resilient tree growing from a rock

How to build your Resilience

Resilience is a buzz word in the Psychological world. Every Psychologist, Counsellor and Therapist aim to help their clients build resilience.

And then I heard the following phrase by Dr George S Everly: “Do not interfere with someone’s resilience.”

Wow! Truly profound. A whole new world opened up.


Resilience is our ability to bounce back from hardships that pull us down. We get up, adapt to the change and move forward. That is resilience.

All of us are resilient, to some extent. Every one of us adapted to the new way of doing and living during the COVID-19 Lockdown.

However, I believe that we can always build our resilience stronger. 


We will be able to recover and adapt more quickly and find the necessary courage to move forward, no matter what life throws at us.

A stronger resilience will give us that much-needed edge.

But, before we go on to look at how to build resilience, I first want to say WELL DONE. Well done for coming this far, for not giving up and for moving forward in life, especially during the COVID-19 Lockdown.

I know you can build more resilience, bouncing back quicker and moving forward to a fulfilled and meaningful life.


When we face trials and tribulations, we need to tap into our resilience to overcome and move forward. Here are some tips on building your resilience even stronger.

Look at how far you have come in life. 

If we look back on our lives and see how far we have already come and what we have already overcome, it builds our confidence in ourselves that we can once again prevail.

List what you learned from your life story.

Everything we go through has the potential to leave a lasting impression, which we will use as a foundation for our futures. However, we can either lay a foundation of a worthwhile testimony which will build our resilience or we can ignore the rainbow within the storm and miss out on the blessings that will follow. Choose to look for the lessons learned and use them to face every challenging situation with more confidence and resilience.

Focus on what you can control.

The number one thing causing emotional turmoil is the feeling that we do not have any control over what is happening with us. However, we always have control over our reaction within a situation. We can create an action plan for moving forward. An action plan will give us a sense of control, not feeling hopeless and helpless anymore. 

Practice self-care.  

We need to take care of our bodies, our thoughts, our emotions, our relationships and our spiritual life. You can read more about this in my blog – how-to-deal-with-fear-stress-and-anxiety-during-COVID-19/ or self-care-12-ways-take-better-care-yourself.

Practice gratitude.

Being thankful captures our focus and helps us to find reasons to move forward. Gratitude helps us to be more positive, and when positive about ourselves and our situation, we can more easily tap into our resilience. You can either keep a journal or a vision-board.

Hold on to your Faith.

Our faith forms the foundation for our strength and hope for a better, brighter future. Even when we do not have all the answers, we will know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

Believe you can.

If you do all of the above, you will foster a solid foundation of confidence, resilience and belief in yourself. I know that you are more than able to overcome anything you face. Do you?

Support from friends and family.

We are not supposed to live in isolation. It is necessary to know that there are people who care, support, encourage us, people who believe in us and enable us to believe in ourselves as well. 

But can we support and not interfere at the same time? Yes, we can. Here is how.


Do not judge.

We do not have the right to judge another person for the way they cope with difficulties in life. Each person is unique, and so is their journey. How can we be so arrogant as to believe that we know their story?

Yes, there is a difference between coping and avoiding. Coping is our way to deal with the circumstances in a healthy, non-destructive way. Avoiding is keeping from facing emotions through harmful and destructive behaviour.

Our coping might not always be 100% effective, but does that matter? We must have faith in ourselves to find our way in life. As long as we do not avoid dealing with the situation, we will build our resilience and move forward in life.

Do not take their responsibility onto your shoulders.

Have you ever watched Lord of the Rings? Where Samwise says that he cannot carry the Ring for Frodo, but he can carry Frodo? 

That is one of the best examples of support. We cannot heal another person or make them move forward. However, we can encourage, motivate and believe in them. We can reach out and offer a hand of support without hindering their growth.

Support and do not fix.

Supporting is when we let the other person know that they are not alone. But we always make them believe in their ability to conquer whatever they are facing. We believe in them while we encourage and support them. 

Fixing happens when we do not believe that the other person has it in themselves to overcome, adapt and move forward. We want to be the hero and forget that a true hero helps others to see and believe that they are heroes themselves.


Forming Codependency.

When we try to fix another person, we take away their belief that they can find the best solution they can to overcome their circumstances. We can then cause them to always turn to others for help before they tap into their resilience and ability to bounce back from difficulties. They will become codependent on the person helping them and can also lead to burnout for the party trying to help.

Not building your own resilience stronger.

We must give people the time and space to work through their own emotions and get to a place where they build their resilience.

Taking away the opportunity for growth.

If we endure and push through, hardships will always grow our character and resilience. Challenges and change is part of life. Each time we face a challenge and adapt to change, we grow. We learn to look differently at our circumstances, find the lessons within them and build wisdom and resilience. And we must allow the next person to do the same.


Resilience is the one skill we need to move forward in life. It will not come automatically, but with perseverance, we will build our resilience every time we face and overcome challenges. It is the greatest gift we can give ourselves and also those around us. 

Helping someone to build their resilience is not only for the privileged professional. I believe that ordinary people who care and support during difficult times play a bigger role than any Psychologist or Counsellor. 

Do not underestimate the ability you have to help the person next to you to build and tap into their resilience.

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1 thought on “How to build your Resilience”

  1. Pingback: 5 Reasons Small Manageable Changes are Crucial - Belinda Pieterse

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