Building Resilience: 7 Strategies Used by High Achievers
The pathway to our goals and dreams is often booby trapped with obstacles and adversity. This is true in sports, business, and life in general. Overcoming these challenges and achieving success requires something other than education, skill or experience. What is required is the ability to adjust positively and proactively to the shifting and punishing circumstances-adapting in ways that maintain stable and healthy levels of psychological and physical functioning in the face of stress and hardship (Coutu, 2002). What is called for is resiliency.
Resiliency is not a genetic attribute. You aren't born with it. It is developed, cultivated, and honed. How? Research has identified seven strategies high achievers use to build extraordinary levels of resiliency they then use to achieve uncommon success (Sarkar & Fletcher, 2014). They are:
- Hope (believing there are solutions and that better days lie ahead)
- Self-efficacy (believing one can and will succeed)
- Coping (adjusting goals while discovering fresh perspectives and new ways of interpreting situations; especially seeing failures not as dead ends, but rather opportunities to learn)
- Control (focusing tightly on events, activities and resources under your control and not distracted by things beyond your control)
- Competence (learning new skills and seeking knowledge from others that will help you overcome your current challenges and excel in the future).
- Responsibility (When you feel responsible for your actions you take initiative, and have a greater chance of obtaining the results you desire).
- Commitment (to goals, but also to personal development and mastering requisite skills and knowledge to achieve those goals).
The greater the development of one or more of these strategies, the stronger your resiliency making you more powerful in overcoming stressful situations, setbacks, disappointments, and adversity to achieve success.
Coutu, D. L. (2002, May). How resilience works. Harvard Business Review, 80, 46-55
Sarkar, M., & Fletcher, D. (2014). Ordinary magic, extraordinary performance: Psychological resilience and thriving in high achievers. Sport, Exercise, And Performance Psychology, 3(1), 46-60.