after being turned upside-down. When you clarify your vision, it serves as your GPS and puts you right back on track.

8. Face your fears.

A friend of mine says, “When I’m feeling the most fear, I know in my heart I’m about to do something massive!” So, what does she do? She goes for it. She is one of the most resilient women I know.

Fears and limiting beliefs are two culprits that keep you stuck where you are. They can hold you hostage in that “someday” mentality.

If that’s not where you want to play, examining where the fears and beliefs come from is a valuable exercise. Learning how to make them work for you is the ticket.

9. Take small steps.

I am blessed to know many resilient people. I consider myself one of them. The truth is, none of us got this way by flipping a switch or jumping the line.

It was a conscious choice to take baby steps. You get to create a resilient mindset by practicing techniques such as those on this list one small step at a time.

10. Don't go it alone.

One of my favorite things about feeling resilient is that I know I don’t have to be alone. Accessing your network of support when you need help or because you got knocked down is critical.

Doing life alone is hard. Tackling it together is easier. Tap into your most trusted resources and lean on them — your resilience gets a boost.

Notice how many of these 10 approaches are already a part of your living and being. Then, if you still feel as if you’re not bouncing back the way you’d like, weave in a few more techniques.

Creating resilience is like weaving a tapestry or building a muscle. It takes time.

Ultimately, it takes courage to admit you’ve got work to do, a commitment to yourself to take the first step, and a map to follow.

If you would like to download a handy reminder of these 10 techniques to help you build a resilient mindset, click here for a free PDF version.

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María Tomás-Keegan is a certified career & life coach and founder of Transition & Thrive with María. For more information on how she can help you, get a free copy of her ebook From Darkness to Light: Learning to Adapt to Change and Move Through Transition.

This article was originally published at Transition and Thrive With Maria. Reprinted with permission from the author.