Resilience factors: How to strengthen your resilience

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Resilience factors: How to strengthen your resilience

Resilience is the ability to deal constructively with setbacks, stress and life crises. This is why people also talk about the immune system of the soul. While other people sink into despair in the face of defeat, resilient people recover much faster. The We have already dealt with the topic of resilience in a detailed technical article discussed.

In the following article, we will look at the individual resilience factors. These form the basic framework of inner resilience.

What are resilience factors?

Resilience builds on various factors. These are personal resources for overcoming crises that a person has acquired over the course of his or her life. This means that you can actively contribute to strengthening your resilience. We will discuss this in more detail later on.

One of the first researchers to address resilience factors on a scientific basis was the U.S. developmental psychologist Emmy Werner. As part of a long-term study, she documented the development of around 700 children on the Hawaiian island of Kauai over a period of 40 years.

Werner discovered that some children led successful and happy adult lives despite the most unfavorable conditions, such as alcoholism or experiences of violence in the family, whereas other subjects developed mental illnesses. The children who developed healthily all possessed the crucial resilience factors.

Vulnerability: The opposite of resilience

To fully grasp the topic of resilience factors, it makes sense to also look at the opposite: vulnerability.

Vulnerability means something like vulnerability. Vulnerable people are often highly sensitive personalities who have a low level of Self-esteem dispose

Even small things such as a thoughtless remark can plunge vulnerable people into a deep emotional crisis. Accordingly, they are susceptible to depression or Anxiety disorders. This is evidenced by a Study of the University of Zurich.

The good news is that even vulnerable people can learn resilience. A basic innate character tendency may be unchangeable, but it is still possible for everyone to work on their own personality.

7 pillars of resilience

Resilience factors: The 7 pillars of resilience at a glance

Resilience factors include the following seven character traits:

  1. Optimism
  2. Self-confidence
  3. sociability
  4. Emotional stability
  5. Realism
  6. Impulse Control
  7. Analysis strength

An optimistic attitude forms the basis of resilience. Resilient people are always aware that a crisis - no matter how tragic - is temporary. They also avoid sweeping generalizations. "Always" and "never" are two terms you should definitely eliminate from your language use if you want to strengthen your resilience.

Continue to play Self-confidence and sociability plays a decisive role. Resilient people are not afraid to seek support when needed. Nevertheless, they never put themselves in the Victim role. An essential characteristic of resilience is the firm conviction that one can find a solution to any problem on one's own.

In crisis situations, do you have the feeling of being completely at the mercy of events? Are you easily led to impulse-driven actions that you regret afterwards? Then you should work on the resilience factors Emotional stability and Impulse Control work. Resilient people are able to remain calm in critical life situations.

Finally, we come to the resilience factors mentioned above Realism and Analysis strength to speak. Setting realistic goals reduces the risk of avoidable Disappointments. Strength of analysis means being able to view negative events with a certain distance. In this way, it is possible to learn from mistakes.

Other important resilience factors

If you research the topic of resilience, you will certainly quickly notice that the resilience factors mentioned differ slightly depending on the source. Even though research has agreed on seven pillars, there are a few more factors that should not go unmentioned:


There will always be situations in life that you cannot change. This to accept and not wasting one's energies on a hopeless endeavor is definitely part of the resilience spectrum.

Furthermore means AcceptanceAdmitting crises and failures to yourself. Only when you admit to yourself that something is not going according to plan can you take targeted countermeasures. No problem has ever been solved by ignoring it: Resilient people are aware of this.

Sense of responsibility

Resilience has a lot to do with a sense of responsibility. This also includes bearing the full consequences in the event of a wrong decision. Because resilient people simply see temporary failure as a normal part of life, they do not shy away from responsibility.


Resilient people are often characterized by a high level of empathy from. Being empathetic means being able to put yourself in other people's shoes. The understanding of one's own emotional world is also more pronounced.

If you are able to understand why someone acts in a certain way, you can react more appropriately in tense situations. In addition, empathy avoids misunderstandings, because you do not automatically relate the (negative) mood of your environment to your person.

Empathic people are more forgiving of their own mistakes, which does not mean that they lack ambition to improve. However, they know that self-judgment is not a constructive way to solve problems. Here we come full circle to the resilience factors.

Development of positive future perspectives

Anyone who finds themselves in a difficult situation or even just a Life crisis involuntarily looks for a reason. This is quite understandable: Those who see a meaning in their suffering find it easier to cope with the blow of fate.

