Secrets to Resilience (How to Bounce Back After Failure)

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  • “The key to resilience is what you are saying to yourself and how you are labeling yourself, other people, and the context.”
  • Setbacks and failures are inevitable. It’s how we handle them that matters. Follow these 3 key ways to stay resilient during turbulent times.
  • “The first important thing that you should start managing and monitoring is yourself. Talk to yourself about how you are processing that failure, that setback.”
  • How do you maintain your strength and resilience through challenges? In this training, learn how to build resilience so you can bounce back after setbacks.
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When You Feel Horrible (Tired, Sad, Bored)
How to Deal with Stressful Situations, Proactively!




[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

How do you stay resilient with what you are doing? All right, today I just spent a whole day with my coaches talking about: How do you maintain and inspire resilience?

1. Manage Your Self-Talk

And I think the most important topics I can share briefly.

What I shared with them is first, when you have a setback or a failure, the first important thing that you start managing and monitoring is yourself. Talk to yourself about how you are processing that failure, that setback.

When you have a failure, a setback, a challenge point, something horrible, you immediately—instead of being discouraged, disappointed, angry, feeling hatred—immediately flip into your learning mind and say, “Okay, what did I learn about this? What did I learn about myself? What did I learn about other people? What did I learn about the world? And what I might do next time to improve the situation, prevent the situation, or do better?”

Because by projecting yourself into the next time, based on the lessons you learned, you’ll move through that setback earlier. Because what does everyone else do? Usually they revisit the setback and they ruminate on it. They keep thinking about it over and over. They think about all the reasons that went wrong. All the problems, “oh my God, oh my God, oh my God,” and they watch their motivation wind down.

Instead, be a student. Every time there’s a failure I’m like, “What did we learn?” And I very closely manage my self-talk.

I’m asking, what am I saying to myself about myself after that failure?

Because one part of me wants to go, “Brendon, you big dummy. How could you let this happen again? You always fail, you suck, you knew this was going to happen, look at you still being stupid, still being a loser,” OMG. And of course I could do that. But if I hear that, I’m like, that is completely not productive. Instead, I tap into the Brendon that says, “Hey Brendon, you’re a student. You’re into this personal development stuff because you’re curious about yourself. You’re curious about living a good life so what’d you learn? Go ahead Brendon, explain it to me buddy, what did you learn about yourself during this? A-ha, and what did you learn about other people in this? Mm-hmm, and what did you learn about the opportunity or the context? A-ha, now Brendon, what are you going to do next time?”

And that simple self-talk starts moving me into the future. And that makes me buoyant and excited and yeah, you heard it first, motivated.

Because when I think about how to do it better next time, that motivates me versus being discouraged by thinking about how it happened last time.

Think about next time, motivated. Last time, discouraged. So approach it from the learning mindset, manage self-talk.

The key to resilience is what you are saying to yourself and how you are labeling yourself, other people, and the context.

If the context, you’re like, “Well that real estate thing or that investment or that promotion or that marketing didn’t work, never does. Ain’t going to work for me because I’m stupid and other people are better than me.” Well no wonder the Doritos, Diet Coke, and Netflix thing keeps happening. You’re talking yourself into doing nothing.

I want you to talk yourself into the learning and the motivation for next time. That is the absolute key to resilience.

2. Socialize Your Struggle

The second aspect to resilience is very similar to discipline which is, all I want you to do, is connect with somebody else and process it with them. When you suffer in silence, the suffering lasts longer. When you express and share your suffering with other people, you tend to get comfort, you tend to get understanding, compassion, and you’re able to forgive yourself and move through it more quickly. That is why you need to be in a good community of people.

And I know not all of you are in my mastermind. Not all of you are at our events. Not all of you are in the social community here, because maybe this is your first time with us. But I’m cheering you on from afar, I’m here for you, I love you. You have support in this world, never forget it. Never forget it.

And if you’re like, “Ugh, I don’t have anybody.” Listen, easy answer. All I want you to do, please go volunteer for some organizations in your local community. And as you get a volunteer community around you, when you’re struggling, now you can call up your fellow volunteer, another person, or tell them out while you’re volunteering. Be like, “Yeah, I’ve been having a bad week. Yeah, this happened in my marriage. Yeah, I got the medical report,” you know? If you have no one to share anything with, no wonder you suffer.

But don’t forget that there’s seven billion people in the world and there’s no reason anybody watching this doesn’t have a positive supportive group. If you don’t have a positive supportive group, you can’t blame where you’re from, you can’t blame your city, can’t blame your company, can’t blame your team, can’t blame anything else. You need to go build that active community. Whether that’s again, coming to our events or if it’s for you, joining a local group. Whether it’s for you volunteering. Whether it’s for you reaching out online. There are always options for you.

But it’s really, like we can all be warriors. But I always tell people you need to understand that warriors have other comrades. None of the great battles on Earth were fought without an army. You need to develop your army and stop thinking of yourself as an army by yourself. That’s not how it works. You need comrades, partners, friends, family, friends. So you have to develop deep connections and relationships, be around great people. And if you ever struggle with that, I always tell people the greatest support network you could ever get for free is joining local volunteer organizations. Because the people who volunteer in your community tend to be the most compassionate, thoughtful, progressive, intelligent people who also have realized life is about service to others. So they’re dedicating their time and energy to that.

Who happens to be on the boards of the most successful nonprofits in town? The most successful people in town. So automatically you’re leveling up your peer group by volunteering. Because the people who run the local nonprofits or the people who donate the most and contribute the most tend to be the most successful. And you’re leveling up your peer group. And when you level up the people who you are around, they’ve dealt with challenges just like you. And it’s easier for them to support you, cheer you on, guide you through that setback because they’ve been through it.

And when you have social support, resilience is so much easier.

Okay, the other aspect about resilience I’d like to share with you today. To develop a lot of resilience is—remember, you’re going to think about what you learned, think about how you’re labeling yourself and talking at yourself and orient yourself to the future. You’re also going to surround yourself with good people. The other aspect about resilience is this.

3. Maintain Your Discipline

Make sure you maintain your discipline for previous commitments to self.

Maintain your discipline to maintain your resilience.

What does that mean? Have you ever had a setback where something failed and something goes wrong and you just throw out everything? You threw out the baby with the bathwater. You had a setback in your career. You had a horrible day at work. And the next day when you’re supposed to workout, you throw that out. You’re supposed to go volunteer, you throw that out. You’re supposed to meet a friend, you throw that. You let one setback throw out and destroy everything else. It’s like one domino falls, you let it fall into everything else.

So all your other habits you fall off of. And now you’re in a deeper pit of despair. So I always tell people, listen, for me as an example—when I have a bad workday, I make damn sure I get that workout the next morning. If somebody in a relationship lies, cheats, steals, is terrible in partner or business or whatever. I’m like okay, well then I better make sure. I said tomorrow at three I’m going to write, I’m going to write.

Meaning when one thing falls, that’s the time to stick with diligence and discipline to the other things that are certain.

Because what people do is they have a bad day and then they knock down all the dominoes of goodness in their life. And now they’re in despair. So I’m here to tell you, it’s really important when you do struggle and fail at something to make sure you keep your other commitments. Yes you had a bad day, but don’t cancel all the other meetings you had set up to move your life forward the next three days. Because that’s what people do. “I don’t feel like it now, I’m mad.” And they cancel all the good that they were going to do. And now they’re like by themselves, having no momentum. They have no momentum, so they lack motivation. Pick it back up.