Emotional resiliency means that you can bounce back quickly from a setback. It is a skill that can be trained.
Emotional resiliency means that you can bounce back quickly from a setback. It is a skill that can be trained, just like mental toughness. The process is simply stated but takes time and patience to develop:
Witness the negative emotional reaction, and then interdict it to observe the root emotion beneath it. Lean into the root emotion to experience it fully, ensuring that you are avoiding denial or transference. Transmute the negative emotion to its positive sister; for example, fear becomes courage, anger becomes commitment, jealousy becomes appreciation, shame becomes pride, and despair becomes surrender. Engage the new emotion with imagery and self-talk that supports it and blocks the old emotion. Then get moving again by taking action or taking your eyes off yourself and putting them on a teammate. The positive momentum will take you to a new, more positive, emotional place.
It is much easier to be resilient when the Four Attitudes of Emotional Resiliency are burned into your character. The first attitude is to have self-esteem. Self-esteem is the emotional state of feeling worthy and respected by others. Low self-esteem can come from childhood abandonment, volatile environments where your voice is not heard, or outright abuse. If these attributes exist in your consciousness, then it is imperative that you get some therapeutic help and go deep into the silence practices to taste the underlying goodness inside of you.
Second, resiliency is assured if you have the attitude of being oriented toward others versus just yourself, as our second discipline of service seeks to develop. In other words, if you are service oriented, then you tend to be more emotionally resilient. This character trait shows up at the fifth plateau of consciousness development (see the afterword), associated with a world-centric, service-oriented view. Victor Frankl describes this attitude in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, which chronicles his experiences in a Jewish concentration camp. Victor survived by finding meaning through tending to others’ needs over his own…and then teaching the power of this simple truth.
The third attitude is holding a positive mind-set and optimistic outlook, which we have already discussed at length. It should be no surprise that a positive, optimistic attitude impacts one’s emotional resiliency.
Finally, resiliency is ensured when you have an attitude of self-control informed by a deep certainty of your “why.” When climber Aaron Roth found himself alone in the desert, literally stuck between a rock and a hard place, he finally cut his own arm off to save his life. He did it because his “why” was to survive so he could be there for his unborn daughter, showing his orientation toward others.
Unbeatable Mind: Forge Resiliency and Mental Toughness to Succeed at an Elite Level
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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