Nothing is more important to success in business than resilience. Resilience is the mental toughness to face and overcome adversity. It keeps you up and running long after others have given up.

Nobody is born with resilience; babies are the opposite of resilient. Resilience emerges through your life experience and through the beliefs you adopt about yourself and your place in the world.

Over the years, I've interviewed hundreds of successful executives and entrepreneurs, most of whom have encountered and overcome huge adversity. When I've asked what keeps them energized even through hard times, they've shared the following beliefs.

1. "I master my emotions lest they master me."

When resilient people feel a strong emotion, they step back from it before taking action. They decide whether to harness the emotion to move them forward toward a goal or to simply let the emotion run its course.

2. "I walk the talk and never just talk the walk."

When resilient people decide to take action, they take action. When they make a commitment, they fulfill it. When they make a promise, they're as good as their word. They are resilient because they know they can depend on themselves.

3. "I can and do prepare myself for the future."

Resilient people are committed to growing their skills. They see themselves as being in constant training to face the next set of challenges. As a result, they're seldom caught by surprise and can adapt quickly when things go sour.

4. "I learn more from failure than from success."

Resilient people may not welcome failure but they don't fear it, either. Quite the contrary--they know that it's only through failure that you can make the crucial distinction between what works and what doesn't.

5. "I value my courage higher than my security."

Resilient people are plucky. They accept that nothing in today's world is secure: not jobs, not information, and certainly not the future. Rather than seeking the illusion of security, they cultivate the courage to take action regardless of the circumstances.

6. "I take criticism constructively not personally."

Resilient people don't care whether criticism is meant to be constructive. They listen to it, decide if it's valid, and then take corrective action, if appropriate. Criticism toughens them rather than wounds them because they don't take it personally.

7. "I keep my goals in mind but I focus on my process."

Resilient people have inspiring goals that drive them forward but on an everyday basis they keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. They can adapt to and overcome obstacles because they're "in the moment."

8. "I value strong, supportive relationships."

Resilient people know that "a joy shared is twice the joy and a sorrow shared is half the sorrow." They surround themselves with people who support them and whom they support in turn.

9. "I reward myself for every win."

Resilient people never take themselves for granted. They don't wait until lofty goals are achieved before letting themselves be happy. They use any win, no matter how small, as an reason to celebrate.

10. "I always have more to give."

Resilient people do not believe that their energy and attention are limited resources. They know that they always can and will find the extra emotional and mental oomph to do what's truly necessary.

Published on: Oct 6, 2015
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