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6 Steps to Become Resilient: The Secrets of How to Overcome Challenges

Resilience is the capacity to overcome and adapt to challenges and stress. It’s a combination of your attitude, outlook and response to difficult situations. It’s about how you respond to life’s challenges and how you recover from them.

People with resilience can see their experiences as learning opportunities rather than tragic events or sources of weakness. Whether we like it or not, we all have to face challenges in our lives. How we deal with these different situations determines the strength of our character and can make us stronger individuals in the long run. Resilient people can maintain a healthy balance between their personal and professional lives even in adverse circumstances.

Here are six things to remember as you exercise your resilience muscle and learn to overcome challenges.

Remember that change is inevitable and the only constant in life.

Change will happen whether you like it or not. Although change can be scary and feel very unpredictable and create discomfort, it’s important to remember that it’s inevitable.

There will always be something that will put pressure on your life, whether it be a significant change such as a breakup or a loss of a loved one, or even a small change such as a change in the weather. The key to overcoming challenges is remembering that they are not permanent and that things will get better if you let them. When we face challenges, it’s easy to get stuck in the past, worried about the future and lose sight of the present. Being present in the moment and focusing on the now will help you stay grounded and more positive in stressful situations.

By being grounded and positive, you can open to learning from your past experiences and use those experiences to inform your decisions in the future.

Take time to reflect and breathe

When you’re in the middle of a challenging situation, getting caught up in your emotions and spiralling out of control is easy. However, it’s essential to recognize that not everything is a big deal and take a step back from the situation.

What helped me the most was taking a small pause to reflect on the situation and identify the root cause of the stress. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the now and forget that you are the one who is in control of the situation. You are the one who is responsible for your actions and the words that you use.

So whenever you feel like you’re losing control and getting stressed out, take a step back, remind yourself that you are in control and try to identify the root cause of the stress.

Focus on the things you can control

As much as we’d like to think we have control over every situation, we don’t. We can’t control other people’s actions, we can’t control what happens to us, and we can’t control the things that happen around us. However, we can control how we respond to these situations.

While it is essential not to make yourself feel guilty about the things you can’t control, it’s equally important not to let them get under your skin and take control of your life. Instead, focus on the aspects of your life that you have control over and appreciate the things you have in your life.

Build a support network

In times of need, your support network will be there to help you get through the challenges you are facing in life. Building a support network is not something you can do in a day or a week. It’s a gradual process that might take months or years to develop. Make it a point to invest in your relationships and reach out to the people around you. You don’t have to go through your struggles alone.

Many people go through similar experiences as you and might be able to give you some much-needed support or share how they overcame their challenges. A support network might be a group of friends or even a family member; it can be a professional coach or therapist. But, most importantly, you open yourself up to other people and let them know that you are there for them.

Recognize that challenges are normal and necessary

No one goes through life without facing challenges. Each challenge you face is an opportunity to grow and become more aware.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out when you face a difficult situation, but it’s important to remind yourself that these situations are out of your control most of the time.

Resilient people understand that challenges are normal and necessary and don’t resist them when they come along. These challenges prove that you’re pushing yourself and trying to become a better person.

Be Proactive

Challenges come and go, and sometimes they can take a few weeks or months to pass. But there are times when they linger, and they may even worsen if you don’t take action. So take the initiative to solve your problems and be proactive, rather than stay still and wait for things to happen. Tap into your support network, hire a coach, take an online course, find a group to join, or read a book on your area of difficulty. These are proactive ways to move forward proactively.

Closing it up

It’s important to remember that we all go through challenges, and some of them are big and some are small. It is also essential to know that everyone has their way of dealing with them. What works for one person may not work for another. What is important is that you are open to new experiences and practices for coping with difficult situations. The best way to get through a challenging situation is to be prepared for it. Be mindful of your thoughts and emotions. Be aware of the different ways you can respond to a particular situation. It all comes down to staying positive and open to new experiences, especially when things aren’t going your way.


Dave is a Leadership and Life Coach living in Steveston, B.C., Canada.

Dave’s expertise is with individuals and teams who feel stressed out and exhausted and know that they want something different.

In 2017, Dave left a career as a Senior Manager at a large Local Government organization to start Small Pause Coaching & Consulting. His philosophy about taking a pause and inviting in a new conversation, a deeper conversation, has supported hundreds of individuals and organizational clients.

He is a Certified HeartMath® Coach & Mentor, a Certified Trauma-sensitive HeartMath® Practitioner, a trained Equine Guided Learning Facilitator and a Certified Coach with the International Coaches Federation (ICF). Dave took his coaches training at the Newfield Network in Boulder, Colorado.

You can learn more about his work at or look him up on LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook.

Dave also expresses his creativity through the Small Pause Shop, where he designs apparel that supports living life ‘inside the pause.’

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