How can we develop psychological resilience?
Without a question, we are all smart. We all have potential. Unfortunately, mental abilities cannot guarantee perseverance.
The working environment is stressful. Deadlines are perennial. Not to mention your inconsiderate boss. As a result, employees (this may include you) may suffer from burnout.
The only way to take control over workplace stressors is psychological resilience. People who are mentally tough can deal with such chaotic environment. They are capable of managing the challenges in their respective workplaces.
But why not all people have mental toughness?
Martin Seligman, the proponent of positive psychology suggests that people basically belong to two categories in terms of how they think.
People who blame themselves when they fail are said to have pessimistic explanatory. And those who believe that failure is temporary and can be resolved belong to the optimistic explanatory.
You probably see these types of people. Those who succeed in business or in their career have optimistic thinking pattern. In contrast, those who fail or quit might belong to the pessimistic explanatory category.
Psychological resilience makes a difference in your life. In fact, studies found that optimistic people tend to outperform the pessimistic ones by 40 percent.
But how can you develop mental resilience?
The good news is that we can be psychologically resilient if we want to. Here’s how.
1. Mind your own thinking pattern.
In case you don’t notice it, your mind plays an important role in your behavior. If you think that you can’t, you won’t be able to accomplish the given task.
On the other hand, if you think that you can, you will find ways to solve the problem and accomplish the task.
In both cases, the mind does the talking. The only question is which voice do you listen?
Obviously, people who have pessimistic explanatory have the habit of cultivating negative thinking pattern. While those who have positive explanatory thinking are capable of deviating from their cognitive distortions.
If you want to achieve mental toughness, you need to mind your own thinking. Discard all maladaptive or unproductive thoughts. Avoid that negativity. Instead, strive to develop positive thoughts.
2. Embrace failure.
This does not mean that you should always expect failure. Because if you do, you will always fail.
What I mean instead is to accept that the road to success is not easy. Whatever you do there’s always a room for setbacks. Thus, you need to prepare yourself.
To build psychological resilience, you need to develop a flexible mind. Assess the bad situation in a positive way. Perceive failures and obstacles as temporary and manageable. In this way, you will be able to stay calm even in stressful situations.
Of course, it will not be easy. But like any behavior or habit, it can be developed. If you are determined enough, sooner or later, you’ll become a psychologically resilient person.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.