Learning To Be More Resilient

By Glen Fahs

The world has discovered the importance of resiliency. But few know how to develop resiliency skills and attitudes. Here are some approaches for your consideration:

It starts with the decision not to be a victim. No matter how awful life's turns, there are always positive paths to pursue. The first idea that we choose to focus on when an accident or loss occurs, minor or serious, is, "How can I make constructive steps to head me in best direction?" And except in some rare situations such as early death of a loved one, ask the question, "Why is this potentially good that this bad thing happened?"

Looking back, resilient people don't dwell on their losses and disappointments. They see being fired or divorced as challenges to find a better life down the road. They believe that their choices improve the odds of long term success. After a fire, they mourn the loss of tangible things for a little while and then pour their energies into recovery and supporting the friends and family who remain. They shake off the shock of unmet expectations and dire circumstances and are grateful for the what they value and how they may contribute to the lives of others.

Sure, former criminals and drug addicts teach others how to avoid illicit and unnecessary medical drugs, but they also coach the vulnerable how to avoid the people and situations which lead to destructive behavior. They create positive environments.

What are the dimensions of resiliency? Resiliency starts with health: mental, physical and emotional well being. If we cultivate our minds and bodies—even if we have critical disabilities, we are prepared for stage two, problem solving.

There are many ways to improve our analytical and creative methods. Education helps, but as Dr. Al Siebert in his book, The Resiliency Advantage, explains, most learning comes from guided experience and reflecting to capture insights. Be a sponge, not a show off. Mistakes are powerful, but we can learn more from others' mistakes if we develop a strong social and professional network. Short term classes tailored to our needs are more likely to stick with us than the overwhelming amount of information that comes in the form of degrees and online news.

Other stages of resiliency have to do with:

  1. strengthening our self-esteem and self-concept,
  2. developing a Big Picture perspective where we find balance of contrasting characteristics
  3. serendipity, the process of turning the worst turns of our lives into the most valuable.

The Al Siebert Resiliency Center provides certification of resiliency experts, train the trainer sessions and presentations to large groups. We have certified trainers in several countries and on both coasts.

The class for you? What are you ready to learn? If it is what is holding you back and what is your inner potential to reaching higher levels of resiliency, may I recommend the "Learning to Shine in the Dark" class series that you can take Wednesdays in February, 2020, in person or via online streaming. It will be taught by a Board member of the Al Siebert Resiliency Center, Michelle Atlas, in New York City. More Information / REGISTER NOW.


Glen Fahs, PhD, has been a coach and leader for decades in the fields of training, resiliency, continuing education, change and transition. He has high-level training experience in government, nonprofit and the private sector and has taught for 12 colleges and universities. He has served on several boards, including currently on the Al Siebert Resiliency Center board. If you would like a resiliency coach, speaker or trainer, call Glen at 971-570-0159. To become certified for resiliency work, please see the guidelines on the Al Siebert Resiliency Center website.