10 Ways Resourceful People Build Resilience and Turn Failure to Success

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” – Steve Maraboli


Pain comes to all of us in life. It’s inevitable there will be periods in your life when pressures mount, you encounter difficulties and fell like giving up. But, you have a choice to decide whether you will give up when life knocks you down or get back up and try again like a champion. Resourceful people don’t stay down. They get back up and try again. They develop resilience to keep going forward despite challenges.

For you to succeed at anything you’re doing, you also need to develop resilience. Resilience will help you turn failure to success, whether it’s dealing with business challenges, personal tragedies, or a divorce. Social scientist and leadership expert Frank Niles, PhD says about resilience, “It’s the ability to get back in the game after you’ve had some sort of failure. And indeed, we can learn to become more resilient.”


How Resourceful People Become More Resilient


There are key things highly resourceful people do to become more resilient. Here’s how they are able to shrug off huge challenges, persist and — in the end — overcome and succeed:


1. They Acknowledge the Difficulty or Challenge


The first thing to do when facing difficulty is to make sure you recognize it as soon as possible. This may sound obvious but we have all been in denial at one point or another. Sail through those “stages of grief” from denial to acceptance faster. Recognize, acknowledge, and even accept the reality of your situation faster and you will be better able to address it sooner. What’s that thing doctors say when they’re able to successfully treat a medical problem? “Good thing we caught it early.”


2. They Stay Calm When Difficult Times Come


When you panic, you can’t think clearly. You make rash decisions and this rarely delivers optimal results. Resourceful people know this, so they manage their emotions. They acknowledge they’re in a difficult situation, keep calm and evaluate things more rationally to make a plan and act. All the while they ask themselves, “Might there be a simple way to sidestep all these problems? Yes.”


3. They Pump Up Positivity


Marshall Goldsmith, author of “What Got You Here Won't Get You There,” did a study of highly successful people. He discovered they all had this in common – positive perceptions. And this led him to shout: “These successful people are all delusional!” That’s right. Highly resourceful and successful people are delusional. They tend to pump up positivity and find some silver lining in even the worst of circumstances. Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, author of “Positivity” adds, “They mourn losses and endure frustrations, but they also find redeeming potential or value in most challenges.”


4. They Plan Ahead


The most resourceful and successful people have a future in their mind, and they plan for it. They concentrate on the present, but always plan for the future. Even when it seems too late to plan, they keep planning and preparing. Even when they’re in the midst of trouble, they prepare. Thus, they take it day by day, hour by hour without losing sight of the future. You can’t really enjoy a layoff or a rejection, but people who have been through it before; people who have prepared are the ones who endure. They are the ones who survive life’s most difficult and threatening situations.


5. They Push Beyond their Comfort Zone


Highly resourceful people constantly push themselves to grow, to get better. The more they push themselves beyond their comfort zones, stretch their boundaries and leverage challenges as opportunities to grow and evolve, the more resilient they become. People who persist despite the obstacles, sooner or later make progress and succeed. We improve and get better when our bodies and minds are stretched to their limit in a voluntary effort to accomplish difficult and worthwhile things.


6. They Keep Themselves Busy


Staying busy not only gets you closer to your goals, but it’s also an effective way to stay calm. Resourceful people know this and grind even more when things aren’t going well, which helps build resilience. Research actually shows we’re all happier when we’re busy — and don’t feel rushed.


7. They Make Challenges a Game


Even painful or boring things can become fun if you turn them into a game with stakes, challenges and little rewards. So resourceful people frequently use this same system for everyday problems: How many applications can I send out today? Can I beat yesterday? They take great joy from even their smallest successes. That is an important step in creating an ongoing feeling of motivation and preventing the descent into hopelessness. It also provides relief from even the hardest challenge.


8. They Seek Help (And also Give It)


Nobody can do it all alone. While others are ashamed or embarrassed and fail to ask for help, resourceful people don’t let pride get in the way. They ask for help when they need it, and give it in equal measure. What’s fascinating is that even in the worst of times giving help can increase the feeling of meaning in life, which helps people in the worst situations succeed. Research actually shows givers are among the most successful people and they live longer. Sometimes being selfless is the best way to be selfish.


9. They Know When to Bail


The best way to survive a hurricane is the same: “Don’t be there when it hits.” Highly resourceful people are smart enough to realize this. When they realize they are never going to be great at activity A, for example, they double their efforts at activity B. You quit playing the piano after just 2 lessons and quit baseball when you were 10. Nobody sticks with everything. You can’t. When the company starts laying people off, perhaps it’s time to jump ship and preemptively start a business of your own or get into entrepreneurship.   


10. They Take Responsibility


At the root of resilience is the willingness to take responsibility for who you are and for your life. The most resourceful people take responsibility for their life, their progress and their outcome. They don’t shift blame to others, rather they learn from their mistakes and successes, and build on it to grow and get better results. This ultimately builds resilience and creates the right environment for success.  

See Also: 15 Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Entrepreneurs.

David K. William is a writer, publisher and entrepreneur. Everything he writes is inspired by life experiences and study. David is also founding editor of WebWriterSpotlight.com. Follow him on Twitter @DavidKWilliam.