Three ways to become more resilient to failure
Failure may be an inevitable part of life, but that doesn’t make it any less painful when it does happen. It can be particularly hard facing setbacks in your 20s and 30s, since this is the first time many of us are experiencing major “failures” – from not doing well in uni or missing out on a job you really wanted.
Feeling like a failure can have a major impact on mental health, with research actually linking this feeling to a greater risk of depression. This may, in turn, lead to a negative feedback loop, with people who are depressed more likely to ruminate on their failures and see themselves as a failure.
But it’s impossible to live life without ever failing, which is why resilience is key. Not only will this help you learn to cope and accept these feelings, it may also help you better get past setbacks in the future.
Resilience is the ability to maintain or regain mental wellbeing when facing adversity. Our ability to be resilient stems from three key traits: self-esteem (how we value or perceive ourselves), psychological flexibility (being able to switch our focus from painful feelings to purposeful goals) and emotional regulation (our ability to tolerate and mange upsetting feelings).
While resilience may come more naturally to some than others, that doesn’t mean that it can’t still be learned. Here are three things you can do to build your resilience.
1. Get moving
Oddly enough, physical exercise can actually be really important in helping us build mental resilience.
Research has found that both aerobic and resistance exercise can lead to more positive self-esteem and body image. This is true, regardless of your fitness level.
Other studies have also shown that walking, running and cycling outdoors can significantly improve psychological wellbeing and self-esteem. Daily moderate or vigorous exercise seems to have the greatest positive impact on self-esteem.
Better self-esteem is important, as it’s one of the building blocks of resilience. It’s also been shown to have a significant effect on our ability to manage adversity, and has even been directly linked to life satisfaction.
Even if you don’t like exercising or feel like you don’t have time, something as simple as a brisk walk for a few minutes outside everyday may be enough to improve your self-esteem – and subsequently your resilience.
2. Write it down