You probably have a friend who’s really good at bouncing back from a rough patch. Terrible things can happen in their life and yet they are able to stay positive and get through it without letting their problems drag them down for too long. If this sounds like someone you know, then that person has what psychologists call resilience.

Good examples of resilience

A resilient person is one who can deal with failure and rejection. They can handle the unexpected and cope with difficult situations. They see problems as an opportunity for growth, and face them as they arise. Persistence is one of their traits, but they are also willing to burn down their beliefs to rise from the ashes. This isn’t necessarily something that comes easily – but resilience is cultivated, just like all other skills…

No alt text provided for this imageBad examples of resilience

Denial is the worst trick you can play on yourself. Not admitting that you took a hit means you won’t learn – nor recover – from the blow.

People who don’t acknowledge setbacks, disappointments or crisis are the ones who try to be robust – until they break. Pushing uncomfortable emotions down and acting happy-go-lucky doesn’t last.

Our relationship with pain – and the understanding that allowing negative emotions is what makes us stronger – determines whether we give ourselves time to recover and come back stronger.

Resilience = Energy Management

According to the Stockholm Resilience Center “resilience” is defined as

the long term capacity of a system to deal with change and continue to develop.

Which means that you persist in the face of change while at the same time you navigate turbulence. Being resilient means you have the energy to get back up and keep going. To adapt and to innovate. Besides the physical persistence, what about emotional, or financial turbulence? When you investigate and test the human battery extensively like I do, you discover that your physical body is just a container. Inside this container you manage different types of energy that you need to be able to bounce back. The best tennis players, judokas and basketballers can tell you that it’s their ability to refresh their mood that allows them to outperform their opponents during competition. Only with a fresh mind can they bounce back. Resetting your nervous system when the famous triple F (fight/flight/freeze) kicks in, that’s the proven method to get back to flow.

Resilient CEO’s, VP’s and founders all have great routines of not-work. They know that to achieve flow, they need to let go. They stay on top of their game because they figured out how, when and how often to switch off. When you’re wired to perform, and you’re hired to perform, overdoing it is common. In the world of sports it’s called being “over trained”. In the corporate athlete’s world it’s called burnout.

Pro athletes have coaches telling them to stop training when there is 30% left in their battery. “Come back tomorrow.”

Who’s telling you “enough for now, tomorrow’s another day”? And when they tell you that, how much is left in your battery? Let’s take a closer look at the pro’s – how well and how well timed do you switch off? To show resilience, it’s important you have enough energy. This requires you to be able to step away from your responsibilities for a moment, to reset and reload yourself. Is this something you do well? To answer that question, we developed the Resilience Score and are sharing it for free! Spend 2 minutes to find out your Resilience Score on

If you have questions about resilience, please let me know as it’s my personal obsession after I broke my neck.