6 essential questions to help build your resilience

I’m no stranger to adversity – I saved my husband from a house fire, watched him die and come back to life, supported my mum through chemotherapy, grieved the loss of loved ones, faced financial crisis and suffered my own life-threatening illness.

However, let me be clear – I’m no exception. We all have our own challenges to face, and it’s the way we handle them that determines our resilience.

Reflecting on all the obstacles I’ve faced, there are six key things you should ask yourself to help build your resilience.

I hope these strategies will help you to build resilience and smoothly navigate your own challenges.

1. What is most valuable to you?

When you’re navigating a personal, health or business crisis; being very clear of your values and their priority in your life will help you avoid conflict in your heart or mind. If family and health are number one, then you won’t hesitate to put them above all else.

You can’t juggle all balls at the same time, so knowing who is most important to you will help you to make the right decision, every time. Who would you drop everything for? You can’t be there for everyone, all the time.

2. What is the best recipe for you?

What is non-negotiable in your day, to make you perform your best? For me, it’s exercising and meditating daily, fuelling my body with good nutrition, getting enough sleep and surrounding myself with positive people. It also means limiting alcohol and reducing non-essential stress in my life.

If you think of your body as a high performing Maserati, how would you treat it? Would you feed it with bad fuel and toxic chemicals; or service it well and give it enough rest? The same goes for us. When we’re under extra stress, having our brain and body performing as optimally as possible is critical. By making time for the things that make me a better person, I am more equipped to tackle my days. My energy is higher, and I have greater clarity of mind.

3. Do you give as well as receive?

So many people love giving and helping others. If you can accept help from those around you, to make your life easier, do so! It might make no difference to them, but a world of difference to you.

Similarly, giving in return is a wonderful thing. It might be a small gesture like smiling, or giving someone your parking ticket that has an hour left on it. No matter how much of a storm my life is, I have no idea how much worse someone else’s situation is. Each time we give, it helps them and us too.

4. Do you have a fixed or a growth mindset?

If you’re always negative and focusing on the worst-case scenario, you’re not giving yourself the best opportunity of success. By opening up your mind and taking strength from others (mentors, inspirational books and learning from those who have travelled a journey before you), your subconscious mind will gravitate towards positive behaviours, decisions and actions and ultimately draw you closer to your desired results.

5. Who and what are you grateful for?

By filling my mind with gratitude each day, my heart is filled with love; which can help overcome many setbacks. Whenever I hit a roadblock, I focus on all the people and things I am grateful for and my mood is lifted immediately.

6. How can you plan for success?

Last but not least, every day I write down and prioritise what I want to achieve, making sure they are in line with my long-term goals and that time is allocated in my calendar. If things change (as they always do!), I can just focus on what will make this one day the best possible, no matter the circumstances.

resilience coach

  • Suzzanne Laidlaw is an internationally accredited business coach, global leader in business planning and author of the new book, ‘What’s Your Plan?’. Passionate about supporting business owners to achieve their dreams, Suzzanne knows what it takes to overcome adversity and function at the top level to achieve extraordinary results.

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