Resilient people are no exception. As already mentioned, they even analyze their personal setbacks very thoroughly in order to do better next time. However, they do not remain forever in the Pastbut think and act (!) future-oriented.

To extricate themselves from an existing crisis, resilient personalities always take the initiative. If they are affected by a job loss, for example, they specifically look for further training opportunities or actively apply to other companies. Characteristic of resilience is the Faithto be able to shape the future in a self-determined and positive way. Strokes of fate are seen as opportunities.

3 tips to strengthen resilience factors in your everyday life

Some people are already born with a predisposition to resilience, while other characters are more vulnerable and insecure by nature. However, the human personality is quite changeable. Accumulated life experiences, for example, can cause you to rethink your previous attitudes and beliefs. This is true in both positive and negative ways.

In addition, you can work specifically on your own weaknesses and at the same time promote positive qualities or learn new ones. The ability for resilience can be trained specifically. The same applies to the individual resilience factors. In the following, we would like to introduce you to the three most effective tips for strengthening the resilience factors in your everyday life.

1. write down what is bothering you

It is often ballast from the past that prevents us from acting confidently and constructively in the present. However, the latter is one of the most important resilience factors. Get to the bottom of your inner blockages and work through them, if necessary with therapeutic support.

An alternative that is suitable for everyday use and requires less effort is keeping a diary. Writing helps you sort and process your thoughts. Once negative beliefs are banished to paper, they often lose their terror. This is the first step toward resilience. In addition, writing makes you aware of recurring, destructive thought patterns that need to be changed.

Did you also know that expressive writing strengthens your memory? This is even the result of studies.

2. engage in self-reflection

Take a conscious look back at your life: How many crises that seemed unsolvable at the beginning have you already mastered? Weren't the critical life events always an opportunity to recognize grievances and take new paths? Being aware of how much worse you have already overcome can give you the necessary strength in current crises.

It is recommended that you write down your achievements to date. This way, you can see in black and white what you have already achieved. The "how" is also crucial: What did you do at the time to solve the problem? Who or what helped you? Remember this and use your hidden resources.

3. choose resilience

As trite as it may sound, resilience is largely a conscious choice. This is all the more true if you were not born with inner resilience and Serenity blessed you are. There are people whose will to live remains unbroken despite unimaginable suffering. You may spontaneously think of people from the media or even from your environment to whom this applies. Let them inspire you.

Willpower can sometimes move mountains. Your resolve alone to not let anything or anyone shake you strengthens your resilience. Of course, it takes some time until you have internalized the resilience factors. However, it is worth staying on the ball. You can find more tips and exercises to strengthen the resilience factors in this article on the topic Strengthen resilience.

What role do resilience factors play in coaching?

Many coaches work with the analysis of resilience factors. By identifying the areas in which the client lacks resilience, a targeted solution can be found for many problems. Let's assume that the fictitious client reacts extremely impulsively to criticism and immediately feels devalued in his entire personality by negative comments.

In this case, he lacks the resilience factors optimism, self-confidence and impulse control. At these "construction sites" the Coaching can now be targeted. However, it is important here that the coach only fulfills an accompanying function. Imposing rules tends to have a counterproductive effect. The client must work out his goals himself and, if necessary, adjust them several times in the course of the coaching process.

Particular attention is paid in the coaching area to strengthening the Self-confidence and self-esteem. If the latter is not present, resilience cannot develop. Although the seven pillars of resilience relate to different areas of life and can be strengthened independently of one another, a professional coach constantly keeps an eye on the big picture.

Tip: Learning resilience is an extremely popular topic in the coaching field. Everything you need to know about resilience coaching as well as information about training opportunities for the Resilience Coach can be found in this article.


Resilience is a highly desirable skill that helps you overcome life crises more quickly and emerge from them stronger. Although the seven resilience factors can be trained individually, they are all equally crucial to the overall picture of resilience. Nevertheless, it makes sense to first see which factors you should work on particularly intensively.

Learning resilience is a long and, above all, dynamic process that lasts a lifetime. Every new challenge that you successful strengthens your resilience factors. The more positive experiences you gather and the more Self-efficacy you experience through it, the more resilient you become.

Sometimes it takes a few impulses from outside to recognize how you can best strengthen your resilience factors personally. In this case, professional coaching makes sense.

with Dieter Lange

"From tiredness of life to joie de vivre"

Do you often feel stressed, disoriented and flooded with stimuli? Do you have the feeling that, despite success and recognition, you have lost the lightness of everyday life? Do you sometimes ask yourself: "Is that all there is?"
approx. 60 minutes
Theory & practice
Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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