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The Ability to Bounce Back After Setbacks


Mar 2 2023

How often have we found it difficult to bounce back after failing an exam or a business venture? Most of us tend to focus on our failures and start to develop fear over trying again. This leads to high levels of stress because of stagnation in life and worry about what we could be missing out on if we are not adventurous enough to take risks. The only way to overcome the fear of failure and to persevere through setbacks is if we develop resilience.

Understanding Resilience: How Some People Bounce Back After Disappointments

While some people are able to bounce back after facing disappointments, others are not. People who are able to find ways to move forward are aware that such disappointments do not last (Kendrick, 2019). They also understand that while failures hurt, it is important for progress. However, the path of picking yourself up again is not a smooth sailing journey. People need to acknowledge their feelings of failure before realising how to improve (Horton, 2019). Usually, students who are resilient during their school life enter the workforce with the same attitude. This allows them to manage their deadlines, accomplish daily tasks and build confidence along the way (Kendrick, 2019).

Tips for Reframing Your Mind and Building Resilience

There are a few ways to begin reframing your mind so that you train yourself to develop resilience.

  • When faced with a difficult task, view it as something challenging that you could learn from instead of only pressurising yourself to do the task well (Gleeson, 2020).
  • Being committed to a task is important. Understanding that future outcomes don’t depend on current results will ensure you find ways to constantly improve and be a better version of yourself (Kendrick, 2019).
  • Resilience does not mean your failures do not affect you. It means you have found effective coping mechanisms that help you cope through the difficult times and eventually turn your weaknesses into your strengths. To do this, you need to acknowledge your emotions. Write down the thoughts that you have when you are going through something challenging. This will help you to identify situations that act as a trigger and how you could move forward from there (Horton, 2019).

Coping with Complexity: Building Resilience in Difficult Situations

When people are not sure how to move forward or what steps to take, they become anxious. Anxious people overthink situations that causes them to distort reality and make bad decisions. Having tolerance for complicated situations when you are unsure of the outcome is another way of building resilience. Resilience is a positive characteristic, however, it is built from negative circumstances. People should prepare themselves for both, the best and worst kind of scenarios, to be resilient in any situation that they find complicated (Shragai, 2020).

People are not born with resilience. Resilience is developed through the situations you are put in and what you learn from them. Being a resilient person means you are able to find comfort with any unpleasant emotions you feel, acknowledge it and discover coping mechanisms that are unique to your personality and experiences. It also means you do not feel ashamed of your failures and mistakes, instead, you view them as something to learn from. Developing a resilient mindset takes time and effort. Surrounding yourself with positivity and supportive friends and family could encourage you to build resilience and get through difficult times.


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