Resilient people in leadership and sales roles cope well with high levels of pressure and bounce back quickly from setbacks. Resilient people cope well when the going gets tough.

You may be physically healthy, but how is your attitude to life’s ups and downs? Do you have a positive, energetic approach to solving your challenges?

How people handle adversity determines to a great extent who is successful and who isn’t. Recognise that setbacks happen – the pivotal factor is how we react.

Here are 8 ways to build your resilience:

■ Stop using the word problem; instead use the word challenge. Think ‘x’ is a challenge for me, rather than ‘x’ is a problem for me.

■ There is no failure, only feedback. Don’t beat yourself up when something goes awry. It’s simply interesting feedback you can learn from. Be keenly aware of how you respond to adversity. if you catch yourself thinking negatively, use ‘STOP! DELETE!’, then refocus on the positive. Leadership writer John Maxwell says ‘Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn’.

■ When adversity strikes, ask yourself, ‘How can I turn this to my advantage?’ View a set back as a set up for a come back. Realise that a solution does exist. All you have to do is find it.

Tony Schwartz gives this advice – in the face of adversity ask yourself “What’s the story I’m telling myself here and how could I tell a more helpful and empowering story about the same set of facts?”

■ Build self-confidence. Winners see the act of winning in advance, they know that what you see is who you’ll be. Use mental rehearsal: picture the desired outcome and lock your mind on it.

Regain your composure and confidence in the middle of a great deal of energy by taking two or three centering breaths – breathe in to a count of three, breathe out to a count of ten. The slow outbreath is relaxing.

■ Use ‘I can handle it’. It makes you feel resilient and in control of what’s going on around you.

■ Become a ‘How can I do it better?’ person. Sports teams use the acronym T-CUP. ‘Think correctly under pressure.’

■ Feed your mind with positive input. Constant positive input equals constant positive output. You find what you look for – if you look for opportunity, that’s what you find. If you look for what’s wrong, that’s what you find.

■ Avoid the negative. Negative thinking never helps you. The most it can do is make you feel lousy and frustrated. Recall the advice Steve Jobs famously gave to Stanford Graduates in 2005 “Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice”. Instead, spend time with proactive, optimistic, goal-oriented people.

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