How To Cope With Adversity And Develop Personal Resilience

In our pursuit of happiness, developing personal resilience is a skill many stumble upon but few master. What makes a person resilient and how does one cultivate resiliency? Lisa Phillips, a Life and Confidence Coach sheds light on how to build resiliency.


Dealing with a major life event can be difficult. Your life may have taken a complete turn and you are left feeling lost and wondering what to do next. One thing which can assist you when life throws you difficulties is learning a few resilience skills.

Personal resilience is about learning to cope through life’s ups and downs and being able to bounce back, even in difficult times. It is about viewing hardships as an obstacle to overcome rather than something that takes over and makes you feel defeated. Resilience is a quality that allows you to get back up with more determination after being knocked down. It is about cultivating, through practice, a mindset that does not allow every little negative thing to take over one’s life or to make one feel like a failure.

Your level of personal resilience is determined by the way you cope with stress and adversity. Do you let other people upset you all the time or are you able to cope with conflict in a healthy manner? Do you allow little setbacks to put you in a bad mood all day?

Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient. These include a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback.

Here are a few of my top tips for building resiliency.

Create a Self-Care Life

Start to care whether you feel good or bad. It really is your own choice how you choose to look at things. Recognise that dwelling on issues will only make you feel worse, so decide to let them go. Spend time looking after your own emotional well-being and make it your first priority to feel good. Even if someone around is having a hard time, you don’t need to soak it up. Spend time doing things you enjoy and that make you feel good.

Surround yourself with friends who lift you up rather than beat you up!

Our friends can assist us in feeling resilient but choose wisely. Spend your time with people who can see how fabulous you are and won’t feed any negative or ‘victim’ feelings you may be experiencing. The best friends are those that will lift you up when you may be feeling down.

Encourage and Soothe Yourself

Self-talk is a huge part of being resilient. If things go wrong, what do you tell yourself?

Do you blame others or yourself?

Do you tell yourself that things will never be the same again and that you won’t be able to cope?

Do you think that if something doesn’t go according to plan that it is a major disaster?

Stop thinking like a victim. Change your self talk to encourage yourself and acknowledge that although you may be struggling right now, things will turn out ok in the end.

Practice Meditation

Meditation is a great tool for stress and there is no right or wrong way of meditating. Start with five  minutes a day and watch your stress levels take a dive.

Examine your own emotional hijacks

People who are less resilient tend to fly off the handle quickly and suffer from ‘emotional hijacks’. If this is you, identify what the trigger is.

What is it that makes you react in this way?

What is it that causes you to ‘flip your switch’?

Remember, the way we choose to react has nothing to do with anyone else. We have a choice to how we react to any situation. Take a look within and work out what your own triggers are.

Lisa Phillips is a Life and Confidence Coach with over 13 years’ experience and primarily works with women assisting them to feel great and build up their confidence muscle! With a background in training and communication, Lisa features regularly in the media and her expert advice is currently show cased on Studio 10 ( Channel 10.) In addition to coaching, Lisa has passion for keynote speaking and regularly speaks at large events across Australia on topics such as empowerment and assertiveness. To find out more about Lisa, please see [email protected] or


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