Resistance vs. Resilience: 5 Resiliency Techniques to Cope with Accelerating Change


The most resilient people often look at change as something acute rather than chronic. They recognize that change comes on like a head cold; you cope and move on rather than being convinced that you’ll always have a head cold. Thinking this way, Heraclitus would say, is not natural to us. Our instinct is to hold on to the things we know and are comfortable with while avoiding changes—as humans we like our routines, so we naturally resist.

When change accelerates faster than our ability to adapt, it can feel like the moment a rollercoaster goes into its first freefall, like your stomach has migrated into your throat. That moment is where the most resilient people act differently. Here are five ways you can become more resilient by behaving differently in those critical moments:

Know the power of forgiveness

Change can feel like something that is being done to you rather than just a matter of course. Resilient people know the power of forgiveness and utilize it to distinguish between change and ill-intention. To increase your resiliency try “forgiving” the situation and, most importantly, forgive yourself for any immediate desire you feel to resist the change.

Take your strength from something bigger than yourself

Whether it’s their family, church, school, sports team, art, literature, or music, knowing—and believing in—some type of higher purpose helps resilient people accept change. You don’t have to make this complex; try thinking of one thing that’s truly important in your life. Then, when change comes along, focus on that important thing rather than the turbulence of the change.

Be willing to accept others’ help

Resilient people embrace the idea that they aren’t an island and allow others to help them. Not going it alone in the face of change is a key component to being more resilient.

Don’t apologize for being confident

It may sound strange, but resilient people don’t allow themselves not to feel confident even while things are changing. Instead, they tell themselves that they are confident and they never apologize for having confidence. Try being unapologetically confident and dive into the next change that comes your way rather than dragging your heels in self-doubt.

Ground your hope in reality

Resilient people are also hopeful people. Their hope, however, is grounded in firm realities. They avoid wishful thinking, and they never base their hopes on impossibilities. The next time you’re feeling the stresses of change, try putting your hope into the change rather than hoping it will go away.