What happens when you get a stress management expert, a successful entrepreneur, and a Navy SEAL together to write a book? You end up with Stronger: Develop the Resilience You Need to Succeed, a powerful new resource that will help you better thrive under pressure. The three authors have such varied experience that, when combined, works magnificently. The result is a powerful book that will help you not only understand resilience but learn how to build it for yourself.
Two of the authors, George Everly and Dennis McCormack, collaborated to answer some of my questions and to give you a glimpse into the power of resilience. Dr. Everly is one of the founding fathers of modern stress management. He teaches at Johns Hopkins and Loyola University of Maryland. Dennis McCormack is one of the original Navy SEALS. He pioneered SEAL combat doctrine and tactics in Vietnam.
The Single Most Powerful Factor to Your Potential
You call personal resilience the single most powerful factor to realize your potential. Is resilience something you are born with or can develop?
While for some, resilience may be a trait they are born with, for most of us resilience is learned…and that’s the great news! Recent research suggests that it is NOT age dependent either. So we can learn to be resilient at ANY age.
5 Factors of Personal Resilience
You reference 5 factors of personal resilience. The first is active optimism. What’s the difference between active and passive optimism? How do you increase it?
Great question. People who are passively optimistic believe things will turn out well, but they wait for such things to occur. Actively optimistic people believe things will turn out well because they are decisive and action-oriented. In short, they MAKE things turn out well. They take advantage of the self-fulfilling prophecy effect. When they fail, they see that failure as a temporary setback. Regarding the issue of leadership, whom would you rather follow, someone who waits for good things to happen, or someone who makes good things happen?
As for increasing active optimism, both in yourself and others, follow this principle: Active optimism is fostered in an environment which is supportive, instructive, and forgiving; one that sees failure as a stepping stone to success.
Avoid toxic devaluing environments. When failure does occur, and it will, understand failure is what you did, not who you are. Learn from it. You will be stronger next time!
“The optimist always has the capacity to look forward to another day.”
5 Core Factors of Personal Resilience
- Help people withstand adversity.
- Help people make good decisions under pressure.
- Motivate people to achieve peak performance.
- Allow people to bounce back quickly and effectively even when they are temporarily knocked down.
- Serve as important features in determining satisfaction in life and overall happiness.