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Bounce Back Stronger!

Failures happen. Having strong mental resilience can turn it all around. So, what gets in the way? Learn some common pitfalls and the questions you must answer to bounce back stronger!

If you’re old enough to read these words, you are old enough to have experienced a failure on some level. Failing, messing up, missing the mark, however, you phrase it is all a part of living. It’s beautiful when you can see the gift within the experience. Yet many of us avoid failing or are shamed by failing, therefore missing out on great opportunities. If this sounds like you, may I challenge you to strengthen your mental resilience? Your comeback awaits!

What is resilience?

According to Merriam Webster resilience is defined as “the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress.” Whoa! Does anyone else feel like a strained body under compressive stress? Just me? The second definition, which is more commonly how resilience is understood, is “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”

Reflecting on these definitions, having strong mental resilience is critical to your overall growth and well-being. Though it won’t change the misfortunes, it will strengthen your ability to recover quickly, learn, and succeed.

What gets in our way?

Some of the most common pitfalls to having strong mental resilience are:

1. Dwelling on the event. I fully support acknowledging your feelings, grieving, and processing life’s trip-ups. However, there comes a point where you need to release and move forward. What are you hoping to gain by replaying the event? Dwelling on it will not change it. It will keep you mentally stuck in the very situation you want out of!

2. Playing the victim. There certainly are times when we are victims. In those cases, I encourage seeking professional support. Yet we often default into a “victim” mentality because owning our choices and mistakes is painful. Plain and simple. However, avoiding ownership of our choices is what gives our power away. We believe the lie that we cannot change until someone or something happens to save us. Newsflash: that someone, that something, is you. You are responsible for your life. You have the power to change. You are the only one who can activate that change.

3. Unhealthy coping mechanisms. Turning to alcohol/substance abuse, eating disorders, violence, or other harmful behaviors to numb or avoid reality. Please seek professional support. **A list of national helplines is found at the bottom of this article**

4. Freezing due to overwhelm. When we are overwhelmed with circumstances, we can quickly freeze up or quit, almost like a deer in headlights. While that may feel like a relief, the lie we believe is that nothing else bad can happen if we do nothing. Freezing is an illusion. You are never stagnant in life – just as the earth is constantly moving, though we may not feel it, so are you. Either you are moving forward or backward. Any choice you can make, no matter how small, to move forward will be more profitable than freezing up or quitting. Even if it’s as simple as repeating an affirmation in your mind, it’s forward progression.

5. Going it alone. This may give the appearance of resiliency, yet it’s the counterpart. Resiliency will pool its resources to gain the support needed for recovery. It’s often foolish and prideful not to seek help when needed. Who are you surrounding yourself with? What support systems do you have? They are a vital factor in developing your resilience.

What needs to happen next?

First, I’d like to applaud you for being brave enough to acknowledge your pitfalls with a willingness and resolve to make some changes. Bravo! The next step is to get yourself out of the pits by asking powerful questions. You may want to set aside some time to dig deep and even journal if that’s helpful. Remember, part of strong mental resilience is knowing when to seek support! You do not have to go it alone.

Questions to ask yourself: (this is in no particular order and is just a starting point, as questions are limitless!)

  • What is important to you in this situation?

  • What do you believe about yourself? What new belief would most help you?

  • What lessons can you take away from this experience?

  • What good came from this? Finding the silver lining is not just a catchy cliché. Seek the good; even tiny, it’s still a gift.

  • What changes have you identified that you need to make?

  • Where were you brave?

  • Where were you true to yourself?

  • Where were you not true to yourself?

  • What were your expectations going into the situation? How do those need to be adjusted (if at all)?

  • What about the situation was within your control? How did you manage that?

  • Was this a one-time experience or something you struggled with often?

  • Describe the emotions this situation brings to the surface for you. What role might these emotions play in the outcome?

  • What does this situation look like from an outsider's perspective? How does that perspective impact your understanding?

  • What phrase would summarize this as a defining moment for you?

And the list of questions can go on and on. Again, I applaud you for digging deep and taking these strides in strengthening your mental resilience. You’re stronger already. Time for that comeback!

If you wish to explore further or need support in developing this area, sign up for a complimentary Discovery Session below.

** National Helplines:

  • SAMHSA National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services

  • Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)

  • National Eating Disorders Association 1-800-931-2237

  • Crisis Text Line: 741741

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799- SAFE (7233)

Cover photo by: Tirachard Kumtariom

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That’s awesome Rebeca!! I look forward to your comeback!


Rebeca Flott
Rebeca Flott
Jun 05, 2023

I struggle a lot in dwelling on the events, but your message is so clear and i love the questions you asked. I will work on list of questions today !

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